Is the Surrender not such a good idea?

If Patch Notes of Valorant bring updates of official content, each patch is also stuffed with more discreet lines of code. The patch 1.01 is not exception and among the undocumented additions, there's an option to Surrender.

The Surrender is players' ability to simply give up a game altogether. It's the Twitter account @ValorantLeaked which reports the lines of codes relating to this option:

The command /ff (for Forfeit) would trigger a vote among the players of a team. They could then decide to abandon the game or not. As it stands, it would seem that it's only possible to vote once per side of the map.

The possible arrival of an option to Surrender is debated within the Valorant community. For some, this would be a way to make more bearable the non-negligible number of leavers when the game doesn't go their way. For others, it would be an option not necessarily needed and which would prevent the players from giving the best of themselves. We'll not hide from you that we share this point of view.

Nothing is lost until the match is over

Many players have become accustomed to being able to easily surrender games, especially on other games from Riot Games. It's the case in League of Legends when opponents have already destroyed 4 turrets in 15 minutes, and it's quite rare to see a card game, like Legends of Runeterra, coming to an end without a surrender.

But Valorant is neither a MOBA, nor a card game. Unlike games like League of Legends or Legends of Runeterra, a game of Valorant is never lost. Since each game is divided into independent rounds, with the exception of part of the economy, it's quite possible to score even in the most desperate situations. This way, each round is a bit like the beginning of a different game, which almost reduces the snowball effect to zero.

Even if the match is one-sided with a 2-10 score, there is no good reason to give up. The side switch can simply reverse a game. Valorant maps tend to advantage one side or the other. By switching sides, we often see complete reversals of the score. Again, it's almost a new game that begins.

It's also important to note that the final score of a ranked game directly influences the number of points won and lost in the ladder. Even if the situation is tense, the slightest round stolen to your opponents greatly reduces the losses caused. If a Victory or Defeat screen is important in the short term, the number of ranking points accumulated by playing your best each round is significant in the mid and long term.

Valorant mechanisms are designed so as not to damage the players too much as long as they are willing to fight, to play and to win the game. Riot Games designed the game with the specific objective of making it a competitive environment for players who love sport and its values. Adding an option to Surrender would go against this philosophy. By allowing players to consider surrendering and failing as acceptable, they no longer focus on their chances of winning and giving their best.

"But a player left my game!"

Unlike many multiplayer games, the individual skill in Valorant can really make a difference. It only takes one player better than two opponents to compensate for the abandonment of a teammate who left the game.

Valorant: Victory in 4 v 5
Scoreboard of a game where a certain Velahan won a game 4 versus 5.

Moreover, Valorant compensates for the absence of a playerThis is not the case in games like Counter Strike. For each player missing from your team, all remaining players get a bonus of 700 credits to spend in the shop. There is also an Orb to pick up to charge up the ultimate skill of one of your allies. Remember to look around in the starting area when a teammate has rage-quit. At the side change, you receive armour directly at the start of the round.

It's also by winning a game when all the odds were against you that you will forge your best memories of the game. Anecdotes to keep and share.

What if the Surrender arrives on Valorant?

That said, if Riot deems it necessary to add a surrender option to Valorant, it would be interesting to see in what conditions and with which consequences.

Can we surrend in ranked games? When would be able to launch a surrender vote? Should it depend on the time played like in League of Legends, the number of players still connected like in Counter Strike or the difference in scores? Should the decision be majority or unanimous?

If a game is abandoned, do players who lose the game lose as many points as they lost rounds or as many points as if they had lost 13 rounds? What about rewards for winners who should earn points based on rounds and kills, but who are denied by an early surrender?

And finally, how to ensure that this system remains fair and does not turn into a dominant strategy in the event of defeat? A surrender should not have less consequence than a classic defeat, otherwise we could see players voluntarily leaving a game in order to reduce the losses of their teammates.

There are many difficult issues to comprehend to satisfy everyone, including the developers of Valorant and their vision of the game.

The Surrender is not the solution

Valorant has just been released, which means that a lot of players are still trying the game out of curiosity above all. It's up to Riot to decide whether to trust the first echoes of players and create an environment where everyone will feel comfortable, of whether to make choices even if it means pushing around or frustrating part of the players. Until now, the different discourses of the firm (whether about the ambitions of the game, console porting or the reception of the game on different tests), suggest that they're not ready to make concessions on their vision of Valorant.

Before giving players a way to give up, maybe they should find out why the players want to give up in the first place. Adding game modes where players who can't handle the pressure or don't want real stakes could help. We would then only find determined players in Unrated mode. Also, it may be interesting to review the rewards and punishment system to dissuade players from leaving games.

You can never really stop someone from quitting, or even leaving in the middle of a game. But there are definitely better ways to prevent this from happening, rather than encouraging such behaviour by giving these players what they want. A surrender option would only be a band-aid on a deeper problem.