Pride update coming to hit shooter Valorant, leak suggests – but gamers are divided
Pride Player Cards are on their way to online shooter Valorant, according to a leak.
Discovered by data miner RumbleMike, the cards will be available for a limited amount of time from the start of June – coinciding with Pride month.
Players will be able to grab the cards from the official Valorant website, they won’t be included in the existing battle pass.
Seven cards will be available representing the flags of the LGBT+ community: gay, transgender, pansexual, non-binary, bisexual, asexual and lesbian.
PRIDE Playercards | #VALORANT
~ Will be available with Code Redemption on June 3rd pic.twitter.com/27AVdhFh5C
— Mike – Valorant Leaks & Info (@ValorLeaks) April 23, 2021
The cards will be visible to other players when competing online and are meant to represent the diversity of Valorant players.
It’s a bold move from developer Riot Games, who don’t have a great track record with diverse representation.
Despite the online character shooter’s range of characters, Riot itself has been heavily criticised in the past for its internal sexism, per an incendiary report by Kotaku.
And while the company has made strides since then, just recently co-founder Marc Merrill deleted a controversial tweet he posted around critical race theory.
So while these Pride Player Cards are a step towards promoting diversity, many are sceptical at how Riot will handle any backlash.
There has been some positive reaction to the cards on social media, with players excited to show off their sexuality with pride.
There is overwhelming concern, however, that using the Pride Player Cards to highlight their sexuality will result in hate from other players.
me: using nb or lgbtq+ playercard
average valorant male player: pic.twitter.com/Ooll6mts7t
— ray (@RayStanToon) April 23, 2021
Well as a Bi myself this is a good representation but won't it just increase the homophobic/transphobic hate crimes in game if anyone wears these?
— Marchcello (@Marchcello1) April 23, 2021
RumbleMike himself muted his own tweet due to the “war of opinions” in the replies.
I had this tweet muted due to a war of opinions in the replies. Still, I think the cards are super cool.
— Mike – Valorant Leaks & Info (@ValorLeaks) April 25, 2021
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Riot Games is best known for the phenomenal League of Legends, the online battle arena game that’s prominent in the esports community.
Valorant is a free-to-play hero shooter rivalling Overwatch, in which teams of five compete as heroes with unique abilities in various game modes. It’s particularly popular with Twitch streamers.