What changed?

Valorant ranked is live. Here's how it works.

Valorant
valorant ranked

Image credit: Riot Games

Three weeks after the official launch of the game, Valorant finally received back its ranked matchmaking. Here’s everything you need to know.

Valorant’s popularity exploded during the closed beta and the game continues to improve even after the official launch which came on June 2. After the release, one crucial feature was absent – ranked matchmaking. Riot announced that it’ll be a few weeks before it returns and remained true to their word after another unexpected yet short delay.

Patch 1.02 added some changes to the Valorant ranked queue when compared to the closed beta.

  • Updated rank iconography.
  • New name for top rank: Radiant
  • Expanded skill disparity range for playing with friends in rank placements

Here are the old icons.

valorant old icons

Image credit: Riot Games

And the new ones.

valorant new icons

Image credit: Riot Games

The name of the highest rank in Valorant was Valorant. Many fans criticized this choice back in the beta and for good reason. First off it was probably the least creative name as it felt lazy. Second, it’d cause confusion on the internet especially when searching for some of the best players. While “Radiant” isn’t something amazing either, it’s still better than “Valorant”. Who knows, maybe Riot will change it again in the future.

The current ranked system

With the reintroduction of the ranked mode, many players will now have a chance to experience the Valorant competitive mode for the first time. If you want to play ranked you’ll first have to go through 20 normal games. Supposedly that’s enough time to get familiar with the weapons, maps, agents, and their abilities. Your unrated games won’t affect your ranked ones and vice versa. Once you’re done with the 20 games, the Competitive option will become available.

In order to get your initial rank, you’ll have to play a total of 5 placement matches. In general winning rounds and matches is more important than your personal performance, but the latter will also have some weight. During placement matches, though your personal skill will be the most important factor as the system will try to determine your rank through it. This was done by Riot to combat smurfs, so players are always matched against others of equal skill. Despite that many people have already complained that even after a solid win streak they're still stuck at the same rank. Ranked mode is identical to the normal unranked one so everything that works in your normal matches will also be viable in ranked.

Each of the ranks from Iron to Immortal has three tiers. The exception is the highest possible one, Radiant, as it has only a single one. If you don’t play for 14 days, you rank will become hidden and you’ll need to play one ranked game in order to reveal it again. Worry not as your rank will not decay due to being inactive. In the near future, Riot may decide to implement some elements from League of Legends like a ban phase. For now, the pool of agents is still rather limited, but if Valorant gets new characters at the same rate as LoL it might soon happen. Currently, there are still no rewards for the ranked medal you've earned, but Riot voiced their intention to change that soon.

Stay tuned for more Valorant news and make sure to check out EarlyGame as well as our Youtube channel for more content.

Tasho Tashev

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