Riot shortened one of Valorant’s guns after learning pro players called it a “pay-to-lose” item due to a slight variation in the length of its barrel. The Specter Ghost (opens in a new tab)a version of Valorant’s Phantom rifle with altered visual and audio effects, had a nose that stuck out just a bit more than other Phantom variants, meaning enemies could spot you a little earlier than usual if you were using one.
Now, that might sound like an almost imperceptible detail to mere mortals like you and me, but for Valorant pros it can be the difference between life and death. A few milliseconds of extra warning for an enemy who sees you approaching from around a corner gives them extra and precious reaction time.
In these notes we mention a solution for the length of the spectral phantom damper, and I wanted to share a quick story about that. At VCT champs in Istanbul I ran into @misticJK, and while he was talking about skins he casually mentioned that he doesn’t use spectral ghost because it’s losing pay (1/5) https://t.co/EkAndE290SOctober 18, 2022
The problem was only discovered during a chance encounter between Valorant associate producer Robin Silk and Mistic, a professional player, during the game’s Valorant Champions Tour event in Istanbul. During their chat, Mistic casually mentioned that he avoided the Specter Phantom due to its “wage loss” status, which confused Silk. To prove his point, Mistic collared some passing pro players who confirmed that the skin was carefully shunned by the pro community. Silk, amazed that the problem was so well known but completely unreported to Riot, returned to LA and fixed the problem.
“It was just funny to me that these guys all knew about this and didn’t report it to any rioters,” Silk wrote on Twitter, “I encourage all VALORANT players to escalate any bugs they find to the proper channels. […] we really take those reports seriously”.
It raises the question of how many small errors like this end up internalized and avoided by the community instead of being pointed out by the developer. How much of the meta of large multiplayer games are only players more aware of small mistakes than the devs?
Well, regardless, Valorant pro players can stop sidelining the Spectrum Phantom now: it’s been fixed by yesterday’s patch 5.08. (opens in a new tab). Riot has “shaven some length so that it matches the basic Phantom weapon model”, and is “ready for professionals to start using it again…especially when peeking through a garage on Haven.”