Radiant, the pinnacle of VALORANT, the rank that numerous top players don’t currently hold. Although it isn’t clear on exactly what it takes to get Radiant, there is one simple answer, you must win. With a hidden MMR system, it is impossible to know how close you are to the next rank, and perhaps that is exacerbated at the very top of the ladder. Getting to Radiant, while anecdotal only, is something that has been much bemoaned in the community, with players claiming it takes upwards of 20 victories in a row, and Riot offering no clarity on the process. The question becomes: what is wrong with the VALORANT ranking system, and why doesn’t it adopt a system more akin to that of League of Legends especially at the top end with open MMR and ladder beyond the Diamond tier?
Currently the Radiant rank is made up of “anywhere from 20 to 150 players having earned the rank per region, depending on player population size.” according to Ian Fielding, Senior Producer for VALORANT. While this system is similar to the League of Legends system (the top rank, Challenger, is the top 200 per region) the issue has become the ambiguity in the VALORANT system. In League of Legends the system is rather transparent, once you have progressed past Diamond 1, you join the Masters division, in this division you’re only competing for an uncapped amount of “League Points” with wins gaining points and losses removing them. If you surpass someone in the rank above and finish a 24 hour period above them, then you simply take their spot in Grandmaster or Challenger. Below Masters the system is quite similar to VALORANT – there are four divisions inside each ranked tier, with each division requiring 100 LP to progress to a best-of-three series to move to the next division, with a best-of-five series between each ranked tier, i.e Gold 1 to Platinum 4. While series’ are widely bemoaned as the worst part of the League of Legends ladder and wouldn’t work well with VALORANT, the rest of the system seem to be a simple inclusion.
In VALORANT the issue is the opaque nature of the ranked ladder, you don’t know how close you are to your next rank, especially at the very top end of the game. With a limited number of slots in Radiant, players have bemoaned the difficulty of getting Radiant, with the system providing no feedback of how close you are to Radiant. While it has been speculated that the two systems are nearly identical, the lack of any sort of transparency at the top end leads the game to seem almost insurmountable, even for those who are theoretically at the doorstep of Radiant.
While Riot has yet to speak on the Radiant system in VALORANT it’s been widely noted that it is quite similar to the system that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive boasts. The CS:GO system is quite similar in a plethora of ways, namely: hidden rank, i.e you know your rank, but not your progression in said rank, no leaderboards, and no visible MMR, even at the highest level of the game. While this system worked well in the natal stages of CS:GO, it’s been widely derided to the point where the in-game matchmaking system is seen mostly as a second-level of play for more casual players. The “more serious” player base has migrated to third-party ranked systems, most namely FACEIT and ESEA, who provide 128-tick servers and theoretically superior anti-cheats. While the latter two fixes are seemingly unnecessary in VALORANT, the open ranked ladder could be something that appeals to players, especially at the top levels. FACEIT’s ladder operates under a simple ELO system, you gain points for winning, you lose points for losing, and whatever your ELO is defines your “FACEIT Level”.
Whether FACEIT or another third-party competitor comes in to attempt to rival the VALORANT ranked ladder, it will be without Riot’s support. The onus remains on Riot Games to create the best ladder possible for VALORANT, and to make VALORANT matchmaking the best place to play competitively. Riot Games have created what is widely considered one of the strongest ranked ladders, though it is not a perfect system, the clarity of the League of Legends system would be a notable addition to VALORANT. This wouldn’t be the first time Riot Games took its’ League of Legends ladder system and applied it to another game – currently Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra use a nearly identical system, while Wild Rift is expected to use the same system.
What do you think? Would you welcome the League of Legends ranking system to VALORANT, the same system that seems to be permeating most of the Riot Games ecosystem? Do you prefer the current CS:GO styled system, or would you prefer migration to a third-party site such as FACEIT, with things such as the VALORANT Pro Division that has commenced as a FACEIT Hub?
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