Valorant Weekly: Act 3, Skye, Renegades x Nerd Street Gamers
Valorant Act 3 is out with a brand new set of skins and gun buddies to claim. A plethora of changes in the past two patches will completely alter your ranked experience in Act 3. Finally a new map and Agent are coming soon to further complicate the meta.
There is plenty to cover in our latest Valorant Weekly, and there is no better place to start then the begging.
Valorant Act 3 & New Content
Valorant Act 3 launched with a brand new patch (1.10) and plenty of new content for those seeking to grind enough games. The two most important takeaways from this patch are the new agent and map coming to the game.
Valorant’s next new agent, Skye has been fully leaked weeks ahead of the release.
With follow up information given by Riot Games, Skye appears to be Australian champion, with one of her abilities equipping a “Tasmanian Tiger”, an extinct native animal to Australia. Media has fashioned her an Eco-warrior. While likely an initiator, it is unlikely Skye will be used as an entry fragger given her large amount of utility.
A video detailing all her abilities has been circulating around Twitter days before Riot Games officially announced the agent.
Heres a breakdown of Skye’s ability kit and a video showing them in action.
Q – Trailblazer
Sends out and takes point of view of a Tasmanian Tiger that can be fully controlled. While in its point of view, you have limited sight (slightly longer than Omen’s blind). Left click for the Tasmanian Tiger to leap forward, detonating it and dealing enemies to nearby enemies. Trailblazer is a superior Raze boombot as it provides more information and greater control. The Tiger can be used to scout and in-front of entry fraggers to clear corners or trade kills.
E – Guiding light
Throw a hawk trinket that can be controlled and moves towards your crosshair by holding the left mouse button. Recast E to detonate the hawk, upon detonation, the hawk will flash enemies looking in its direction. Guiding light will be used to entry teammates given its ability to flash around tight locations and common hold points.
C – Regrowth
Equip a healing trinket that can heal allies in close line of sight. Instead of a cooldown, the ability has a fixed “healing pool” to allow Riot to more easily balance the ability for the future. This ability is directly contrasts theories Valorant devs had nerfed sage to reduce the prevalence of ally healing which had been considered one of Overwatch’s detriments leading to its downfall. Syke however cannot use regrowth as a self-heal.
X – Seekers (6-points)
Sends out 3 “seekers” projectiles that will move towards the three closest enemies, near sighting them (like omen blind). This will be an extremely effective ability to retake sights. It is unknown if the “seekers” can be shot down like the Twin Hunters ability in Spike Rush.
Despite Valorant devs stating a new map would not be introduced until the next series, they have recently announced “Icebox” will be released in Series 1 Act lll. From limited footage of the new map, it appears “Icebox” employs a more open style. This follows the major nerf of the Operator, which would have otherwise been a major issue for the new map.
Icebox is set in an artic biome with one team spawning near a ship, and the other spawning inside an artic base.
All maps currently in play have a special feature, with Icebox’s being the horizontal rope / zipline. The trailer does not indicate how many bomb sites “Icebox” has. However, considering the various areas shown and Haven being the only map with three bomb sites, it is very possible Icebox will also have three bomb sites.
The new map became available for play on 13th of October in unrated play. However, it will only be added into the ranked queue two weeks later on the 27th of October to give players enough time to explore the intricacies of the map.
Given Riot’s previous statements of one new map per episode / every six months, the launch of Icebox has likely set a precedent for map to be released at the end final act of every episode.
This weekend we will witness North America’s next spotlight Valorant event. A collaboration between event organiser Nerd Street Gamers and gaming organisation Renegades has all the relevant North American teams (except Sentinels) joining in. The event will run the most recent patch 1.10, but will however, not feature Icebox as teams have yet to familiarized themselves with the map.
The Renegades x Nerd Street Gamers Invitational hosts a decent $10,000 to be split across the top three teams while the remaining thirteen are left empty handed. While this may seem harsh for most teams that receive no prize money, given the event is only held across two days from the 17th – 18th of October, participating teams do not lose much from its attendance.
We're excited to present the @Renegades x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Invitational!
12 invited teams – and you know we're going to be hosting qualifiers for 4 additional spots 😎
— Nerd Street Gamers (@nerdstgamers) October 8, 2020
Renegades x Nerd Street Gamers
Renegades had formerly been a disgraced organisation following controversy involving their management, ownership and player safety. This resulted in Riot Games banning the organisation from the LCS, souring the relationship between the two parties. However, Renegades has long been under new management with basketball star Jonas Jerebko now owning the organisation.
Renegades unveiled their competitive Valorant team mid-July which came to a surprise as many considering the org’s past history and failure to re-establish themselves in LoL. However, considering the controversy had surrounded previous management, setting their sights on Valorant was essential for the organisation’s expansion.
Nerd Street Gamers (NSG) are already an established major event organiser. They hosted a multitude of public events and even major tournaments. NSG already has a solid track record with Valorant and they’ve even hosted the all-female Valorant FTW Summer Showdown.
Format & Teams
Sixteen invited teams will be split into four groups. In this group stage, each team will enter a single round robin best of one, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the Playoffs Stage.
The eight teams entering the quarterfinals will then move towards a single elimination bracket in a best-of-three format. Given the prizepool is only allocated to the top three teams, the losers from the semifinals matches will battle one another to establish third place.
Teams consist of twelve invited established powerhouses in the NA Valorant esports scene along with four teams coming from qualifying tournaments. The current list of attendees is as follows: Renegades, Immortals, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Luminosity, Rise, Gen.G, Equinox, Complexity, MMG, T1, SSG, Beastcoast, Andbox and Moon Raccoons. The final spot is yet to be announced.
Most notably, TSM and Sentinels are not on the list of invited teams yet. For team Sentinels, there is news about Jay “sinatraa” Won injuring his eye and being unable to play which might be the reason for them not attending. We are not yet sure what the story behind TSM’s absence.
Immortals and Cloud 9 are two of the most established teams with a proven track record at this event. They also have the highest chance of taking out the top spot at the event. However, other teams cannot be counted out, especially the those coming from the qualifiers. While teams from qualifiers may not be major names, some still have sponsors and have proven themselves by triumphing against a multitude of other teams to qualify.
Valorant Ranked Play and Recent Patches
For those seeking to climb their way in Ranked Play, there are a few things to note from the recent patches that might come in handy on your next ranked binge.
In patches 1.08 and 1.09, Raze and Jett were on the receiving end of nerfs towards their kit. However, Raze is still extremely dominant in Ranked play due to three of her damaging abilities. Jett has somewhat fallen off specially after her eco buster ultimate using round was nerfed into the ground with the dagger range and cast speed being greatly reduced.
Brimstone has seen an increase in play after his Stim Beacon ability received a buff on the rate of fire. You can fully expect defend and push scenarios where Brimstone buffs an area way more often then before.
Killjoy and Cypher are the new deadly duo when it comes to defense scenarios and map control. The two Agents in pair can over “utilize” an area practically making it impassable in both Attacker and Defender rounds.
Finally, Reyna is still the godmode Agent in competitive. Her Devour ability gives her enough self sustain to plow throughout an entire round solo. Paired with her double Leer and Ultimate, shes still the best duelist in the game.
Various nerfs and buffs to Weapons have been introduced to the game in patches 1.08 and 1.09 but the run and gun feel is still present.
Coming into Patch 1.10 you will no longer be matched with players over three ranks below or above you. This should help towards more match equality and fairer matches in the long run.
Overall, Valorant is in a good place right now. Recent changes have equalized the playing field somewhat and we are yet to see if the new map and agent break the game once again.
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