Riot Games says it is removing four-stacks (groups of four players) from the competitive queue in Valorant, due to ongoing “toxicity reports”.
Essentially this means that groups squadding up and communicating as a team of four cannot go into competitive five player games. According to recent patch notes post, this has been done for multiple reasons:
“Alongside the five-stack changes, we are also removing four-stacks from the competitive queue,” read the post. “These types of groups tend to leave the remaining solo queue player with a relatively poor play experience, and we believe that removing this option will result in a significant reduction of overall toxicity reports.”
Riot knows this could heavily disrupt competitive flow and gameplay, and has added that the situation will be monitored: “We are excited about these changes and the potential improvements they’ll bring, but are also acutely aware of the potential risks of changes like these. We’ll monitor the competitive queue very closely in the coming weeks, and will quickly move to make adjustments if needed.”
It was also announced that competitive five-stacking for any rank is now in Valorant, with the main intention to reduce smurfing (when a high level player makes a new low level account to play against/with lower ranked players), as Riot’s data shows that smurfing takes place most often so friends can actually play in games together.
According to Riot, this means “you can play with your friends regardless of the restrictions that exist for smaller party sizes in competitive queue.”
In other news, the GTA reverse engineered modders have issued defences against Take-Two’s lawsuit, claiming both fair use and implied license/abandonment in regards to the claim of copyright infringement.