Updated on December 16, 6:00 p.m. (GMT+8): Added photos, edited introduction.
Tyson “TenZ” Ngo is one of the biggest stars in the Valorant scene. Through streaming and competing in Valorant esports tournaments, he established himself as a fan-favorite player.
The Canadian pro used the skills he honed from his days competing in CS:GO, fusing them with the new things he learned when he made the switch to Valorant in 2020.
Even when Valorant was still new, TenZ was already sharing his vast knowledge of the game and put together a list of important tips that players can use to improve their Valorant game.
Here are his top 10 tips on how to rank up in Valorant.
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TenZ’s top 10 tips on how to rank up in Valorant
1. Practice with two to three agents
Aim to build a small agent pool when starting out in Valorant. Avoid playing all the agents at the start because that will prevent you from mastering a specific playstyle.
Don’t try to specialize with just one or two agents either, because other players might pick them too.
TenZ shared tha, when he started playing Valorant, he kept on picking Jett. But he soon began to struggle when someone else picked the character since he didn’t know how to play any other agent.
That was when he started picking Viper, a character no one else specialized in at the time. “I got used to her, and now she’s my favorite character,” said TenZ in 2020.
2. Strategize with your team about your agent composition
Having the right agent composition will help you win more games. So coordinate with your teammates at the start of the round and pick agents that complement each other well.
Riot designed some agents to excel in certain situations, and picking the proper lineup will give your team an advantage, whether it’s in attacking or defending.
3. Try to win most of your unrated matches
TenZ believes that your first 20 unrated matches will help form your initial account ranking.
Before playing your five placement matches — a system that is designed to determine your skill level in order to place you in your proper rank — players are required to play 20 unrated matches.
TenZ explained that he performed well during his unrated matches, and this earned him an immortal ranking after he finished all five of his placement matches.
4. Avoid solo queuing
Valorant is a team game, and playing with a squad — that also wants to rank up like you — helps you all come out on top in ranked matches.
TenZ also said that there is still a good chance you will be matched up with a group of players, even if you’re solo queued.
Playing against opponents who know each other could lower your chances of winning because they might have some set plays or have better synergy with each other.
5. Don’t bait and work together on attack
“On attack on any map, make sure you coordinate with your team and your constantly communicate on what you want to do,” said TenZ.
“Don’t bait your teammates for stats, thinking you’ll rank up faster,” he continued. “Be mindful that Valorant is a team game, and winning will ensure you rank up faster.”
6. Avoid careless deaths on defense
When holding sites as a defender, never fight one on one or give free kills against enemies, TenZ explained.
If you allow attackers an opening into the site, then they’ll have an easier time getting in and establishing strong positions.
7. Go for impact plays
Impact frags are kills that help you win the round. These are the type of plays that stop attackers from pushing into the site.
It could also be a kill against an opponent holding a strong position, and opens up the map for the rest of your teammates.
8. Stay positive
Keeping a positive attitude will always motivate your team to stay in the game.
Even after losing consecutive rounds, having an optimistic attitude will help your team build momentum.
Since Valorant is a game where teams are racing to reach 13 round wins, momentum plays a big part in every game.
9. Study the pros
Watching and studying professional players’ streams will help you make better decisions in your own ranked matches.
Learn how they play their agents and how they use specific weapons, which you can later incorporate into your own playstyle.
10. Don’t queue ranked if you’re tilted
Lastly, TenZ advises players to avoid chasing after wins if they’re already on a losing streak. Desperately going for wins after long ranked sessions won’t help you play better and could set you back if you’ve already been struggling in your previous games.
READ MORE: How to play Valorant: A beginner’s guide for players new to competitive FPS