The free-to-play game has been in beta since April 7 and has already become a hit with many streamers, influencers, and pro players. That testing period will end on May 28. Once that happens, Riot will reset player accounts and patch in new content. Setting back player progress from a beta is common for competitive games like this, as it will put everyone on equal footing when Valorant launches.
For years, Riot has focused on a single game, the MOBA League of Legends. While that free-to-play title has been a huge hit, Riot has begun to diversify its library in recent years, including with the auto battler Teamfight Tactics and the digital card game Legends of Runeterra.
Valorant will be the studio’s most ambitious post-League of Legends project yet. Unlike with Teamfight Tactics or Legends of Runeterra, Valorant has no story or world connection to the League of Legends universe.
The game is similar to Valve’s Counter-Strike series. One team tries to plant a bomb (or spike, as it’s called in Valorant) while the other has to stop them or defuse the bomb if it’s set. Players earn money after every round based on things like how many kills they got and if their team won or lost, and they can use that cash to buy things like armor and guns.
Unlike with Counter-Strike, Valorant is hero-based, similar to games like Riot’s own League of Legends or (if you want another shooter example) Blizzard’s Overwatch. Each hero has access to a unique set of abilities. For example, one character can create walls, another can blind the enemy team with a flash bang, and another can set up smoke clouds across the map. But at the end of the day, success still depends largely on your ability to aim and shoot.