Valorant Weekly: Patch 1.11 and First Strike Qualifiers

This iteration of Valorant Weekly is all about Patch 1.11 and the upcoming First Strike global event. The new patch has been a technical nightmare for Riot Games, but is finally going live today. The new changes are expected to impact both competitive and normal play.

In the esports scene, various esports powerhouses have now fully committed to Valorant in the latest round of roster acquisitions ahead of Valorant First Strike this winter.

Valorant Weekly First Strike Patch 1.11

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Valorant Patch 1.11 Changes & Delays

Patch 1.11 was set for an Oct 27th release, but was quickly rolled back after a peculiar game breaking bug occurred. Players entering Omen smoke saw a huge Sage texture/flat character model. When such a significant bug occurs due to only a single agent / champion, Riot would usually simply disable the agent / champion in question. However, this coupled with other issues contributed towards the rollback.

The initial release date coincided with the NSG Qualifier Tournament for North America’s First Strike. The bugged out patch could severely break competitive play, especially since Valorant pro play is currently played on the live servers.

While many other games including League of Legends also release patches during competitive esports events, they do it on separate servers which are not tied to competitive play. Valorant is unable to do so, as Riot has yet to implement a separate server dedicated for competition.

Major changes coming with Patch 1.11

With the NSG Tournament Qualifier now over, Riot announced the release of the patch the following day. Over the past week all bugs have been fixed, but the issues for competitive play still remain. While North America completed one of their qualifiers, other regions have not. Turkey as a region will have the worst luck with their qualifier starting on the same day the patch deploys in Europe.

The crucial change that can impact competitive play comes in the in-game economy. Saving is now discouraged with players receiving a reduced 1000 credits. This largely impacts the dynamics of the game as players are encouraged to risk and clutch more often.

  • Attackers – Surviving when failing to plant the spike
  • Defenders – Surviving when the spike has detonated

The change stylistically hurts teams that take a an economy and macro money management approach to their matches.

Additionally, Skye, Breach and Killjoy are like to see increase in pick-up with recent buffs, while Cypher should slightly fall out of favor. The full patch notes are available here.

Valorant First Strike Qualifiers

Valorant First Strike is the first tournament directly organized by Riot Games aimed at crowning 11 regional champions for the 2020 season. Across all competitive regions, over 30 qualifiers will be held in just as many days. By the end of it, 120 teams will secure a spot in a First Strike event somewhere on the globe.

The first of the pre-qualifier events finished in North America and Turkey.

Turkey is the first region to have teams confirmed for a First Strike regional final. Oxygen Esports and Futbolist earned their spot in the Turkish regional finals out of 16 competing teams.

For Europe, CIS, South Korea, Japan, SEA, Oceania, Brazil LATAM and MENA the qualifiers are set to begin this weekend and every week thereafter.

European players can head over to Challengermode to register for an open qualifier.

It is a big month for competitive Valorant, and we are going to follow up the First Strike qualifiers and the main event in subsequent articles. Valorant betting is still in limited offer across bookmakers. We expect a larger selection of betting markets to be available for the main events.

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