Valorant Diamond Rank Tips and Advice
- Try to solo queue. Every player has habits, and this often causes people who duo regularly to get used to each other’s playstyle, which leads them to cater to each other’s habits. This locks you down in a certain playstyle and very often prevents you from trying new strats or simply developing new skills which makes you less flexible and causes you to get absolutely smashed when someone figures you out. By solo queuing you’ll be forced to play along with more different types of players without having the option to rely on your friend for whatever reason.
- Don’t think you have to carry every game. This is the reason I included both my screenshots. You can clearly see that I VERY RARELY top frag, yet manage to win very consistently. I’ll talk about it in the macromechanics section because a part of this success is in how I play, and the other part of it is in the mindset. This is all about the attitude. We’ve all had moments where we get absolutely shit on for 5 straight rounds and it feels like we’ve excreted our will to live but this is not a reason to give up or start trying to play funky games. Keep trying. Legit close your eyes for 15 seconds during the buy phase, take deep breaths and let go of your attachment to the outcome. Which leads me to my next point:
- Stop paying attention to the scoreboard. I personally do this, and I know a lot of people also do this. You’ll look at the scoreboard and see yourself sitting at 0-6 and tilt, or you’ll see yourself at 6-0 while your sentinel is on 1-7 and tilt. Stop. Don’t. Your score, or someone else’s score, isn’t an indication of how useful you/they are. Even if you’re “playing like shit” because you’re not hitting your headshots, doesn’t mean you can’t be useful.
- Don’t be toxic. I know right? Like that needed to be said! Well, I think it needs to be said. Too many of you are toxic without realizing it. That’s because you don’t go nuclear, but instead just sneak in passive-aggressive remarks that intoxicate your teammates and make them tilt. There’s no need to sarcastically congratulate your teammate for finally getting their first kill on 7th round. They know more than you what went wrong and you pointing it out only antagonizes them, it distracts them (as they think of what snarky comment they can make next time you die) and makes them spectate you every time they die (so like, every round) just looking for what mistakes you can make that they can burn you for. It’s always better to say something positive and reassuring like “good job, don’t worry about the early game, we got this” than something inflammatory. This makes a huge difference in your odds of winning. Playing 5v5 is a whole lot easier than 4v5.
- Communicate. Pass the info along, let your team know what you see, tell them your intention. Way too many times do people stay silent and say things like “look at your minimap, are you blind?”. This isn’t a moba with a low TTK like LoL, here, you often have to hold angles where if you even get your eyes off your crosshair for just a quarter of a second, you’re dead. In a tactical shooter like this, for equal skill, the team with the better coms will win 99% of the time. The more useful information your team has, the better their decision-making is going to be.
- Dodge. I know this one is going to be controversial but it has to be said. Don’t be afraid to dodge lobbies that don’t feel quite right. The quickest dodge? 4-stacks with large rank disparities. They are not a good bet, ever. First of all, because they’re highly likely to be on discord just talking with each other and not sharing info with you. Secondly, because they’re unavoidably going to be toxic towards you the minute something goes wrong. And finally, because (as far as I know) the system assumes that 4 stacks are supposed to be more coordinated, it’ll place you against a better team of solos overall. But 4-stacks suck. They’re not coordinated, they’re just friends that decided to play together and who are kind of just doing their own thing anyways.The other times I dodge is when I’m alone at three divisions above everyone else. These are usually kill-race duels between you and the other team’s highest rank, just competitions of who can carry the hardest. Also, and this isn’t confirmed info but pretty much all elo systems in the world work like that: being the highest rank means you’re a candidate for lesser elo gains on a win and greater elo losses in defeat. It’s a high-risk, low-reward situation, it’s boring and I’m so glad that they announced that they will restrain the rank division gap that people can queue with in ranked because I cannot stand another Diamond 1 player telling me “it’s ok bro, trust me he’s gold 1 but he’s really good for his rank”.
- Get the right mindset. You’re not better than your rank shows, winning doesn’t mean you played well and ranking up doesn’t mean you’re better overall. Assume you can improve and focus on improving – not winning. Caring more about the outcome than about the process won’t get you anywhere.
- Pay attention to the scoreboard. I know I literally just told you the opposite, but this time it’s for different reasons.A) Look at the money and make sure to manage your team’s econ (e.g. if someone is about to bust the 9k limit, have them buy for a teammate with low money). This probably seems obvious to most of you, but managing your econ is something I’ve seen diamonds do much better at than golds. Even plat players will sometimes be selfish and not say anything even if they should offer to drop someone. This isn’t a major game-changer, but it definitely helps and it’s super easy to implement.B) Look at the enemy team’s econ. You can eventually predict who’s gonna have a shotgun, when Jett’s gonna ult, which opponent has util, etc. This will help your decision making down the road and can easily win you rounds.
- Don’t think you have to carry every game part 2. As shown above, I rarely top frag, yet consistently win. This is because I always play for the round, not the frags. I do my best to look for plays that give my teams opportunities, space, time or info. You can do things such as splitting up the opposing team with util, forcing someone to watch the flank, creating distractions, scouting, flanking, etc. Each of those techniques probably could have their own youtube tutorial and I’m sure there are a bunch out there, but I mostly learned these from watching pros and asking myself why they do what they do.The one thing all these techniques have in common is they require you to stay alive. If you’re trying to flank and aggressively challenge enemies and go for kills and die, you’re giving the opposing team opportunities to win. If you see a hard push coming to your site and decide to stand your ground and die without being traded, it’s bad even if you get a kill. It’s (almost) always better to retreat and use util to delay the push until someone can support you. I won’t go through every situation, but the general idea is STAY ALIVE and give your team a chance to support you or at least trade you/utilize your death.
- Play for the round, not the frags. I mean as a duelist, enter on site first and create space for your team, even if that means dying. As a sentinel or controller, make sure to follow your duelists, support them and place yourself in situations where you can trade them when they go in.Stop trying to get free kills on the rotation while your team is trying to take a site, all it does is pad your kda and boost your ego. It doesn’t mean you can’t look for rotation kills or flanks while your team fakes a site, but if they commit to a site you need to stop sitting in a corner trying to get a free kill from across the map. Especially if you’re the duelist or breach that the team needs in order to enter on site.
- Learn how to play for retake with your specific character. Very often, you can secure half the site for your team, which creates space for your team to retake the site after a plant. For example, if you’re Brimstone on bind A site, smoking off u-hall and mollying the entrance as the opposing team commits to site almost guarantees that you can keep control of it while they plant, which significantly reduces the number of angles your team has to check before going for the defuse. Similar plays are available for a lot of champions, the key is staying alive and holding the amount of ground you can. It’s very often better than to peek, maybe get a kill and then die and force your team to retake blindly while having to check every angle possible.
There’s a million small things like don’t run after faking the defuse because it’ll tell your opponents that you didn’t stick it, or don’t slow peak around key corners, or don’t not hit your shots, etc. But honestly, I suck. I’m not good at micromechanics.
The one thing I started actively practicing which has significantly improved my results is crosshair placement. This is something that I feel is the biggest most significant improvement most people can make in a very short amount of time that will net them a lot more kills. Just put your crosshair where you think the adversary is going to be before you peek around a corner instead of slowly turning around the corner. When holding an angle, put your crosshair where you think the adversary’s head is going to be when he peeks out of a corner. You’d be surprised how many more kills you get just by using pure reflex instead of having to actually aim.
Anyway! I hope this helps someone!
Edit: Woah that’s a whole lot of awards! Thank you guys, I didn’t expect that!
Something else I should mention that I forgot: Don’t overplay. I rarely do more than 3 games a day and I take at least 5-10 mins between games. This is a rhythm that works for me, maybe it’s more or less for you, but chaining back-to-back games for hours on end never yielded great results for me. Just getting up and getting the blood moving a little bit helps a lot.