VALORANT Patch 5.01 brings much-needed buffs to Phoenix and Yoru, changes to KAY/O and a few tweaks to existing gameplay systems. After the flood of content that came in Patch 5.0 — including the new map Pearl and the new rank Ascendent — Patch 5.1 is more about balancing VALORANT gameplay and improving user experience.
Phoenix got the biggest brush-up with substantial buffs to his Curveball (Q) and minor buffs to his Blaze (C) and his ultimate. Yoru’s ultimate got a similar treatment, receiving a solid buff that may push the agent even close to competitive viability. Finally, KAY/O got a quality of life update that may be an overall minor buff.
- Flash Max duration increased 1.1 seconds to 1.5
- Flash Windup decreased .7 seconds to .5
- Phoenix will now equip his weapon earlier if he stops bending his wall
Run it Back (X)
- Phoenix will now spawn at the marker with the amount of shields he had when the ability was cast
Dimensional Drift (X)
- Increased duration of ultimate 10 seconds to 12
- Reduced unequip time 1.2 seconds to 0.8
- Zone diameter reduced 10 meters to 8
- Damage now applies without needing line of sight
- Now, only allies will hear the full channel audio of reviving KAY/O, while downed
- Enemies will only hear a short audio cue when the revive has started, matching a similar gameplay pattern to playing around ultimate orbs or tapping the bomb
The big improvement to gameplay systems shipping with VALORANT Patch 5.1 is a new functionality added to smurf detection in North America. The aim is to ensure that new accounts are matched up with players of the same skill level as soon as possible. While the system is being tested in North America first, if everything is working according to plan it will go worldwide. Testing will begin some time this week, according to Riot.
On top of the smurf detection, Patch 5.01 adds improved collision behavior. That means walking next to or behind another player will should feel less jittery.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.