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The patch notes, which were shared today (July 12), feature the usual updates for the game’s Agent roster, as well as the common adjustments that come with every patch.
However, it’s the gameplay systems update that is the most notable. As Riot explains in the patch notes, it’s currently working on a new Smurf Detection functionality, which is only available in North America at the moment.
“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,” Riot said.
Updated smurf detection (NA only for now), collision behavior, and balance for Phoenix, KAY/O, and Yoru are all part of the next patch. Read it in Patch Notes 5.01: https://t.co/c8FXC5HYlI pic.twitter.com/huuvwwDeSe
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) July 12, 2022
It also added that although it’s only available in North America right now, the testing will allow the team to get it ready for a global release. Testing is currently live.
Smurfing is a common occurrence in online competitive shooters such as Valorant. It’s when higher-ranked players create new accounts in order to queue and play against lower-ranked players. This causes problems with the game’s competitive system and results in inaccurate ladder placements.
Alongside the Smurf Detection functionality, Valorant‘s collision behaviour should now be improved when walking behind another player. According to the developer, this should “heavily reduce the amount of jitteriness experienced when moving close to your allies” such as when they’re rushing to a site.
Additionally, the Agents affected in patch 5.01 include Phoenix, Yoru and KAY/O. Phoenix is getting a buff to his curveball flash and will now be able to equip his weapon earlier if he stops bending his wall. Meanwhile, Yoru’s ultimate ability has been increased from 10 seconds to 12, while KAY/O’s grenade is decreasing its area of effect from 10 to 8 metres but will now damage players that are out of his line of sight.