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Valorant Launches, Beginning Episode 1: Ignition

I want the blood, I like how the blood makes me feel.

After a long four day wait Valorant has finally returned. It is time to get some blood my friends.

With today’s official launch comes a long list of buffs, debuffs, and new additions. We’ll start with the biggest things first: a new map and a new agent. Ascent is Valorant’s fourth map and, like all others before it, has a unique feature. Split has its ropes, Haven has its three points, and Bind has its teleporters. Ascent includes doors, which can restrict access to various lanes in the map, forcing the attacking team to reposition in order to progress onto a point. Smart use of these doors could force difficult rotates, giving defending teams an opportunity to swoop in for the kill.

The game’s newest agent, Reyna, has a powerful, vampire themed kit, which makes her the most aggressive character in the entire game. Her two signature abilities Devour and Dismiss are dependent on a new resource, soul orbs, which spawn whenever Reyna secures a kill. This means Reyna is entirely dependant on her ability to murder and because of this is a high risk high reward character who requires strong support to reach her full potential.

Also coming with the game’s launch is a handful of debuffs to Sage who, according to our tier list, is still by far the most valuable agent in the entire game. Her healing ability has a longer cooldown, increasing from 35 to 45 seconds, making it a much more difficult tactical decision. Furthermore, her Barrier Orb, which creates a large wall to block sight lines and physical access to an area, has had a 20% health reduction from 1000HP to 800HP. These debuffs do not however seriously reduce Sage’s utility, they just bring her closer in line with the rest of the game’s agents.

Reyna Valorant
Reyna has a really cool kit, she is also another incredibly overly sexualized latina criminal. Video games giveth and video games taketh away.

Speaking of other agents, several have received very welcome buffs: Phoenix, Jett, and Omen, all see strong improvements to their respective kits. Jett’s smokes now last for 7 seconds, almost doubling their original 4 second duration. Phoenix’s blind sees a duration buff as well, from .8 seconds to 1.1 seconds. This is great as long as your Phoenix knows what he’s doing and isn’t blinding you and your teammates, in which case this is an even more frustrating debuff. Finally, Omen sees several quality of life changes, making his teleports and smokes easier to aim, and allowing him to cancel his Ult, striking panic in the hearts of the enemy team.

Finally, the game has added a wealth of new skins in addition to a $10 Battle Pass and an increase in the rate at which players earn rewards through EXP, as part of the beginning of the game’s first season. Progress through character contracts in the Closed Beta was absolutely glacial, just, the worst grind. I played for well over 30 hours and only unlocked one additional character through the contract system. That shit sucked. Luckily, they’ve fixed that problem and have added a new layer of progression. The skins also own, I like them a lot. The prime skins looks rad as hell, and have some of the coolest animations I’ve ever seen on any guns in any game.

Now, I am going to stop writing this News post so I can start getting some of that beautiful, beautiful blood. If you want to see the Fanbyte crew acquire blood live you can do so every Tuesday for the next few months on our Road To Silver livestream series, where we try desperately to get one of us to Silver in Ranked. Also, if you want to keep up to date on the latest in the game’s meta (or the love lives of its agents) you can always do it here, on Fanbyte Dot Com.

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