Senior Software Developer and Linux Fanatic
Crypto betting is coming for high ELO Valorant, equipped to kill
Every online multiplayer game is plagued with a litany of issues, and Valorant is no exception. Luckily, Riot responds quickly to game-breaking cases, but some pests are deeply embedded in the community and are hard to uproot. Crypto-betting is the latest in the list of community-driven problems, and it’s the biggest threat to high ELO Valorant in 2023.
Valorant’s upper echelon (comprised of 1.23% of the community) is dealing with a problem straight out of a cyber-thriller movie. Grabbing the ultimate Holy Grail, the Radiant badge, is no cakewalk, but a new ordeal awaits the Radiant holders at the highest level of Valorant.
Crypto-betting is the bread and butter of large-scale esports but does not belong in ranked Valorant. At a smaller level, match-fixing comes as a package deal with betting. High-level Valorant is its primary target, as that’s where most high stake matches featuring streamers and professional players happen. Through communication platforms like discord, the wagerers have created a full-fledged ring that digs out live-ranked games with notable names or leaderboard holders. In order to win the bet, they’d purposefully join or DM an in-party player to exploit the outcome.
While it may sound like a once-in-a-blue-moon type of problem, players like Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik, Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan, Pujan ‘FNS’ Mehta, and more have all reported similar incidents in a short time. The frustration has peaked to a point where skilled players are considering creating a private league, which sounds like a great idea for pros. But, beyond that, it would eventually kill high ELO Valorant.
“Is it time to create a pro 10s/high ELO discord? Feel like all the BS in ranked has become too much. Would be way more fun anyway,” Tarik said.
Private league is a viable, but risky solution
Tarik shared the idea with his fans, drafting requirements to enter the potential private league clean of crypto-betting. It included pointers that many aspiring pros may struggle to fulfill. From being on a tier-1 team or having 500+ streamed hours, the criteria looked stringent. A league like this works warrants a clean environment, but it’s dangerous for Valorant ranked.
An excellent example of this is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Faceit games. Dedicated players know that the condition of official Matchmaking is far from perfect, whereas Faceit provides a clean platform for serious players. Consequently, MM is now considered a place for non-serious players who log in to kill time, not compete. And while having a clean third-party platform is excellent, it’s not something Riot wants for its FPS.
Since Valorant’s release, Riot has held tightly onto the reins. Whether it’s the in-game store, ranked games, or esports circuit, Riot is the ultimate watchdog and organizer. Skilled players creating a private league to escape the crypto fiasco would only leave a pile of non-serious, less-skilled players in ranked queues. Not to mention, it would demotivate aspiring players from achieving the coveted Radiant badge. After all, it goes nowhere.
If crypto-betting in ranked continues, deserving players may want to devise a private solution to dodge the betting. Of course, it would be nothing like Faceit, but it would serve the same purpose. As a result, Riot’s official matchmaking will have zero real competition. Like CS:GO MM, the game will be reduced to throwers, wagerers, griefers, and whatnot.
Unfortunately, a private league appears to be the only solution since crypto-betting is a crisis not entirely in Riot’s control. The developer may dig out a few bad actors and hand out bans, but players are making money, and they like it. A hardware ban wave could scare away the stubborn fixers, but it’s still a long shot.
Still, a private league bears its own challenges. For example, longer queue wait time, scuffed lobbies, and similar issues will arise once a private league becomes popular among the larger player base. Not just that, the community at large relying heavily on outside leagues to play something as simple as rank will put the credibility of Valorant’s upcoming in-game tournament system in a bad light.
Whatever the case, high ELO Valorant is under significant threat. Since it’s a community-created problem by a few bad actors, the entire player base is at risk of suffering the consequences.
However, all hope isn’t lost. Players hoping to go pro still have Valorant Premier to look forward to. So stay at work and hone your aim for Valorant Immortal leaderboard to join the big leagues in the future!