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Riot Games' VALORANT enters closed beta on 7 April!
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Riot Games’ VALORANT enters closed beta on 7 April 2020!

Riot Games' upcoming PC team-shooter VALORANT will enter its closed beta on Tuesday 7 April 2020.

Having focused on League of Legends (LoL) for many years now, Riot Games is now expanding into new genres. With VALORANT soon to enter its closed beta, the recent release of digital card game, Runterra; and an upcoming fighter also on the cards, the uncertainty of a summer stuck inside quarantine may not be as bad for gamers as they had first thought.

Credit: Riot Games.Credit: Riot Games.

What is VALORANT?

VALORANT is a free-to-play character-based, team-based shooter. It would be best described as a combination of Blizzard Entertainment's popular esports game, Overwatch, with the tactical approach of Valve's Counter-Strike; but we’ll let the gameplay trailer do the talking.

In VALORANT: “CREATIVITY IS YOUR GREATEST WEAPON," where "tactical shooter meets hypernatural powers... a game for bold strategists who dare to make the unexpected play, because if it wins, it works," per the game’s official website.

Characters in VALORANT

Unlike other character-based shooters, characters are not limited to a single specialised weapon. At the beginning of each round — like Counter-Strike — players can spend money on weapons, armour and abilities.

Each character will have three types of abilities available to them:

One ultimate ability: the most powerful ability, this requires multiple charges that are earned from kills or completing in-game objectives; some players may find it takes more than one round before they have enough charges to execute this ability.

One main ability: the amount of times this can be used is different for each character, but this ability is automatically available each round.

Two purchasable abilities: all characters possess two additional ability; to access these, players must purchase charges from the store at the beginning of each round.

For this summer’s launch, Riot is aiming to have 10 characters ready. Here are eight characters that we know so far, though:

Cypher: a defensive character that is able to lay ‘tripmines’ and place a camera on walls to defend against enemy flanking attacks.

Sage: a medic that can heal or revive teammates.

Jett: a high-flyer that is able to leap and throw knives for surprise kills.

Brimstone: possesses the ability to call in orbital bombardments that will destroy enemies or assist allies in need of support as well smoke screens that will block enemies vision.

Oman: a rogue that is able to temporarily blind enemies or infiltrate enemy lines and teleport short distances.

Viper: is able to release poisonous clouds and toxic screens that will blind enemies or force them into deadly ally assaults.

Sova: possesses magical arrows that have the ability to penetrate walls or travel across the map to inflict major damage on enemies, as well as abilities to help track them.

Pheonix: has the ability to shoot ‘flashbangs’ around corners.

How will micro-transactions work?

As the game follows the trend of free-to-play games, micro-transaction will undoubtedly feature, but to what extent is currently unknown. However, we do know that players will have the opportunity to unlock characters through regular play. In addition, players will also have the ability to customise their characters and add cosmetics to weapons.

Anti-cheat and servers

Cheating and poor server connections are both very pertinent issues facing online games at the moment — especially for shooters. A split second can decide it all. Cheating on the other hand is another pressing issue.

To combat issues with lag, Riot has employed the same server technology developed for LoL to provide lag-free gameplay. Each region will have a dedicated server with a 128 tickrate, which should result in fluid gameplay. Valorant will also use the same global networking infrastructure as Riot Direct to ensure players receive the fastest and stable connections to multiplayer servers. According to Riot, around 70% of players will be able to access regional VALORENT servers with a ping lower than 35ms.

With regards to preventing (or at least minimising) the risk of cheating, Riot will use a new kernel-level anti-cheat system designed to make the most common forms of hacking impossible.

Want to participate in Riot's VALORANT?

To have access to the VALORANT closed beta, you will need to ensure you have both a Riot and Twitch account. You must then watch specific VALORANT streams that will subsequently provide access to the game's closed beta.

The beta will initially be available in Europe and North America. Riot had hoped to roll the closed beta out to many more players around the world, though the recent pandemic sweeping the globe has essentially compromised the testing in more regions.

So, you must:

  1. Create a Riot account here;
  2. Link your Riot account to your Twitch account here;
  3. Watch specific VALORANT streams highlighted on Twitch to be in with a chance to earn closed beta access!

Twitch Rivals Event: The VALORANT SHOWCASE

Your first chance to watch your favourite streamers play VALORANT (and get an opportunity at beta access) will be today at 10:00am (PT) on Twitch Rivals!

When will VALORANT be released?

The full version of VALORANT is scheduled for release this summer, and considering what we have seen from the game so far, it is due to be immense!

To keep up to date with developments, please follow us on our various social media channels:

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