Riot Games jumpstarts Valorant with Episode 6, featuring Lotus, a soft rank reset, and more.
Each season and battle pass in Valorant comes with exciting rewards for players, and Episode 6 is no different. Episode 5 Act 3 has just concluded, and now we’re kicking off 2023 with a whole host of new features, a new map, and the return of Split, which replaces Breeze and Bind. The first act for Episode 6 brings meaningful changes to the meta and new Valorant skins, and we couldn’t be more hyped for it. 2022 has been a fairly productive year for Valorant. The competitive shooter’s esports community received a massive boost in relevance and popularity. Hopefully, in 2023 we can expect even greater things to come, but for now, let’s look at new stuff you can play around with in Episode 6 Act 1.
Say Hello to Lotus
The latest map added to the pool is Lotus, an Indiana Jones-inspired ruin constructed by the glorious vistas of Alpha Earth’s Western Ghats. Much like Haven, Lotus is a three-site map where you can use a slew of new mechanics. You have a destructible wall akin to Rainbox Six Siege’s gameplay, rotating doors, and even silent drops. At its core, Lotus is a lost city filled with booby traps.
During the first week of Lotus’ release, players with Valorant accounts were allowed to try a Lotus-only Swiftplay Beta queue. Now, the map has entered the Competitive queue. The agents referred the Lotus as a City of Flowers, and we saw some tidbits about why they used those words as a description. When Riot Games released a short cinematic entitled “REVELATION”, we see that Harbor, alongside another new Agent, “entered” the Lotus map towards the end.
Episode 6 Act 1 Battlepass Brings New Skins
For Episode 6, you’ll be able to collect three skins in the battle pass: Venturi, 9 Lives, and Gridcash. According to Producer Lara Baltzer, the cosmetics are inspired by cats, science fiction, and the future.
Venturi offers a sleek, clean back wrap that offers a futuristic feeling. The looks make it seem like you’ve walked straight out of secret society from the underground. To make it seem like your weapons have bathed in the midnight light, you can use the Venturi wrap to coat your Spectre, Frenzy, Vandal, Melee, and Marshal.
As for the 9 Lives skinline, you can use it to form a team of Agents as felines. Honestly, what better way to start 2023 than to bask in the glorious features of a chibified cat version of Jett, Viper, and Reyna? 9 Lives is also available for Phantom, Ares, Classic, and Guardian if you’re looking to add some kawaii vibes to your guns.
Finally, the Gridcash cosmetic looks straight out of an 80s science fiction movie. If you’ve watched Tron, you know exactly what we’re talking about. It features a neon sunset color, which is perfect if you want to deck out your Bulldog, Stinger, and Judge.
As always, the Valorant battle pass costs 1,000 VP, equivalent to 11 USD at this time. It’s costly if you’re not really into digital cosmetics, but given that it features a plethora of gun buddies, sprays, titles, and cards, we think it’s worth it. Other items in the battle pass include the Shock Heart Spray, the Big Announcement Gun Buddy, and the PlayZilla Dan Card. If you want to treat yourself, consider the premium battle pass. The premium variant has exclusives such as the Perfectly Roasted Spray, the Venturi Vandal, the Folded Wish Gun Buddy, and the Rift Rider Card.
Tweaks to Competitive Queue
Valorant Episode 6 Act 1 introduced some adjustments to the competitive queue, making ranked rating wins and losses feel more consistent. Moreover, you can expect a soft reset to your Valorant account once you log in, so you’ll need to play five placement matches again to get a new rank.
Your RR gains and losses will now depend more on how much you win or lose. Thanks to this tweak, you should see fewer instances in the future where you’ll gain 10RR in one game and 20RR in the next. Players whose ranks are far from their MMR can also see more RR gains. The gains will depend on your performance instead of the round differential. If your rank is below your MMR, you’ll be rewarded more. But if your rank is already above your MMR, you won’t be penalized as harshly if you perform well but lose the game.
Locked and Loaded
Episode 6 Act 1 is already out since its release on January 10. The patch notes are already shedding a lot of light on what Valorant will look like in the coming months. What are you most excited about for Episode 6? Is it the new Valorant Skins? Or is it a renewed chance to get a higher rank? Let us know in the comments!