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A new game mode, Escalation, is launching in VALORANT tomorrow, February 17th. Escalation joins a cast of just three other modes included Unrated (unranked), Rated (ranked), and Spike Rush. There was a holiday themed Snowball limited time mode as well.

Escalation will be “a casual, fast-paced mode designed for fun social play and perfect for encouraging players to practice with new weapons,” according to Riot.

Players will start with powerful weapons, however, as they progress via kills their weapons will be replaced with less powerful or more challenging weapons.

Kyle Leach, VALORANT Engineer and Designer had the following to say in regards to why Escalation was created.

“In designing Escalation, we wanted to create a quick, low stress Team Deathmatch mode with high uptime that’s fun to play socially with friends. We’re hoping to provide players with an opportunity to practice gunplay across the entire arsenal and experience some abilities in novel ways, while providing a shared objective that benefits from some coordination but doesn’t require it for a team to succeed”

A bullet point breakdown of the new mode courtesy of Riot Games:

  • Similar to a respawning team deathmatch.
  • When the match starts, there is one randomly-generated set of 12 weapons/abilities which both teams must cycle through, roughly in order of ‘most lethal’ to ‘least lethal’.
  • A team must collectively get X number of kills/points in each of the 12 stages before they progress to the next one.
    • Upon progressing to the next stage, the player who got that latest kill to push the team over – automatically progresses to the next gun/ability in the cycle.
    • Members of the team who have already gotten a kill on a given level when it’s completed get a 5 second timer to press B (or their shop hotkey) to get the next weapon, after which they’ll get it automatically.
    • Members of the team who have not gotten a kill with that weapon will stay on the previous level until they get a kill, after which they’ll auto-upgrade to the next level.
    • If there is significant skill disparity, it is possible for “worse” players to be more than one stage behind. When they get their next kill, they progress to the next stage, not the latest team stage (ie they don’t skip any weapons).
    • One exception: for the final stage only, the whole team gets the final weapon/ability as soon as that stage is reached.
  • If no team has won after 10 minutes, the team in the lead wins and the match ends.
  • There is a 15-90s warmup in which players are given random weapons from the weapon set on spawn, it functions as a simple team deathmatch while waiting for players to load in.

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