Admin He Doing It Sideways

20:00, 01 Jul 2020

Chances are, if you are as addicted to VALORANT as I am, you have seen this video from a gamer named Flights. If you haven’t, I implore you to check it out right this second, because I am going to take you on a journey of pure, absolute, unadulterated joy.

Flights is using Raze’s satchel charges and rocket launcher combined with some very skilful air strafing to triple-boost himself into absolutely ridiculous positions. For a tactical FPS game where gameplay even at its fastest pace can be tense and slow, Flights has charted a beacon of speed and exhilaration that makes for some truly incredible content. Although it is not his first video of this technique, this particular video went the most viral on the VALORANT subreddit and gave him quite the surge in viewers.

This is possibly the goofiest fun you can have in VALORANT without outright throwing for memes, and once you’re done having your mind blown, we’re going to break it down together. I want to see lobbies worldwide full of brain-dead Raze mains yeeting themselves down mid for a clip.

Mindblown? This godlike level of clownery and stomping of your ranked opponents is both harder than it looks, and yet, pretty accessible to the regular solo queue plebs like you and me. To get a better grasp on how this tech was invented and how to master it, I reached out to the man himself, Flights.

For those of you who are unaware - movement in tac shooters has been a huge phenomenon for decades. In the Source engine, which Counter-Strike was built on, you can use bunny hopping, combined with air strafing and mouse movement to rapidly gain speed. Used on sloped surfaces, one can do incredible stunts, and time-trial courses have been made where players can compete with one another in this skill. Surf and KZ servers have been around in CS forever, and air strafing and airshots are a huge part of top-tier Team Fortress 2 gameplay, a game also in the Source engine. Surfing in CS is absolutely huge for a mechanic that isn’t even core to the game, and Flights tells me, in fairly dulcet tones for a Manchester-accented bloke, that he clocked over 1000 hours in surf alone before he ever touched ranked in CS.

While VALORANT is made in the Unreal engine, Riot has mimicked the movement mechanics of the Source engine almost perfectly, so all of this is possible in VALORANT as well. Flights says he initially got noticed for some high-skill movement trickshots in Apex Legends, which is incidentally also made in the Source engine, and especially at launch had high rewards for skilled players who could bunny hop proficiently, as this was the only way you could heal and move quickly at the same time in the game.

One early star of this genre of using insane mechanically skilled movement to trounce enemies in ranked was Phoon, who made some of the most iconic fragmovies of all time, in any game, in CS 1.6. When Flights started getting noticed for his VALORANT videos, people immediately started calling him the Phoon of this game, filling his comments with "admin he doing it sideways", quoting the great meme from Phoon’s classic fragmovie, Too Much For ZBlock. Flights welcomes this comparison, saying that he draws inspiration from Phoon’s playstyle heavily, as using movement this well can make you show up at certain areas in the map at very unexpected times, catching your enemy off guard and messing up the flow of their game.

One of Flights’ most recent videos is a tutorial. He says he isn’t necessarily trying to raise an army of inting Raze mains, but that since his videos were getting traction, people would figure it out anyway, and after getting so many requests for a tutorial, he may as well give the people what they want.

So you now know how to time your satchels perfectly to get as much distance as possible. This will take practice but get you far. However - you can’t do it every round. Flights frequently gets asked how many times he fails an attempt at the satchel boosting before landing a sick clip for his videos but informs me that he often “fails” by boosting into enemy territory early in the round, only to find empty space, having wasted his satchels. This apparently occurs more than him actually getting caught out by the enemy and killed in the process… which surprised me, as I die unbelievably frequently when attempting this in my games.

When I asked him about this, and the people who say they would hate to have someone like him in their games, he responded:

It is a high-risk thing, you can’t do it every round. You can maybe do it against good players… twice a half, before they realise what you’re doing.

Therein may lie my problem… Learn from my mistakes, and don’t bust out the double boost every round.

In the comments of one of his videos that were released during the beta of the game, Flights raised concerns that they may nerf Raze’s movement before the launch of the game. This never happened, although when I asked him, he indicated that he was still concerned it could happen, but not in the way I was thinking: Rather than directly nerf Raze’s satchel boost speed, he suspects if she does receive a nerf it would be to the time it takes to pull out her gun after the animation of her throwing satchels finishes. Right now, you can land from a double boost, and immediately pull out your gun and start shooting people, even before you land, albeit with much lower accuracy.

However, for a character like Jett, who also has movement abilities, her dash has a small delay from the end of the dash animation and the time that you can fire your first bullet, making it not viable to dash directly into the line of sight of your enemies, like you can with the Raze satchel boosts.

He does hope that Riot will add more movement skill-based agents to the game, and not just with linear movement like Jett, characters like Raze that make the most of the acceleration you can gain by playing with the physics of the engine. To be honest, I agree with him. This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing any tac shooter, and I too want more toys in my toybox.

You can find Flights on Twitter @FlightsSoar, and YouTube through the above videos.

Images via Riot Games

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