Ranked is almost here with the introduction of the 1.02 VALORANT patch.
Although we don't know exactly when the true competitive mode of the game will be released into the wild, we do know it will be some time during this 1.02 patch, and we also know that the highest rank has been changed from the confusing "Valorant" title to now the best players in the game being known as Radiant.
Overall, along with a slew of heads-up display, user interface and quality of life changes, the developers attempted to fix two things with this patch: Viper and the difficulty of clearing some sections of map sites.
Viper received a needed boost in several areas, including making her Toxic Screen burn through walls, allowing the poison-focused agent an easier time of controlling the battlefields as she was intended.
"Viper Toxic Screen is a potentially-strong vision slicing tool, but its access was, well...terrible, making it only useful in a few spots on most maps," Riot Games explained in the 1.02 patch notes. "This should allow Viper to cut up sights, maps, and other unique areas to either fake or help take ground."
Along with the Toxic Screen upgrades, two of Viper's other core kit abilities, Poisonous Orb and Snake Bite, were changed as well. On the negative end of things, Poisonous Orb saw its duration ticked down from 6 seconds to 5, but on the positive side, her Snake Bite has been given a bit more venom with it applying a "Fragile" debuff, which doubles damage taken.
"With Viper applying decay on her smokes, but only providing moderate chip damage on her area-damage skill, pushing through it was hard to punish," the patch notes said. "With Fragile, Viper's team should have a big advantage on anyone if they fire on pushing enemies."
In terms of making sections of the map easier to clear, the development team tinkered with every single map to make it easier for teams to check unknown pockets of the map before entering. Before, unless the player used a suitable ability, some deep corners would force the entry player to make a guess on where to check first, leaving open a blind spot if they picked wrong and an opponent was in the other hidden corner.
"We're peeling back a bit on the amount of locations that require ability usage, thorough angle checking or teamwork to clear safely," said the patch notes. "The intention is that angles that are more difficult to clear are most commonly found in areas meant to reinforce existing territory control. This is to emphasize ability usage and teamwork in order to reliably gain control of these locations."
Also, a surrender feature was added to the game, allowing a team to forfeit a match following eight rounds played if they feel there is no coming back. The entire team must agree on the surrender for it to go through.