Valorant, the tactical competitive FPS from Riot Games, is set to kick off its second Act this week. That means a new Battlepass, with new cosmetics and unlockables, but arriving alongside Act 2 will be a new mode: Deathmatch.
FFA Deathmatch will go live on Aug. 5, 2020, one day after the arrival of the Act 2 Battlepass. It will initially launch in a Beta test window, but in a press release, Riot says it will be monitoring server performance and game stability, and leave the mode once things look good.
Unlike the other modes in Valorant, like the traditional competitive ruleset and the faster Spike Rush mode, the free-for-all Deathmatch mode won't be concerned with planting or defending Spikes. In fact, it does away with several of the Valorant norms: no abilities, no money, and respawns enabled.
FFA Deathmatch will pit 10 players against each other to see who can get either 30 kills first, or the most kills within six minutes. There will be dynamic spawn points with a three-second respawn timer and eight-second invulnerability that dissipates when a player moves or fires. Competitors can buy whatever gun they want without restriction, everyone spawns with heavy armor, and alongside health packs dropping on death, a radar sweep will unveil player locations every five seconds.
It basically sounds like a fast, frenetic shootout using Valorant's guns. I'm not sure how "competitively balanced" that sounds, but it does sound like a fun mode to mess around in. Valorant's Act 2 will also be launching with some new "Glitchpop" skins, so you can look fancy while corner-checking and darting around maps in the new mode.
In our review of Valorant's launch, I highlighted how the main competitive mode felt like the big focus, and it's doubtful that FFA Deathmatch will change that. New ways to blow off steam in Valorant are always welcome though, and maybe this will make for a more relaxed cooldown round than Spike Rush.
New operator Killjoy will also go live this week, packing a host of gadgets and some added style. Despite being years in the making, Valorant doesn't seem like it's slowing down from its launch earlier this Summer. I'll be interested to see whether it can maintain this pace as the months go on.