Team Deathmatch is a permanent mode added to Valorant with the release of Episode 7 Act 1.

Valorant Team Deathmatch has players competing on three newly designed maps. Their goal? To reach 100 team kills.

It introduces new gameplay mechanics, which include no economy, restricted weapon loadouts, and high uptime for all players.

The mode stands out as a unique experience compared to its predecessors. It combines elements from the tactical first-person shooter genre, such as the intense aim duels from Deathmatch and the strategic utilization of agent abilities.

ONE Esports sat down with Riot Games Product Manager Coleman Palm and Valorant Game Designer Kyle Powell at an exclusive interview at VCT Masters Tokyo and discussed how TDM was created and how it played completely different in its early stages.

You could dunk on your opponents in the initial version of Valorant Team Deathmatch, according to devs

Valorant agent Raze seen in the Color of the Town One Year Celebration video by Riot Games
Screenshot by Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

During the early stages of TDM’s development, Powell explained how they wanted to have Valorant’s “intricate gameplay mechanics” in compact spaces. They also wanted to provide players with meaningful choices in terms of weapon loadouts and combat options, while maintaining an expedient and action-packed experience. 

“Team Deathmatch is one of the best ways or a really good opportunity for us to provide that sort of like high uptime and low commitment, but still fundamentally competitive and core experience to the game,” said Palm.

While discussing the design process, Powell shared how the initial version of TDM looked very different compared to the final product — an experimental concept that sounded more like Rocket League than tactical FPS.

“At one point, there was like a ball you could dunk in the opponent’s goal,” said Powell. “I remember just Sage walling off our goal, and the enemy Raze came with the ball, flying over the Sage wall and dunking it in.”

Valorant Team Deathmatch map District
Credit: Riot Games

The first iteration of Team Deathmatch was a “completely separate experience.” Instead of continuing with the goal-focused mode, Powell explained they wanted to focus on how they could translate the things players already love about Valorant.

“A lot of these crazy mechanics were detracting from the experience that we wanted, “said Palm. “That’s when a lot of our systems and mechanics started to take a back seat. We want Valorant’s core combat to be the thing that we’re best supporting.”

Riot Games views Team Deathmatch as one of the best ways to provide a high uptime, low commitment, and fundamentally competitive experience for players.

However, the team is continually evaluating the mode’s place within the overall ecosystem of Valorant. They want to ensure that other premier offerings, such as Competitive, Unrated, and Swiftplay remain healthy. Their continued goal is to provide a diverse range of experiences to cater to different player preferences, Palm added.

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