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Riot explains the absence of solo and team competitive queues

19th May 2020 – 5:39pm

As often, Riot Games gave the floor to its design teams on its official website. A few days ago, Ian Fielding, the product manager of the Valorant competition team, spoke to share his vision of the competitive mode and why there were no separate queues between solo players and teams in ranked games.

The importance of encouraging team play

Ian Fielding explains in the first place that setting up a solo queue pushes the community to see the solo rank as the real measure of the player talent. Even if the competition is played by 5 players, players often mix the individual skills of a player and their ability to win in built teams. It’s not because a player is exceptional alone that he has the necessary qualities of being a good competitive player. In the same way, some players are not exceptional in terms of precision, but a have a rigor, a tactical sense and a synergy with their allies which allow them to carry a team at the top.

That’s a problem that we often find in team games and that Riot knows well, thanks to its experience with League of Legends. They tried several times to change this, but systematically encountered the discontent of their MOBA players. Valorant being new, it’s logically the opportunity to put this philosophy in place from the start.

Ian Fielding hopes that having only one ranked queue, able to accommodate groups of all sizes, solo players will realise the importance of teamwork as they progress.

Not tormenting solo players

Contrary to what some players argue, the goal is not to prevent anyone from playing alone or in a small group. It’s simply a way to push players to find allies if they want to reach the highest ranks in the ladder.

Currently, the system is designed to remain balanced. The matchmaking will first look for opponents of your level, before looking for groups of a number equivalent to yours. If you play with a friend and three strangers, you should face five opponents, two of whom are in a group.

In addition, the fact that individual performances condition the progress in a ranked game has been partly implemented so that exceptional players are not too affected by a team’s mediocre performance. This last point, however, prompts some players to favour their personal K/D/A rather than the overall performance of the team. This is why winning will always earn more points than losing a ranked game.

For now, Riot Games therefore lays the foundations of the competitive games which correspond to their vision of competition on Valorant. This system remains flexible, and Ian Fielding confirms that adjustments are still needed to improve the experience of players in ranked queue.

You can find the entire Riot Games post on the official Valorant website.