VALORANT pros fight back against trolls and crypto gamblers with 'Pro City'
Some players felt others were throwing ranked games to win bets on crypto sites
It’s been a while since players of popular first-person shooter VALORANT have started complaining about the state of ranked games.
Some players were dissatisfied with the ranked system because they felt anonymous accounts weren't reciprocating their efforts.
On top of that, many seem to throw away ranked matches in favour of winning bets made on crypto sites.
Most affected are the pro players and streamers of VALORANT North America. Sentinels streamer and content creator Tarik “Tarik” Celik was one of those players that had had enough and decided to create “Pro City” as an alternative to Ranked Games.
What is Pro City?
If you’ve been watching some pros and streamers lately, you may have noticed that instead of queueing into ranked matches, these players have been joining custom games after gathering in an ‘invite-only’ hub called Pro City.
Pro City is a community of pro players and high-ranking players in VALORANT that have been invited and verified by the Pro City’s “council”. The 10-man games allow these players to be matched against each other in custom games.
Some direct invites were given to pro players, which included those that are part of a VALORANT franchise team or are contracted with a tier-one organisation.
Tier-one organisations are teams that have competed for a spot on VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Challengers and have not qualified for the year.
Apart from pros, which players are qualified?
Tarik discussed the requirements needed for players to join in a stream on Monday (23 January).
The player needed to meet one of the three requirements:
Top 50 finish in one of the last 3 Acts
Contracted with a VALORANT team for over six months in the last two years
Immortal 3+ in the last 3 Acts with greater than 500 VALORANT hours streamed in the past year.
The players are then vetted by a ‘council’, a team of players consisting of Tarik and 6 other anonymous players. The other members of the council were unnamed to avoid harassment.
Once qualified, these players are invited to a private discord server, where they can join 10-man matches.
A lot of the struggle with Pro City is maintaining the level of play, which means having strict criteria and strong council. Sorry that I can’t be inclusive to everyone, but it’s the only way that it’ll work.
If Riot does ask us to stop, then it's totally out of my control.
— tarik (@tarik) January 24, 2023
The initiative has received tons of praise so far. Most players who responded on a Reddit thread by Acurrate-Loss-4711 on the thread owner's sentiment that the Pro-City 10-man Hub was “very satisfying to watch”.
Reddit user navornothing said that it “look[ed] fire so far” but cautiously added that everyone has to “see how it looks a few weeks from now when a few more pros are invited.”
On the other hand, user wako944 commented that “You can tell that a lot of them are trying harder[;] as a result, comm[unicating] more,” and that “makes for a better viewing and learning experience.”
However, some commented that VALORANT developer Riot Games has yet to do something about the real issue besides banning these “crypto throwers” and trolls.
Riot working on “Premier” mode
Riot hasn’t directly addressed these issues, except for banning or restricting such trolls and crypto throwers when reported.
However, last October, the developers behind VALORANT revealed that they were working on a “Premier Mode”.
The mode will allow players to “build a team and compete across a season of pre-scheduled matches”.
Once you’ve joined or built a roster, the team will be matched to a division with teams of the same level, where you’ll play across a season with “weekly matches and tournaments.”
The mode aims to "build a connection between the game and the esport through a highly competitive mode", similar to the VCT scene.
The mode is still in its Alpha stage, and will still undergo global testing, so it remains to be seen if this will help problems players have been experiencing on Ranked.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.
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