Valorant Patch 2.03 is live, and there’s some big changes to Valorant’s lower-cost options as well as some big changes for Yoru and Reyna. Valorant is also getting a new game mode this patch: Escalation.
Reyna is the obvious standout here. On the surface, Reyna changes seem like some pretty substantial nerfs. She will be harder to use now, and Reyna players will have to think about how and when they use Devour(Q) and Dismiss(E), but the effectiveness of the abilities themselves hasn’t been altered at all. In other words, Reyna will be just fine. She’s had the highest pick rate in Valorant since she was released, so it’s not surprising that Riot is trying to rein back her power a little.
Yoru’s buffs read like quality of life changes for the most part, but these buffs are fantastic for players who solo queue competitive. It’s so much easier for the game to communicate for you rather than having to take the extra step and call out for your teammates. Riot also stated that they’re looking into other buffs for Yoru since he seems to be underperforming.
This mixup in low-cost options is aimed largely at Valorant pro play/high-ranked competitive. The Stinger and Frenzy have dominated due to their prowess by moving, and thus, Riot targeted these weapons this patch. The Stinger got hit especially hard by nerfing its consistency at range and its fire rate, and it’s likely that this will deter players away from buying the Stinger in every early game situation. Maybe we’ll see some more shotguns? Also, the Marshall buff is interesting, but it still requires insane accuracy. It’s still a risky pick-up, but making the Marshall easier to use might make it a more attractive option for players who have to risk it all when their funds are dry.
Escalation goes live!
This is a quick (approx. 7-9 min.) and fast-paced 5v5 game mode where you must race through progressively less lethal loadouts with your team. The loadout gamut varies from match to match, but always features a mix of both weapons and abilities. The same list of loadouts is always used by both teams throughout the match.
Escalation is meant to be a fun distraction, as well as a way for players to get a full tour of Valorant’s wide suite of weapons. Modes like this work as a great break from the ranked grind, as well as a fun way for new players to familiarize themselves with Valorant’s core mechanics.
Any changes to make ranked wins (and losses) feel more impactful is welcome. Missing a round or two won’t result in a loss, which means players will have much more reason to rejoin the match after an unfortunate disconnect. Or, alternatively, they’ll have less reason to throw a game.
Overall, this patch is fairly small. The Reyna changes are a definite highlight, and it’s likely she’ll see a drop in play rate. Then again, with her having a play rate consistently around 70-80% since Valorant’s official release means that the nerfs may have been warranted. Also, the promise of Yoru buffs on the horizon is curious. Making a kit like Yoru’s fun to play against and impactful won’t be a simple task. He has the potential to be overpowered, but it’s nice that Riot released him weak and are buffing him up. It’s preferable to Yoru dictating the meta. Hopefully, he’ll be in a better spot next patch. There’s also a huge list of bug fixes for some rare yet nasty bugs plaguing Valorant, and it’s good to see that Riot are being persistent about getting these bugs swatted as they arise.