Last week marked the launch of algorithmic matchmaking service Team.gg’s expansion into Valorant. Having already made a strong impact in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive space, the three-man team behind Teams.gg are hoping that the tool will not only help players of Riot Games’ tactical shooter find their perfect teammates, but also prevent them from matching up with toxic players.
Having spent years playing and hosting CS:GO, Teams.gg’s CEO and co-founder James Duffield has had his share of negative player interactions. Alongside his fellow Teams.gg founders, Stuart Crouchman and Tom Russell, the trio set to work on producing what they felt was a solid solution to one of competitive gaming’s biggest problems.
“The games that we’re talking about [tactical FPS games] are very inherently competitive,” Duffield tells The Loadout. “And I think humans can become harsh and toxic when they get competitive. And then on the other level, there’s a lot of hate in the world, and I think we should all try to do our best to avoid that.”
Although Teams isn’t a solution that will eradicate toxicity, Duffield says that it is there to help others surround themselves with positivity. “Maybe smarter people than us will tackle the problem of toxicity,” he says, “but what we can do for our communities is say ‘avoid these people and surround yourself with positivity, surround yourself with friends, and surround yourself with people that you enjoy playing with’ – because that’s what I’ve tried to do with my friend group.”
Cutting out the negativity where possible is something which Duffield firmly believes is a mantra that should be taken not only into the world of online gaming, but also more generally in life. Upon signing up, users are required to fill out a short bio, which Duffield says “goes a huge way to understanding the personality of that person” before other users connect with them – a sort of vibe check which helps ensure you only match with players on the same wavelength.
To help further safeguard users, Team.gg pulls account data from Riot’s API to help verify authenticity. Additionally, the team is working to introduce more robust reporting measures to ensure unruly members are dealt with quickly, alongside a commendation feature that could potentially promote standout members of the community.
Teams.gg’s Valorant service is now available for all, and you can sign up right here. Keep your eyes peeled for more from our interview with James Duffield as it drops this week on The Loadout.