Valorant Patch 5.01 In-Depth Overview: Phoenix Buffs, Smurf Detection & More

Update 5.01 brings changes for three Agents – Phoenix, KAY/O, and Yoru. Moreover, it also comes with a smurf detection feature and a pair of other quality of life improvements.

Phoenix buff
Will Phoenix find himself in the meta now? | © Riot Games

The last Act was not very fruitful in big and flashy changes, but this one seems to be a bit different from the start. We've only gotten two updates, and the game feels fresher than ever, and you should definitely feel it after this patch. Without further ado, let's take a deeper look into the official Valorant Patch 5.01 Notes!

Agent Changes

Phoenix Buffs

Let's start with something that a large part of the community has been waiting for since... well, actually, almost two years – Phoenix finally got buffed. And no, it's not a new voice line; these are some actual buffs.

Curveball (Q Ability)

Let's start with changes to his flashbang ability, which our (in our opinion) the biggest game changer for this Agent:

  • Flash Max duration increased to 1.5s (from 1.1s)
  • Flash Windup decreased to 0.5s (from 0.7s)

Only two changes, but two big ones. Here's what Jeff Landa from Riot Games said about them:

We believe Phoenix's Curveball is the cornerstone of his kit, and as we explored adjustment options it became clear that Curveball being more powerful unlocks his kit as a whole. So we wanted to assess Phoenix in a world where Curveball is more competitive with the rest of the ecosystem to get a sense for the impact of the changes. (source)

Blaze (C Ability)

For his wall, we only have one small quality of life improvement.

  • Phoenix will now equip his weapon earlier if he stops bending his wall.

Not a big change, but surely a welcome one.

Run It Back (Ultimate Ability)

And now, something that should be the thing right from the start:

  • Phoenix will now spawn at the marker with the amount of shields he had when the ability was cast.

Finally Riot, finally.

Honestly, these changes look really solid. Sure, they're unlikely to throw Phoenix into the metagame, but they're certainly a fantastic addition for players who main this Agent because, well, he's a cool one. Even if you don't like his Duelist playstyle, you might like his lore, personality, or even Spotify playlist!

Yoru's Dimensional Drift Buffs

Dimensional drift nerf
Yoru is another Duelist to get buffed! | © Riot Games

But Phoenix is not the only Duelist Agent to get buffed in Patch 5.01! Riot has also decided to show Yoru some love by buffing his Ultimate Ability a bit:

  • Increased duration of the Ultimate Ability to 12s (from 10s)
  • Reduced unequip time to 0.8s (to 1.2s)

Here's how Riot explained these changes:

We’ve noticed you Yoru players having a bit of friction achieving the dream of setting up a master plan while in ultimate. We’re hoping these changes will reduce a bit of that problem, rewarding you for using your flash during ultimate, while still preventing unhealthy play patterns that leave enemies without counterplay. (source)

But ehh, do we really want to see that "dream master plan" in our ranked games?

KAY/O Buffs

KAY/O also got some attention from Riot, although we think these changes will not make a bigger difference; we would treat them more as "quality of life improvements" than "buffs." Well, even Riot calls them that way:

KAY/O hasn’t had much of a quality of life pass since we’ve last had some changes so we wanted to reduce some pain and help you access more parts of the kit that haven’t felt as accessible. (source)

FRAG/ment (C Ability)

  • Zone diameter reduced to 8m (from 10m)
  • Damage now applies without needing line of sight

NULL/cmd (Ultimate Ability)

  • Now, only allies will hear the full channel audio of reviving KAY/O, while downed. Enemies will only hear a short audio cue when the revive has started, matching a similar gameplay pattern to playing around ultimate orbs or tapping the bomb

So yeah, these changes won't help KAY/O mains get into Radiant faster. But this guide surely will: Valorant KAY/O Agent Guide: Abilities, Strategies & More

Gameplay Systems

Smurf Detection

  • New Smurf Detection functionality added (North America).
This addition to our smurf detection systems is designed to make sure that new players (that means all new accounts) are matched up with players of the correct skill level, much faster than before. (source)

The feature will be tested for probably two weeks on the NA server now to see if there are no bugs in it, and then it will probably be implemented for other regions as well.

Improved Collision Behavior

  • Improved collision behavior when walking next to or behind another player.
This should heavily reduce the amount of jitteriness experienced when moving close to your allies (rushing a site as a group or moving out of spawn should feel better!). (source)

Twin Hunters Changes (Spike Rush)

  • Twin Hunters in Spike Rush will now damage destructible walls.

But who cares about Spike Rush, right?

Bug Fixes

And lastly, we'll end this patch overview with a couple of bug fixes:


  • Fixed an issue where having the Raw Input Buffer setting enabled caused scrolling in chat or friends list to go directly to the top or bottom.


  • Fixed issue where Fade’s Haunt would sometimes reveal enemies that were on the other side of a thin wall.


  • Fixed a bug with Dimensional Drift where the invulnerability kicked in later than intended after it was cast.


  • Fixed issue with Sova’s Shock Bolt not damaging enemy traps and other game objects (other than players).

And that would be it for update 5.01! Lots of tweaks, huh? Join our Discord and let us know which change you will enjoy the most!