With VALORANT’s team-based competitive system, Premier, set to make its official debut this August, Riot Games has revealed three key changes that it is planning to implement down the line.
Imagined by Riot as an experience that bridges the gap between Competitive five-stack games and professional VCT play, Premier is gearing up for a final playtest before its full launch in August. While this “ignition Stage” event is set to bring with it other minor refinements identified during Premier’s global open beta, including improved SMS verification and matchmaking, Riot lead producer Laura La Vito has revealed three perhaps heavier-hitting changes that are currently in the works for the full experience.
What’s new with Premier? Lead Producer Laura La Vito is here to go over some of the changes going live with the Ignition Stage. pic.twitter.com/k8NtcXQ48H
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) June 30, 2023
The first key change is that teams will be given the flexibility to make player substitutions in between Playoff Tournament matches, à la DRX.
Likely the most controversial issue that arose during the beta, it seems Riot is exploring giving teams more time windows to cue for their matches. Lastly, and perhaps the most shocking feature not already in the mode, Riot is looking at adding tactical pauses to Premier.
For those curious about some of the system’s inner workings, La Vito also mentioned that Riot is looking to place more of an emphasis on teams’ weekly results and leaderboard standings within the mode itself to determine how they are matched in Premier, especially in tournament brackets. Through the Premier beta and Ignition Stage, matchmaking has essentially been driven by teams’ divisional MMR thresholds—a value based on players’ performance in ranked.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that any of these potential improvements will be ready for Premier’s full release in August, so players keen on these proposals will have to wait for them to be added in an update sometime post-launch.
Overall, if these changes were to eventually be added to the mode, it seems they would go a long way towards making Premier feel like that path-to-pro avenue Riot is looking to establish.