Despite the fact that it’s still in closed beta, there are many Valorant players. There are not, however, many Valorant players who are also Valorants, aka Valorant Valorant players. You can probably see why some players already find the game’s naming scheme for its top rank confusing.
Less than a week ago, Valorant added its long- (by the standards of a short-lived beta) awaited ranked mode. In it, the game judges players in terms of both individual and team performance and slots them into a series of tiers with names like Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The highest tier of all is named Valorant, which you might recognise as the title of the video game, Valorant. This has led to no small amount of consternation from players.
“How are people ever going to find gameplay of the top Valorant players? ‘VALORANT VALORANT Game/tips’? I don’t think so,” wrote one fan in a highly upvoted thread on the official Valorant subreddit. “Like how ridiculous would it be if the LoL challengers were called ‘League of Legends’? While we are at it let’s also rename ‘Global Elite’ to ‘CSGO’ and ‘Top 500' to ‘Overwatch.’”
This complaint now comes up frequently in threads about players’ many ranked-related misgivings, which also include concerns about how frequently they’re getting matched against much higher-ranked opponents, how the system often overlooks support players if they’re not also racking up kills, and the general design of rank icons, which lack a unified look and don’t do a good job of conveying progression (one player even designed their own icons, which other players have taken to championing).
Of course, Valorant remains in early testing, and while Riot is a company with ample experience in the arena of competitive multiplayer, every game has to start somewhere. It’s not entirely fair to compare a still-in-development system, in which many elements could be placeholders, to the fully realised ranked modes of games like CSGO and Overwatch (which, themselves, still receive frequent criticism from players). Plus, calibrating a ranking system early on is tough, because with most players un-ranked, a game like Valorant doesn’t have much data from which to weed out the wannabes and also-rans from the cream of the crop.
Still, calling the top rank “Valorant”? That’s a weird choice. I mean, in addition to everything else, a “Valorant” is not even a precious metal like most of the rest of the ranking tiers. It’s a made-up word that follows “Immortal,” the only other rank that’s not a precious metal. Why are you doing this, Riot? Who hurt you?