Valorant First Strike
by Phillip Miner in
Competitive News Valorant

After much anticipation, Riot Games’ Alex Francois has finally delivered the goods on official rules for the upcoming Valorant First Strike competitive series. While these rules have been released in conjunction with the announcement of First Strike, these Competition Rules also apply to future Valorant esports events as well.

According to Alex, these rules were created with the following philosophy in mind:

“The vast majority of rule violations can be prevented by writing clear rules and being responsive to teams and players who are seeking clarification. As VALORANT esports continues to grow, my goal is to institute the greatest possible clarity and transparency for the participants of the competitive ecosystem.”

Rules Set in Stone

Players and tournament organizers can find these official rules (and whatever revisions come in the future) via, interestingly enough, an official Dropbox account owned by Riot Games. We’ve taken a glimpse at these official rules, and there are some noteworthy rules that are sure to shake things up in the existing Valorant esports world. Among them:

  • The minimum age that Valorant players have to be in order to participate in official events has been set at 16 years of age. Not quite Fortnite young (the minimum for Fortnite is 14), but not Call of Duty old either (minimum for CoD is 18).
  • There are rules for in-person LAN tournaments. There are rules in place to ensure no player is walking into a LAN tournament carrying COVID-19. More explicitly: “Tournament Officials will have the right (prior to allowing any Team Member or other person to enter the venue) to check such person’s health by taking his or her temperature or otherwise taking steps to confirm that he or she is physically healthy. If, at any time prior to or during a Match, Tournament Officials determine that an individual is unhealthy and should not enter the venue, such individual will be denied entry and will be required to leave the venue immediately.” Teams are encouraged to have subs in case a player isn’t healthy enough to go to a LAN venue.
  • The map selection process for matches has a slight hint of randomness to it, in the form of would-be final maps in series. In both Best of 3 and Best of 5 scenarios, the final map, if required, will be chosen at random.
  • New maps will have a four-week waiting period before being included into official map pools at events.
  • New agents will have a two-week waiting period before being playable at events.

These Competition Rules are great for establishing continuity throughout the Valorant esports scene. However, they are sure to send some shockwaves, just like any new rule establishments would.

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Phillip has over a decade of experience writing about video games. Yes, over a decade! He's been on publications ranging from the Escapist to local papers and beyond.
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