Riot Games‘ new shooter game Valorant has been growing in popularity even though the game is currently in closed beta. Its viewership on Twitch.tv and positive responses from its beta-stage player base are ever-increasing. With more and more people not only playing Valorant but also watching it, many have started to question the story of the game, including the history of the Radiants and the setting of the story.
All of this can be explained with the fictional element Radianite. It’s mentioned often in certain Agents’ quotes, like Cypher’s, but it’s also Valorant’s in-game currency — and so much more. Radianite is explained as a mysterious new element that appears after a cataclysmic event called “The First Light.” It is unknown what caused this event, but theories range from aliens to science experiments gone wrong. What is known is that the First Light was the start of strange things to come.
During the event, the world was shaken and changed, all of which can be seen while exploring the three current maps and the tutorial map in Valorant. The game clearly takes place after the First Light. Radianite is a very valuable element by the time players begin and there even appears to be a religion created around the events of the First Light or the powers of Radianite, which can be seen on the stained glass of a church during the tutorial.
Soon after Radianite’s discovery, people began to realize exposure to the element can grant people superpowers. Each power appears to be themed after the four elements: Fire, water, Earth and air. Those who managed to acquire these superpowers from exposure to Radianite are called Radiants. This gave birth to a shadow organization known as the “Valorant Protocol,” whose main purpose is to deal with all things Radianite- and Radiant-related to keep the world in a state of order.
In order to deal with Radianite-related troubles, the Valorant Protocol needs to recruit special and talented people. This includes skilled warriors and fighters, but also Radiants of their own. This is the origin of the playable Agents within Valorant. Regardless of their power status or moral code, so long as they’re skilled enough to get the job done, they’re considered Agents of the Valorant Protocol.
In Valorant, it may be a bit tough to tell which Agent is a Radiant and which is not. That is because a lot of other Agents’ “superpowers” actually come from futuristic technology. For example, Sova is able to detect the position of players by linking his detection arrows and his drone to his augmented eye, while Brimstone actually has control over a space satellite that he uses to fire down onto the map.
So far, confirmed Radiants are Jett, Sage, Omen and Phoenix. Jett can manipulate the air around her; Sage appears to conjure ice or earth while also reviving the dead; Omen can teleport and manipulate shadows; and Phoenix can come back to life and conjure fire.
Radianite can also have severe negative effects on people exposed to it, as seen by Omen. Omen appears to have connections with death and the natural balance. Omen also has some quotes where he implies he has become immortal, fleshless and a monster.
Though players cannot find a piece of raw Radianite in Valorant, if they pay attention to map details, they may notice a mysterious company is trying to monopolize the Radianite: Kingdom Corporation. Certain Agents are also linked to the Kingdom Corporation, like Omen and Brimstone. Both of them wear symbols resembling a “K” on their outfits, which is a trademark of the Kingdom Corporation.
The Kingdom Corporation seems to store Radianite in crates (green ones usually found at the Spike sites, as well as orange crates which are assumed to be full of unstable Radianite) and experiment with it. They are the company responsible for creating the Spike, the Defuser and the floating islands in the tutorial. Sharp-eyed players will notice Kingdom’s name and logo almost everywhere on each map and notice how the company appears to take over towns and cities to set up research labs or storage warehouses.
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Valorant's rising popularity has left many questions unanswered, including the origin of Agents' superpowers and where the game takes place.