Riot set to introduce minimum level requirement to queue for ranked in VALORANT

Smurfing could become a lot harder.

Image via Riot Games

The next VALORANT patch will make it significantly more difficult for new accounts to go straight into ranked, Riot Games announced today. 

The VALORANT Episode Four patch will implement a minimum level requirement before players will be eligible to queue for ranked play. This means fresh accounts will have to earn Account Points in other game modes before being allowed to enter the competitive queue. 

Prior to this new requirement, players needed to win 10 unranked matches before they could compete in ranked. There wasn’t a level requirement for those looking to compete in ranked, so players could usually recognize a smurf in their game based on their low account level. 

Players who have already competed in ranked can continue to play the game mode and won’t need to reach the new threshold. 

Riot said the change is being implemented to give new players more time to learn the game before jumping into ranked. “We believe everyone should take time to learn the ins and outs of core gameplay, and have ample exposure to all the maps and Agents VALORANT will throw at you before competing in our ranked experience,” Riot said. 

But this change could be seen as an indirect counter to smurfing. Players could previously start fresh accounts and simply win 10 unranked games or buy an account that’s won the necessary number of matches to smurf in low Elo. 

VALORANT Episode Four will begin on Jan. 11 or 12, depending on your time zone