Will Nanobomb Impact Valorant’s Player Count?

Home » Will Nanobomb Impact Valorant’s Player Count?

Riot Games finally confirmed what fans have suspected, after several hints of Raze’s and KillJoy’s in-game lines. On December 11, they posted pictures of the two agents’ trip to Salvador, where the final picture shows the girls kissing on a bench during a party. Raze and Killjoy are the first LGBTQ+ partners in Valorant, but the company said it’s “the worst-kept secret”. They obviously planned on building up this relationship for some time.

Avoiding Answers

Two years ago, there was a Reddit Q&A where David “Riot KingKut” Nottingham, Valorant’s creative director said these two agents seem to be just friends. This, obviously, didn’t convince the fans since there were multiple signs that KillJoy and Raze are actually lovebirds. Besides the flirty dialogues in the game, the two were often portrayed together in Valorant media. But Riot didn’t speak up about the fans’ suspicion until now. The girls are officially in a relationship!

Censored in Some Regions

Riot is aware of different cultures and laws all around the globe, and their LGBTQ+ champions and agents are differently presented in some countries. When they released K’Sante in League of Legends, Riot said for Sky News that “Each region may publish certain aspects of the game a little bit differently to fit into the local culture”. In regions where same-sex marriages are illegal, the word “lover” is replaced with “partner” in LGBTQ+ relationships between champions. Pictures and other features of “explicit” content are also carefully presented in these regions.

Different Reactions to Nanobomb

Right after posting the controversial picture on Valorant’s official Twitter account, they tweeted only one word: “nanobomb”. The Nanobomb pictures collected 19K various comments, 144.4K retweets, and 639.1K likes. While most of the fans are happy for the couple and call this Riot’s move “a win” for the industry, there are others who aim their homophobic shouts at the first lesbian couple in Valorant. The third section of fans says that the game doesn’t need this kind of story since players are here just to play. Also, many streamers and influencers supported the two agents’ disclosed relationship.

Riot Promotes Diversity and Inclusion

In recent years, Riot Games have been working hard on including women and underrepresented minorities in the company and gaming community. After the women’s discrimination lawsuit from 2018, which ended with Riot paying a $100 million fee, the League of Legends developer became very committed to the goal of promoting diversity and inclusion. Bringing same-sex relationships and homosexual agents/champions into the games can be another Riot’s attempt to make players from all minority groups feel included. And this step certainly is a win!

Is It Just for Marketing?

Several comments in the thread claimed that this kind of Riot’s content is just a part of the LGBTQ+ marketing strategy. Some say it seems forced because they assumed the agents were straight, despite the years of Riot teasing us and giving slight hints about the nature of Raze and KillJoy’s relationship. 

However, in an interview from 2021, the executive producer of League of Legends, Jeremy Lee, said that they want “everyone who plays League Of Legends to find a champion that resonates with them”. This also applies to Valorant, and it totally makes sense. Regardless of the reason for announcing the new relationship, it’s a nice move – and more people will hopefully feel more included and noticed while playing the game.

A Point Well Made

Among all kinds of comments on Valorant’s Twitter post, one user said: “Uninstall’ please do if you get mad over this. Lobbies getting cleaned out from toxic players”. And she was right! According to the ADL report “Hate is No Game: Harassment and Positive Social Experiences in Online Games 2021”, there is an alarming amount of players who experienced some kind of harassment in online games. This toxic behavior can have devastating consequences, especially if directed at younger players. The harassment is often based on identity, which is the reason why a high percentage of players hide their true identity behind in-game nicknames.

How Many People Play Valorant?

According to several different player tracking sites, Valorant gets about two million active players every day. On monthly basis, the game has an average of at least 13 million people who actively play. The highlight of this year’s player count was in October: there were 22.5 million players. Considering that the game was released two years ago, this is an enormous success. And the best part is – the Valorant community is rapidly growing every year.

How About LoL?

League of Legends, Riot’s game from 2009 is still one of the most played in the world. Every day, there are 20-30 million people playing, and in 2022 the monthly average number of players is 180 million. Now, we know that LoL has many LGBTQ+ champions (Diana, Leona, Graves, Nami, Neeko, Twisted Fate, K’Sante, and more to be confirmed). Not a single month did the number of players go down because of these champions and possible homophobic players. All we know is that the LoL player number is going up month by month!

The Impact of Nanobomb

If any change to Valorant’s player count this relationship brings, it will be positive. Riot Games know what they’re doing, and it’s obvious – their games are insanely popular and more successful from year to year. Through nanobomb and different characters, they empower members of minorities and let them feel good and accepted even in the virtual world. And you know what they say: haters gonna hate, so we’ll always have negative comments about great news!

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