This is Ask VALORANT. Our investigative reporters collect your questions and choose a few to answer every other week. This loop takes on a potential in-game replay system, the rough number of Radiant-tier players in the world and esports plans for the observer client.
Will VALORANT have a gifting system like League has?
Yes, gifting will be coming to VALORANT (soon™)! We want to give players the ability to gift content as a way of celebrating victories, holidays, or any occasion that calls for it. We're aiming to enable gifting by the end of 2020, but timelines may shift as we get closer to the date.
—Miles "Riot Usury" Metzger, Revenue Strategist
Is VALORANT going to get an in-game replay system?
Yes! this is something that we're interested in exploring soon. Whether it's to study previous matches for tactical advantages or to create spicy memes, we know that players will find a wide range of interesting uses for a system like this.
—Steven Eldredge, Senior Producer
Will there be a map select/playlist option?
From a Competitive perspective, we really want to ensure we’re able to not only put players in fair matches but do so in a reasonable queue time. Splitting up matchmaking into separate map pools would reduce the overall players in our matchmaking pool, which not only slows down matchmaking, but makes it more difficult for us to produce fair matches. Given that, we currently don't have plans to enable map specific selection for Matchmaking.
—Ian Fielding, Senior Producer
What does VAL want out of their observing client as it relates to esports?
We know the esports observer tool currently in VALORANT is a little bare-bones, but it’s something that we’ll be building together in the coming while. We’re taking notes from each set of Ignition series tournaments (happening every weekend!) and getting active input from organizers, spectators, and audience members so we make sure we prioritize the right tools.
Long-term, the observer client is a tool to enable storytelling and to capture the action and style of the game played at the highest level—everything we love about VALORANT from an esports perspective. We believe VALORANT has the potential to be a sport watched and enjoyed by gamers everywhere, but in order for that promise to be realized, we have to craft a viewing experience like no other, and the foundation for that is with the observer client.
We know the game has complexities that add a lot of context to what's happening in a match. Things like Agent locations, what abilities haven't been used, what weapons everyone’s purchased, and so on, are very important in telling a competitive narrative. We want to ensure the observer client can support an entertaining broadcast, both for players that are familiar with VALORANT and those that may be watching it for the first time.
This is a necessary tool that unlocks a broadcast team’s ability to craft amazing viewer experiences. However, it's not just building a great observer client but ensuring there's easy access to real-time data that unlocks a bunch of features and experiences at the broadcast level, as well as experiences like fantasy sports adjacent to the broadcast.
We'll need to build not just the tools you see available today but also dream up what more could be done to unlock broadcast teams in the community and at Riot. We'll have more to share on this in the coming months.
—Whalen “Magus” Rozelle, Snr. Director of Global Esports, and Kasra Jafroodi, Global Business Esports Strategy
How many Radiant-tier players are there in the world?
We’ve designed Radiant to represent the most elite players, with anywhere from 20 to 150 players having earned the rank per region, depending on player population size. Earning the Radiant rank is meant to be challenging and a significant achievement for VALORANT players. You also have to remain as an active player to stay in Radiant, if you haven't played in 14 days, you will have to re-earn it.
—Ian Fielding, Senior Producer