Valorant’s competitive mode is set to get an overhaul in the game’s upcoming episode. The ranked mode has stayed largely unchanged this year, and Riot feels that helping players climb out of lower ranks faster will make them more appealing.
Riot wants to reduce the harshness of the ranked grind by offering an easier climbing experience. Senior Producer Ian Fielding said in a blog post “Too often one bad day of play can result in significant rank loss and a good day doesn’t help you climb as much as you’d like. Our rank distribution bands are unforgiving, and we have limited protection against rank demotion.”
There is going to be more rank demotion protection to prevent players from dropping ranks too quickly if they are having a bad day. We already received some changes in Patch 1.14, but more changes are coming in Episode 2. The next major update with episode 2 is expected to drop on January 11th, which will also include Agent 14, the game’s new duelist.
With an increase in the buffer for rank demotions, players gaining ranks won’t immediately drop to the previous tier if they have a bad day. The exact changes have not been confirmed yet, and we have to wait for the patch to see the changes first hand.
In addition to the ranked mode changes to help with demotions, players will also get a better user interface to view their ranks. Currently, there is no way to view your accurate MMR. We only get a vague indication of what an account’s current MMR is. In the upcoming patch, we may be able to see numbers instead of arrows to indicate ranks. A traditional points system is much better than visual indicators as it lets you ascertain how many matches you need to play the next rank or how close you are to demoting.
This system has been leaked multiple times in the past, and it would be a nice change to get along with the ranked changes next month. While the new UI changes will not help players gain ranks or prevent losses, it will offer a better estimate of how many matches they need to play to climb or avoid de-ranking. A public test server will also be available sometime in 2021 to help improve patch stability as recently revealed by Riot.