Riot says 5-stack ranked might not return to VALORANT

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Valorant rank system can be confusing for some players, with a total of 8 ranks and 3 tiers per rank, the ranking system can sometimes overwhelm the players and the matchmaking algorithm. With so much segmentation among ranks, it sometimes becomes difficult to match players of the same level with others while matchmaking. 

Riot has always tried to maintain the balance in ranks and has continuously denied adding more ranks or tiers to further segment the playerbase. 

Recently players have been asking Riot to add to the ability to 5-stack in ranked matches which the company has always denied.

Riot has always maintained its stance of further segmentation of the playerbase and states that there are multiple problems with the ability to 5-stack in the ranked mode, first being the splitting of queues in single/stacked players, and second being the long wait times to find a match. 

Also Read | Valorant Player Count 2021: Over 14 Million Players, Riot Confirms

Jon Walker, Competitive Designer at Riot Games, shared his take on 5-stack and said:

“When thinking about the first question, we have significant concerns regarding splitting queues. We don’t believe splitting the queue—or doing a flex queue—is the best solution for VALORANT. We fear that one ranked queue would become “The Real Ranked Queue” and the other queue becomes less prestigious.”

The real problem lies in matching players of equal skill with one another. With 5-stacks, the problem of skill-based matchmaking will be elevated further and queue times will be higher.

Overall, the matchmaking experience might suffer for everyone and more players would face situations where they are matched against highly-skilled players. This will lead to frustration among players and discourage many from playing in the ranked mode which will further elevate the balancing issues in matchmaking. 

In conclusion, it is better that 5-stack doesn’t return without a major overhaul to matchmaking to maintain the game’s health. Plus the problem of smurfing is still at large and Riot might want to address that first before working on adding more features to ranked mode.  

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