Valorant Patch 5.0 Official Notes: Episode 5 Starts Now

Riot really knows how to keep the game fresh. We are just a bit two years after official Valorant's release, and it feels like we're getting a new game a little bit. Just look at this update!
Pearl map poster
So many new things! | © Riot Games

Episode 4 wasn't the flashiest one, but this one is right from the start. We've got so many changes affecting pretty much every aspect of the game – new map, new rank, Agent fixes, fewer maps in the pool... I mean, better see for yourself! These are the official changes that we will get in a 5.0 Update this Wednesday (June 22).

New Pearl Map

So, as you all know by now, we'll be getting a new map. That's nothing surprising as we've been talking about it for weeks now, and you can check out all the details about it here: Pearl: Everything We Know About The New Valorant Map

However, one thing that is interesting is that we'll be getting a Pearl-only queue.

Pearl Only Queue

  • This queue is a standard, Unrated mode that will give players a chance to practice the new map before they see it in Competitive play.
  • Pearl-only queue will be available for 2 weeks, then after that Pearl will enter Competitive.

It's also a chance for Riot Games to test the maps and find out if there are any bugs on it.

New Ascendant Rank

Green immortal
Ascendant rank icons | © Riot Games
  • Added an additional rank above Diamond, below Immortal, called “Ascendant.”
We believe our lower ranks have a few too many of you, especially Bronze and Silver. When we were looking at rank distribution, we realized that if we were to move some of you up and out of those lower ranks, it would overpopulated Platinum and Diamond. So by adding a new rank we can better distribute you across ranks, keep the prestige of high ranks, while helping better define the skill level of each rank. (source)

Now, here is where things start to get interesting:

  • Moved the rank MMR targets that determine rank down, due to the addition of the new Ascendant rank, for all ranks below Ascendant. Moved the ranked target for Immortal 1/2/3 and Radiant up.

Sounds complicated? Here are a few statements from Riot to clarify this:

  • These are the cut-offs that say “You should be X MMR to reach this rank”. MMR targets determine your RR gains and help push your rank to match your MMR.
  • This means players will go up in rank, if they are below Ascendant.
  • To align with our expectations of what it means to be in the highest ranks of VALORANT, Immortal+ players will find it harder to climb back to their previous episode rank. This means Immortal will also have a smaller leaderboard population in all regions
  • Due to the seasonal reset, you may not see a rank increase at the start of the Episode without putting in some work; but the reset will be “less harsh” compared to the last Episode reset. So because we are pushing the player base upwards to fill Ascendant, the reset will not hit you as hard.
  • Next time we reset ranks it will probably push you down more than this Episode’s reset.

Here's more interesting facts about the new Ascendant rank:

  • Grouping restrictions for Ascendant are 3 ranks above or below the Ascendant ranked (which fits in with Platinum+ rule set for grouping)
  • The highest placement allowed has increased to Ascendant 1 (previously Diamond 1)
  • Five stacking 25% RR penalty now starts at Immortal 1 (previously Diamond 3)
  • Solo/Duo/5-stack restriction now starts at Immortal 1 (previously Diamond 3)

By the way, doesn't "Ascendant" sound kind of familiar? Well, yes – that was the title that you could get for completing Tier 8 of Sage's Agent contract. However, Riot also addressed it:

Due to a naming clash with the new rank, we’ve renamed Sage’s tier 8 Agent Contract unlock—the new Sage title is “Dauntless”
Renaming this title was not something we chose lightly, but after talking about the title we felt like it was a chance to give the title more meaning to Sage and her personality/theme. (source)

Honestly, we thought that the ranked system was pretty balanced with 8 ranks, but perhaps Riot wants to keep things a little more complicated? Is it just me or do you also think that Ascendant rank will now be "Immortal for mediocre players"? Join our Discord and let us know your thoughts, as this one is pretty controversial.

Split Removed

  • We are temporarily removing Split from the map pool in Unrated and Competitive queues.

Okay, but what are the reasons? We found somewhat of an answer in Riot's map pool update article:

We looked at a bunch of different factors when making this decision. Player sentiment, time since release, past and future planned updates, what the map brings in terms of strategic variance, as well as where Pearl fits into all of it (to name a few).
When we plugged all those numbers into the magic algorithm machine, we landed on Split. We’re pretty sure it will be back sometime in the future though. Maybe even with some tweaks?

Good news is that one day the same thing might happen to Fracture.

Bug Fixes

No nerfs or buffs in this patch but lots (!) of bug fixes affecting some of the most popular Agents in the meta:

Agents

  • Fixed a bug where Jett could equip a weapon during Tailwind
  • Fixed a bug where Agents revealed by Sova’s Recon Bolt or Fade’s Haunt would sometimes briefly appear in an incorrect location on the minimap
  • Fixed a bug where the scope visual effect would sometimes disappear when aiming with Chamber’s Tour De Force

Game Systems

  • Fixed a bug where using an Ultimate point orb or defusing the Spike at maximum range could cause channeling and progress bar animations to flicker
  • Fixed a bug where the use channeling progression bar does not update if the player disconnects and reconnects during the match
  • Fixed a bug where some weapon equips could play the wrong equip speed animation, which could visually misrepresent when you were able to fire.
  • Fixed a bug where the use channeling progression bar does not update if the player disconnects and reconnects during the match

Maps

  • Fixed a bug on Haven that was preventing players from using their spray on a wall in A Garden.

And there you have it! Episode 5 is about to start and we just can't wait to see what Riot has in store for the upcoming months. It's also worth noting that we are just less than 1 month into the next VCT major, so maybe that's where we will learn more about the future of Valorant. Perhaps we'll even get a new Agent in the second Act?