Is Valorant’s Competitive system demotivating players from grinding games in ranked matches?

Image via Riot Games

There are many things that Riot Games got right with their latest shooter Valorant, and there is a whole lot that they didn’t.

Recently, a major part of the Valorant community has come to feel that the ranked grind in the game is not as rewarding as they once thought it out to be.

Not only is the competitive matchmaking in higher elos forcing players to create smurf accounts, but the LP gain/loss system in play at the moment is creating a lot of disparity in climbing tiers consistently even with a “higher than average” win rate.

In a recent Reddit post, a Valorant player who goes by the handle of mousepro brings into focus a lot of the things that are wrong with the game’s Competitive system at the moment.

The Redditor feels that the Valorant devs have intentionally incorporated a system into the game that forces players to grind matches, which ultimately demotivates them after a while.

He wrote:

“So early on in its release, Valorant decided that they wanted to farm as many gameplay hours out of each player as possible. That is not in itself a bad thing as every game tries to find ways to maximize player engagement.
"Think about the way the battle pass is designed; it's designed in order to get players to grind as long as possible and nearly impossible to complete.”

Mousepro touches on some of the subjects that have been plaguing the game for some time now, and the amount of upvotes that his post got just shows that the problem is pretty widespread in the Valorant community.

Valorant’s competitive matchmaking is demotivating players

Image via Riot Games
Image via Riot Games

In higher elos, climbing through the ranks has been feeling more and more like a chore that Valorant players do not want to opt into.

Mousepro mentioned that:

“De-ranking feels bad, and everyone knows this. The soft reset each season is a way to get players to grind after losing their old "peak rank". The placement matches at the start of each Act make it nearly impossible to rank up off the placements but very easy to rank down.
"At best, you're maintaining the rank you ended the past Act with. It's a calculation made that players will play more when they feel like they've lost their rank than when they've reached a rank they are happy with.”

Mousepro represents the psychological aspect of Valorant’s ranked matchmaking system and felt that competitive games are designed in a way that baits players into investing more time in the game than they actually should.

Eternally grinding to get to the ranked tier that you want can have heavy repercussions on a player's psychological mindset, and it just leads them to lose all interest in the game. Sometimes, it can even demotivate them enough that they start creating smurf accounts to make Valorant fun again.

When talking about smurfs, another Redditor commented in the post:

“I don't understand how long a game can be entertaining to a diamond smurf who's dropping 45k in an Iron matchup. I figured the smurfs would get bored after a while. Clearly, I'm very naïve regarding the rewarding nature of playing competitively "fair."
"As you said, it gets exhausting. Not because I'm trying to "grind my way back", but because it's a great social outlet for my working-age friends and me. But when your fun outlet becomes exhausting due to a manipulated competitive system, then what's the point of playing?”

Valorant ranked matches in the higher elos is not a very fun experience. It’s quite stressful, and the LP gain/loss system currently in play can undo an entire week’s hard work in just one day.

Riot has a lot that they need to balance when it comes to the competitive aspect of the game, as the Valorant community is not exactly happy with where things stand at the moment.

Edited by Shaheen Banu
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