Arena of Valor

Riot Games' Overwatch-killer is called "Valorant," new leaks suggest

The title of a new FPS from the developers of League of Legends, previously codenamed Project A, has leaked online alongside a revealing screenshot.

League of Legends developer Riot Games confirmed that it was working on a new first-person shooter codenamed Project A last year, but an official name may have been leaked if a trademark filing and new Twitter account are any indication. There's even a screenshot of the game out there that makes it look like Riot is hoping to take down Overwatch with this new game.

On Tuesday, the first major premature drop of information for Riot Games' new FPS came from Respawn First which noticed that Riot Games had not only filed a trademark for something called "Valorant" on February 20 but that a Twitter account called @PlayValorant also existed and was followed by prominent esports players and streamers. That was enough to get League of Legends fans excited for this new FPS

And all of that was before a screenshot emerged on Thursday, revealing characters, abilities, and more.

This is the Valorant screenshot that was leaked.

While the exact origin of the image is unknown, the highest quality version of the above photo was posted by a Twitter account called @ValorantTheGame, who also watermarked the images. It shows Sage, a new character who appears to be some kind of healer and debuffer. Her abilities appear to be Barrier Orb, which creates a solid wall to protect players; Slow Orb, which causes those caught inside it to be slowed down and brought to the ground; Healing Orb, which heals allies; and Resurrection, which can be used to revive allies. If you've ever wondered what it would be like in Overwatch if Mae, Zenyatta, and Mercy were fused into one, then Sage seems like she would be a good choice.

In addition to Sage, there are also portraits of several characters with the names Brimstone and Viper. The left side also shows a version of the game's chat, though it is worth noting that all of this is likely still a work in progress. Regardless, this is a pretty telling look at Valorant and it nicely embellishes the previously released gameplay footage.

Up until now, Valorant was only known as Project A and was first shown off in October 2019 to celebrate Riot Games' 10th anniversary. At the time, Executive Producer Anna Donlon stressed that Project A was a "character-based tactical shooter" that Riot will dedicate themselves to for "years and years to come." While you can see the game in action below, the best way to think of it is like Rainbow Six Siege meets Overwatch with a bit of Riot Games flair thrown in for good measure.

The Inverse Analysis

These leaks seem pretty spot-on and borderline irrefutable. The October reveal trailer also states that we will be hearing more in 2020, so the timing of these leaks is right. I would expect to Riot to fully unveil Valorant pretty soon or at least confirm the name in an official capacity. The FPS also looks pretty good on its own. By blending elements of hero shooters like Overwatch with tactical shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant should find a nice niche to nestle itself into. At the very least, I'm sure that it will have a lot of early support from avid League of Legends players.

It's great to see that Riot Games is finally expanding into new genres, and even what seems to be a new IP with games like Valorant. Hopefully, we don't have to wait too long for the game to be fully unveiled, as it still doesn't have a release window or even specified platforms just yet.

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