Due to COVID-19, Riot Games was forced to postpone a closed Valorant playtest for streamers and gaming influencers. The event was going to give these select players the chance to capture content, which would then be used to promote the game and, supposedly, announce the beta. Riot managed to hustle hard and Rod “Slasher” Breslau revealed that the event was rescheduled for this past weekend. Now that the closed playtest is over, Valorant details are leaking and Riot has announced the the closed beta will begin on April 7.
Dot Esports managed to speak to a bunch of players who were included in the playtest, revealing details about a new agent, the Valorant ranked system, cosmetic acquisition, and some more gameplay particulars.
The ninth Valorant agent
Tnfo coming from the playtesters is that there will be nine Valorant agents at launch. A new, never seen before agent was available during the playtest.
The agent’s name is Breach, and he has a ginger mustache and beard. Apparently, he looks similar to Brimstone. Breach is appropriately a breacher. His first ability is called Aftershock, but no details were revealed about it. The next ability in his arsenal is called Flashpoint and it works like a flashbang. His third ability is called Fault Line and works similar to a stun grenade.
The playtesters reported that Breach was a bit overpowered at the moment because of his ultimate ability, Rolling Thunder. It was said to deal too much damage to enemy players. This is not in line with the game design philosophy of Valorant, which places precise gunplay over powerful abilities. So, we can assume that will be changed.
As for the other agents in the game, Viper, Sova, and Sage were all spoken of very highly. However, Omen was said to be fairly weak. His ultimate ability, From the Shadows, can easily be heard, allowing enemy players to act accordingly.
The last detail revealed about Valorant characters is that you can acquire a new agent after just a few games. So, complaints about agents being held behind hours of gameplay or a paywall can be put to bed. The playtesters also confirmed you will start with five free agents and will need to unlock the other four.
How to get cosmetics in Valorant
Cosmetics (or skins) can be acquired in Valorant through the completion of contracts. Essentially, these are tasks allocated to agents, and once completed, they will reward a new cosmetic.
Riot already confirmed there are no plans for agent skins. However, you will be able to earn weapon skins, key chains, and sprays.
Valorant ranked mode
The ranking system in Valorant was compared to Riot’s massive hit, League of Legends. There are eight different rank titles each with three tiers, except the highest rank, which only has one. The names of the different titles are Mercenary, Soldier, Veteran, Hero, Legend, Mythic, Immortal, and VALORANT.
During the playtest, agents were picked on a first come, first served basis, even in ranked. Hopefully, this will change between alpha and beta. There are no agent bans in Valorant at the moment, most likely because there are only nine agents to choose from.
New Valorant gameplay details
The playtest confirmed and revealed a lot of new gameplay details. The first is that Valorant has an overtime system. Matches will be out of 25 rounds, with round 25 being overtime to prevent a draw. At the start of the overtime round, players are all given 5,000 creds (Valorant‘s match currency) to purchase weapons and abilities.
The playtesters revealed that the shooting range in Valorant is similar to CS:GO’s Aim Botz community map. Here players can endlessly shoot at random bots to practice their aim. The testers also commented that the guns feel a lot like the guns from CS:GO.
There have been many requests from the fledgling Valorant community to be able to stretch the screen. In the playtest, players were able to stretch their screens to 4:3, but this resulted in black bars at the top and bottom.
The Valorant ping system was curiously compared to that of League of Legends. There is a ping to signal danger in an area, and even players who are dead can ping. There was an instance in the playtest where a dead player pinged the spike (bomb) for a player who couldn’t find it in a cloud of smoke. Speaking of the spike, the timer for defusing it doesn’t reset if a player stops and restarts.
The last detail that came out of the Valorant closed playtest was that there are custom servers that allow for private matches for up to 10 players.
The Valorant beta has finally been announced
Just an hour ago, Valorant announced a closed beta will begin on April 7 and will be limited to the United States, Canada, Europe, Turkey, Russia, and CIS countries. Other regions will get access as additional servers are rolled out. On the plus side, beta progress will not carry over to the full launch of the game, which is still planned for summer 2020. Any points you purchase in the Valorant closed beta will be returned to you at launch, with a 20% bonus as a thank you from the team.
Getting a key for the closed beta is going to be tough. Riot is handing them out as random drops through specific Twitch streams. TSM_Myth confirmed that the beta key drops will begin dropping on April 3. So, go register a Riot account and link it to your Twitch account.
May the odds be ever in your favor and may the Force be with you as you try to get your hands on a beta key.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) March 30, 2020