Tarik attempts to save high-level VALORANT as Riot stays silent about throwers in ranked

Viewers seemingly enjoyed the experience.

Photo via Sentinels

Tarik’s 10-man pro lobbies in VALORANT officially started this past weekend. The Sentinels streamer set up a private group with professional players willing to play competitive VALORANT and avoid the crypto-betting throwers that have plagued the official ranked mode.

The first professional lobby was streamed by former Cloud9 player Rahul “curry” Neman and Tarik himself, and the match included some of the biggest pros in North America such as NRG’s Sam “s0m” Oh, Sentinels’ Zachary “zekken” Patrone, and Evil Geniuses’ Brendan “BcJ” Jensen.

The feedback on tarik’s initiative has been positive, with most fans on VALORANT’s subreddit saying they enjoyed watching the games. What Tarik is doing is similar to FACEIT Pro League or ESEA Rank S in CS:GO, which are third-party matchmaking platforms for a selective group of pros and streamers.

Related: VALORANT pros wait for Riot to deal with throwers in ranked, but Tarik has his own solution

Tarik has set up a player council that decides who joins the group to play competitive VALORANT matches. Players that are signed to tier-one organizations, including Game Changers’ teams, are applicable and so are the starters for teams in Challengers North America. Players who finished in the top 50 in one of the last three acts can also apply and so can Immortal III-level players that streamed over 500 hours of VALORANT in 2022.

While Tarik and his fellow streamers and professional players are willing to make this initiative work, Riot is yet to address the ongoing problems in ranked. There are players purposely throwing matches in which they’ve paired with pros and streamers all thanks to crypto-betting websites. The method is simple: these players place a bet on the matches they’re participating in and troll the game to make their team lose and collect the money.