When Riot Games first revealed Project A back in 2019, fans eagerly got to speculating on what it might be. The teaser for the game showed that it would be a futuristic shooter of some sort. Project A became Valorant, a first-person tactical shooter with multiple playable characters. Even though Valorant had a rocky launch, it now appears to have a bright future.
Valorant started off with a bang on its first day in closed beta, with over 1.7 million concurrent viewers on Twitch on April 7, 2020. While these numbers would heavily die down, the hype around the game grew. Riot revealed shortly after the beta that the game would come out on June 2, 2020.
Valorant had a rocky start
Despite all the hype in closed beta, Valorant got off to a bit of a rough start. Streamers like Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek had harsh words for the game, claiming it wasn’t ready for release. The game got lots of negative reviews on sites like Metacritic.
Once the hype died down and the Twitch numbers began to decay, Riot knew they needed to make positive changes to keep players invested. They focused on the two things that players wanted to see: a better competitive experience and more balanced gameplay.
How the game progressed over the year
Valorant‘s first major announcement was the introduction of episodes and acts. These represent competitive “seasons” in other games like League of Legends. Each episode consists of three different acts, and players earn an “Act Rank” for how they perform in rated play during each act.
Each act also introduces a new playable Agent and Battle Pass. Since the game’s release, there have been three new Agents: Reyna in Act I, Killjoy in Act II, and Skye in Act III. There was also one new map, Icebox, in Act III. Along with this, Riot introduced balance patches every couple of weeks to help keep Agents and weapons fair.
What to look forward to
Valorant continues to change and evolve, and with the end of the first episode coming in mid-January, there are bound to be a lot of changes. We already know there’s going to be a new Agent at the beginning of the new episode. Riot will undoubtedly continue to try to balance the game and add more content.
In addition to in-game content, we can also expect to learn more about the lore behind the game. We don’t really know too much about the world of Valorant right now, except for what we can observe in the maps and interactions between the Agents.
Then there is esports. Valorant had some entertaining tournaments in 2020, but the official Valorant Champions Tour begins in 2021. This should help legitimize the game as an esport, and draw in viewers to help grow the game.
The future looks bright for Riot’s budding shooter Valorant. Be sure to stay tuned for all the news and stories about the game and its esports!