Whenever a game is competitive, and particularly when it has a ranked mode, players want to be able to queue solo against other solo players. A randomly grouped bunch of players will always be at a disadvantage to players who queue together regularly – assuming the players are of equal skill. Hence the call for a solo queue. But in a blog post, Riot Games revealed that Valorant is a game about teamwork and, therefore, will not get a solo queue.
Ian Fielding, Product Manager for the Valorant competitive team, was charged with answering the question about solo queue. He had this to say: “It’s important to us that competitive matchmaking in VALORANT is focused on teamplay, because we believe that playing as a team is a major component in your overall mastery of the game.”
He goes on to explain that your solo ability is not the true determination of your skill in Valorant. It’s a team game and should be judged as such. Fielding argues that if Riot introduces a solo queue to the game, it could be seen as the definitive test of a player’s skill. And, as a result, solo queue could become the primary way people play competitively.
It’s easy to see the logic in Fielding’s argument. Players who are perceived to have performed poorly in a team are often said to be carried. Forget the fact that a competitive tactical shooter is about more than just kills vs. deaths. Alternatively, consider that when players get upset with one another, there are often calls to “1v1 me, bro”. By not adding a solo queue to Valorant, Riot is clearly saying that your skill will be determined by your ability to play as a team.
Valorant rank and you
Competitive matchmaking, or ranked mode, has recently been added to Valorant, and the team has made it very clear what determines your rank. Because Valorant is a team game, you rank up and down as a team. This means winning is the best way to improve your rank.
Exceptional individual performance can help you rank up faster. However, Fielding points out that if you perform well but still lose, your rank will trend downwards. Plus, your individual performance will affect your rank even less as you play more. Decisive victories and losses will have a greater impact on your rank. So, when you have your gun to your opponent’s head, don’t hesitate.
Coming to ranked mode
Fielding wraps up his section of the blog post by highlighting a few things that will be added to Valorant ranked mode when the game leaves beta this summer. The first goal is to make it easier to queue with your friends during your placement matches. This is in line with Riot’s decision to not add a solo queue to Valorant. If you should play as a team, it should be easy to play with your friends. Just remember, all members of a team need to be within two ranks of one another. Fielding also said the team will improve the rank icons.
Let us know how your ranked experience in Valorant has been so far? Are you for or against solo queue?