Since early April, Valorant, Riot’s new mashup of Counter-Strike and super powers that not even tactical peeking can stand up to, has been in closed beta, available only to those who luck out while watching streamers play on Twitch. In a couple weeks, however, that’s going to change.
Per a press release from Riot, Valorant will launch in “the majority of regions worldwide” on June 2. Closed beta will wrap up on May 28, and during the intervening period, Riot will reset player accounts and patch in new content. As part of a livestream hosted by Geoff “Summer Of Geoff” Keighley, Riot specified that a new agent and map will be the highlights of the June 2 update. There will also be new weapon skins, a season pass, and one additional mode that will carry a “beta tag” for the foreseeable future. Someday, it might become “an official second mode.” Developers did not provide any more specifics, but they did note that it’s not team deathmatch, and that team deathmatch will not be the “first or second” mode Riot releases.
The company is also expecting a high level of demand when the free game finally drops, so it plans to lower latency by deploying new servers in Atlanta, Dallas, London, Madrid, and Warsaw.
After Valorant releases, Riot intends on immediately hitting the update grind, with new modes, agents, and maps in the cards “shortly” after launch.
Valorant launched in a fairly polished state, but in recent times, the company has still been tweaking essential features like anti-cheat and headshot sound effects. There’s also the matter of toxicity and harassment issues, which despite a rudimentary report system and non-vocal communication options, have still been severe. Launching sans expanded tools to resolve those problems could lead to a community where toxicity is the norm, as it has with so many other competitive games.
During Keighley’s stream, executive producer Anna Donlon also addressed players’ concerns with Valorant’s invasive anti-cheat software, Vanguard. “We’re not blind to the conversations that are going on around it,” she said, noting that she feels like Riot has been “transparent” (despite players initially discovering how deep Vanguard’s roots run, rather than Riot telling them), but that “We will continue the conversation. We will continue to work hard to earn people’s trust.”
“I empathize with people who feel uncomfortable about this,” she said.