Valorant skill-based matchmaking Riot Games SBMM
Image via Riot Games

One of the most hot-button issues in the gaming community today is skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). A simple process of pairing you up with similarly skilled players in online matches has been the cause of much controversy in recent years. Games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Apex Legends all implement the feature, much to the disdain of the player base. With Riot Games set to release its new FPS Valorant, the questions surrounding SBMM have been asked repeatedly. After staying quiet, a Riot developer has finally given the community an answer.

Is there skill-based matchmaking in Valorant?

We already know that Valorant will arrive with a Ranked playlist that acts similarly to that of Apex Legends. There are seven total tiers with three ranks in each, and you’re ranked higher or lower depending on your and your team’s performance.

So in that sense, we already knew there would be skill-based matchmaking in Valorant. What we didn’t know is if unranked playlists will use this mechanic. One curious Twitter user asked a Riot Games developer this question, and he responded in kind.

Of course, this isn’t the answer that most of the community wanted to see. For the most part, the social media community is highly against SBMM in standard playlists. The feeling is that this mechanic should be left for the Ranked playlist.

However, data shows that SBMM helps out more players than it hurts. This mainly applies to lower-skilled players who are just starting out or are not as adept at video games. Because of this, many developers of multiplayer titles use skill-based matchmaking in all of their playlists.

While it may be disappointing to some to see Valorant use SBMM, at least there’s a Ranked playlist to grind. The Valorant closed beta begins on Tuesday, April 7, so we’ll see skill-based matchmaking in action very soon.

Make sure to keep up with Daily Esports for all Valorant news.

Joey Carr
Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.

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