Winning With Warm-ups: Become a Ranked Demon featuring Tips From Theia

Let’s just be honest here, if you’re not warming up before a match, what are you doing? Going into a game “raw” is a huge detriment to yourself and others. But what can be worse is warming up incorrectly! To help figure out how you should warm-up, we asked Dignitas Valorant player Theia for advice and for a warm-up routine.

Valorant

Warming up (for any activity, not just gaming) is extremely important if you want to perform your best at a certain task. How you warm up best is very dependent on the task. For Valorant, there are a plethora of ways to warm up to target certain skillsets. But not all warm-ups are created equally, and we’ll be diving into figuring out which is the best for you with Dignitas Valorant's Melisa "Theia" Mundorff!

Okay, But Why?

Warming up is beneficial, I think everyone knows that, but rarely do people talk about why, and it’s deeper than you think. The first and obvious reason is that it physically gets you used to the motions involved in the activity -- in this case, moving with your keyboard and aiming with your mouse.

Secondly, warming up helps increase confidence. When you warm up, you will naturally feel like you are more prepared to actually play in a match and will naturally be more confident. How important is being confident exactly? Well, I went in-depth on my Mental Guide but to sum it up, confidence changes the way you aim and the way you approach the game at a fundamental level. Some examples are shown below of how confidence can affect you:

Finally, warming up is also an opportunity to focus on something you want to improve on, like not crouching instantly or counter-strafing. These can all be done during a warm-up routine, and you will more likely retain those habits/skills in your matches than if you otherwise did not practice those skills during your warm-up.

Warm-ups are important because you can focus on one thing you want to improve on.

- Theia

How do I warm up?

Warming up is very personal, and each person will warm up differently. But to get you started there are several tools and resources to help you with warming up.

Aim Lab/Kovaaks: Both are programs designed to help train your aim, having isolated activities that do not involve spraying, movement, or any abilities and are purely based on clicking on objects and working on your raw, mechanical aim. While they are primarily made for training your aim, they are excellent tools to warm up with and to make sure your aim is feeling extra snappy.

The Range: Valorant has a special in-game map that is specifically made to help you warm up with bots to shoot, tests to help with your reaction time, and targets to show your spray control. This method is a great way to warm up.

Deathmatches: While the deathmatch mode in Valorant is certainly not perfect, it is an excellent way, and my personal way to warm up in Valorant. I deathmatch due to the fact that it is a perfect way to get used to the movement, bullet spread, bullet sprays, and a great way to work on aim, all wrapped up into one game mode. Furthermore, your enemies shoot back at you, which is a bit more realistic than the range or an aim trainer.

A Match: A practice game is the ultimate way to get yourself warmed up, as you use all the skills required for a game. I am on my university’s Valorant team and before a match, we do 1 or 2 custom matches with another team before an official match, and it makes a world of difference. So if you are about to run some competitive games with a bud, try doing an unranked game before, and see if that works for you.

Now that you know the tools, how should you use those tools? Well, we here at Dignitas suggest you make your warm-up routine anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, 30 minutes being the sweet spot. Warming up too little has very little effect on your gameplay and warming up for too long can cause fatigue and even make you play worse.

Around 30 minutes is the sweet spot.

- Theia

When doing an exercise in-game for 30 minutes, this can start straining your muscles and wrist, so it’s important to use good gear and accessories. For a gaming mouse, we recommend the HyperX Pulsefire Haste Gaming Mouse. Its ergonomic design and grip tape will make those frequent warm up exercises less straining on your hands. Now the Pulsefire Haste has two new color variations as well - you will be able to pick your favorite among black, black/red, and white/pink to enjoy the lightweight and precise aiming.

To start off your warmup, we suggest you start off with the simplest and easiest part of your warmup, just to get you started, whether that grid shot or an equivalent activity in an aim trainer, or shooting bots in practice mode at the range. Basically, any activity just to get your hands adjusted to the dexterity required to aim. If you try an activity that may be too dexterous you may not do that well on it, and therefore can hurt your confidence and overall performance. This will be the shortest part of your routine, probably taking around 5 minutes or so.

Then, once you feel ready, do some activities focused on control, whether that be going for one-tap only on some bots in the range, using the Guardian in a deathmatch, or any tracking or tracing activity in an aim trainer. This is just to help build control and to steady your aim. Having a steady crosshair is extremely important to keep your crosshair placement consistent and will help you greatly in-game. This part shouldn’t take too long, around 10 minutes or so.

Next, and finally, go for your hardest warm up activity, whether that be trying to win a deathmatch, get 18+ on hard bots in the range, or any equivalent task in an aim trainer. This is just to hone your aim and get it to the place you feel prepared. This part should take the longest, around 15 minutes.

Now, how does a pro like Theia from our Valorant roster warm-up? Like we said, a warmup is personal and not always the same. So her warm up heavily depends, but it generally goes as so:

Personally, I like to go into Aim Lab and like to do the Valorant warm-up routines. I think that doing that, and also deathmatching a few times is great. I think that before a team practice, doing a ranked match is great just to try and get your mechanics working, you know? Because you can’t really practice that in a deathmatch.

- Theia

The Dignitas Recommended Routine

To get you started, we came up with a routine all entirely encompassed in the range to get you ready for a match:

1. Start off your routine by turning your bots on practice mode, walking to the back of the range, and going for double headshots on the Classic. A big part of the Classic is the fact that two headshots will kill an enemy, no matter what. So it is crucial you get used to quickly double-tapping an enemy to dispatch them as soon as possible. Do this for about a minute.

2. Next up, grab your Vandal, go to the front of the range, and practice quickly switching from one target to another. This will help in overall dexterity and accuracy. Do this for about two minutes.

3. Next up go all the way back to the wall outside the range, and try jiggling out the corner and shooting the bots with your sheriff while counter strafing. This is to practice jiggle peeking and counter strafing, two very important skills. Do this for about two minutes.

4. Next, go to the front of the range, make sure your ammo is on infinite, and hold left click and try to get as many headshots as possible. Valorant’s sprays are completely random, so this activity will help you learn the micro-adjustments you need to make when spraying a gun. Do this for about a minute.

5. For our final activity in the range, do hard or medium bots, whichever one you feel more comfortable in, and go for a score that is 18 or higher. Do this one for about 4 minutes.

6. For the remaining time, around 20 minutes, go into a deathmatch game and try your best to win without holding angles and with your sound low. This is to isolate just your movement, spray mechanics, and aim to fully take advantage of the deathmatch for warming up.

Special Occasions and Conclusion

Now, there are some cases where your warmup can change greatly, for example, at a LAN event in a different environment. In those cases, go for an extra 15-30 minutes or so longer doing your final activity just to get used to the changes on that new setup.

Honestly, when we go to Boot Camp, I’ll warm up for like an hour before we start scrimming, because it is very new and you gotta, like, get comfortable with your keyboard, mousepad, mouse, and stuff. The same warm-up, just longer.

- Theia

As Theia said, getting comfortable with your hardware is an important part of a warmup. At Dignitas, players use HyperX gear like the HyperX Pulsefire Haste Gaming Mouse as our preferred choice. This ultra-lightweight mouse generates very little strain on your muscles during repetitive exercise, making it perfect for your warm-up routine and long gaming sessions.

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