Riot's hot new competitive shooter Valorant made a massive splash for its Early Access approach where it attempted to reward players for watching Valorant streams on Twitch for an opportunity to receive a drop. It was ultimately a...tumultuous decision, although a fascinating marketing strategy that will likely be studied in some distant-future marketing course in college. \n \nValorant was everywhere in the news as it blasted Twitch records into a distant memory, although it also came with many users being frustrated about the RNG chances. \n \nView-botting and the sale of accounts was also a frustration for many legitimately interested fans; some keys would sell for well over $100 simply for limited access to a beta. \n \nThen Valorant released, and it's current numbers in terms of stream-hours watched, and the number of streamers, has dropped significantly. Some may view this as a sign of failure, which is certainly is not: as with every title, it's simply nigh-on impossible to maintain levels of hype once the title gets released. It's akin to showing your hand of cards after the flop; the intrigue is gone. \n \nhttps:\/\/twitter.com\/PlayVALORANT\/status\/1272864987808059394 \n \nYet while Valorant has launched, it has only brought unranked matchmaking; a more casual playstyle that, some claim, invites people to play without the overall intent of winning in the match. \n \nPerhaps they're more interested in trying a new agent or honing the usage of an ability in a live environment, but to others in the team, it just appears as throwing a match. \n \nThis challenge is finally being interceded by Riot, as ranked match-making is primed and scheduled to drop sometime next week for everyone within Valorant. \n \nhttps:\/\/twitter.com\/RiotZiegler\/status\/1272585456027197441 \n \nFinally, matches will have a tangible weight to them as victories and losses pile on hour after hour until you end up at a rank that, in your opinion, is far below what you're justified in owning. A tale as old as time, or at least as old as Counter-Strike ranks in MM. \n \nAlik 'Myth' Kabbani has stated on stream that he simply has a waning interest in Valorant until the competitive league begins, as matches feel relatively indifferent to play. It's presumed that next week we will see a large uptick in both streamers playing Valorant, and their fans following the trail of content towards actually playing Valorant itself. \n \nIn the interim, however, Valorant hasn't necessarily suffered for lack of the competitive game mode, as multiple tourneys have been showcased in the past week with clutch battles among legendary esport names as they dip their toes into the proverbial waters of Valorant. Whether or not competitive Valorant will see a resurgence in numbers at the point seen during the Early Access program, however, is anybody's guess at the moment.