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Valorant Episode 5 Act 1 adds a new rank called Ascendant

A new Valorant rank for competitive play was not something we expected to see in the Episode 5 Act 1 update for Riot Games' tactical FPS

Valorant new rank: Some key art showcasing various Valorant agents such as Phoenix, Jett, and KAY-O

Valorant Episode 5 has arrived, and as with the start of any new Episode or Act, there’s a whole lot of “new”. A new map, a new battle pass, and this time, a brand new rank too.

In order to combat some issues with rank distribution towards the lower end of the Valorant ranks, Riot Games is adding a brand new tier called Ascendant. This will live between Diamond and Immortal tiers.

Riot explains its decision to do this in the patch notes for Episode 5 Act 1: “We believe our lower ranks have a few too many of you, especially Bronze and Silver. When we were looking at rank distribution, we realised that if we were to move some of you up and out of those lower ranks, it would overpopulate Platinum and Diamond. So by adding a new rank we can better distribute you across ranks, keep the prestige of high ranks, while helping better define the skill level of each rank.”

With the new Ascendant rank being added, Riot says players should anticipate a “less harsh” rank reset at the start of Episode 5. However, it does clarify that this will appear that way for just this season, as a new status quo for rank resets will have been established once Ascendant beds into the ranking system.

As you might expect, sliding a new rank into a delicate rankings system like Valorant’s has a few other knock-on effects, and the full Valorant patch notes explain these in detail.

To prevent confusion with this new rank, Sage’s Ascendant title is being renamed to Dauntless, which Riot says will not only avoid any mix ups but also better represents the agents “personality” and “theme”.

This is one of the biggest shake ups to Valorant’s ranked mode in the FPS game’s history, but it’s one that should mean that more players don’t spend their precious time meandering in the lower ranks.

For more on what’s new in Episode 5, check out our guide on the new Valorant map Pearl.