Valorant Episode 1 launches with a whole bundle of new unlockables
One of the most anticipated titles of this season, Valorant, launched this morning. In the next 24 hours, Valorant be available across all global regions. The 1.0 Patch brings a bunch of changes from what we saw when we played Valorant Beta, as well as, the new champion and Valorant map we already wrote about.
First things first, let’s take a look at the official Valorant Episode 1 launch update and all the things you gain and lose with it.
Valorant Episode 1: Ignition
The Valorant launch features a whole new episode called Ignition and a brand new Valorant Battle Pass packed with various weapon skins, gunbuddy options and sprays. Additionally, Rito did not save any expense on flavor for the game’s release, with two whole new trailers (Cinematic and Gameplay) and a brand new map called Ascent.
We hinted that the new game mode would be Deathmatch, but instead we got Spike Rush. The new game mode gives all players identical loadouts and the attackers get five spikes to plant. The first team to reach four rounds wins. This is a nice and quick “deathmatchy” warmup kind of game mode that we did expect. Plus, when else would we see 10 players battling it out with shotguns.
The Valorant launch sees all the progress and Agent unlocks from Beta removed. If you were lucky enough to participate in the Beta, tough luck, as all of your progress, unlocks and rewards are now scrapped.
A plethora of bug fixes and gameplay improvements were also added to this patch. Everything from frame drops to map glitches and some exploits were all patched up. Split also had an overhaul of the mid area of the map in order to flatten out the advantages in the most contested area on the map. You can read about all the individual bug fixes in the official Valorant Patch Notes.
New Agent and existing Agent tweaks
Before we get to the newest Valorant Agent, lets recap the buffs and nerfs some of the existing Agents received.
First up, Sage received an extension to her Heal timer and a weaker barrier wall. Neither of these changes will severely impact the Agent but will hinder her ability to dish out more then 1 heal per round.
Raze also received a relatively insignificant nerf to her Blast Pack ability. The damage radius of the spell has been reduced to 1 meter down from 2. Considering Raze is the only Agent with four damage dealing abilities, the need to learn to aim a little with at least one of them is not a big task. We feel Raze is still the most OP Agent in Valorant currently.
Jett received a somewhat large buff to her Cloud Burst almost doubling its duration. This change would enable her to defuse a spike within both bursts by stopping mid way through defusing to cast the second Cloud Burst. Big buff if you ask me. On top of this she now owns a lot more entry utility with the increased duration of the smoke.
Finally, Omen receives some of the biggest buffs out of the lot. Paranoia, Shrouded Step and Dark Cover all gained a dumbed down easier to play update making Omen one of the easier Agents to master. A good Omen in Beta had to practice a ton to properly place his smokes or utilize his Shrouded Step to move behind enemy lines with style. The new update makes all of this a breeze to execute. Additionally, his ultimate From the Shadow is now cancelable removing one of the few ways to punish an Omen miscasting his ultimate.
Enough complaining. Its time to introduce the new agent.
Reyna is the new life / armor stealing, invulnerable, fast shooting, pros are gonna love it type of Valorant Agent. Out of the few games we played on this morning, Reyna was present in every single one of them. The new agent takes awhile to master, but her ability to scale and duel if mastered properly is unparalleled. Especially if we consider every single kill can serve as a soft reset to her health and armor stats.
Valorant Ranked or Competitive Play will not available during the initial launch phase. The justification for this is that Riot wishes new players to have the same learning experience and time to adapt as people that played Valorant Beta. This however means that if you were ranking well on competitive in beta, you are destined to endure “noobfests” for the foreseeable future.
Riot’s note says: “Our plan is to turn on Competitive a few patches into our launch
We do hope “a few patches” means a week or two at best and not a few months.
Read next: Valorant Ranks and Ranked play