In the recent VALORANT dev diaries, Riot Games finally gave confirmation about the existence of a test server for VALORANT.
Similar to League of Legends, this test server will let Riot test out all the future updates before they go live on the actual servers. It was done in order to ensure they can deliver quality updates in a timely manner.
The incident with patch 1.11 encouraged them to dedicate more time for testing. Since VALORANT is a complex game with 150 plus developers working on it at the same time, merging different parts together can create unforeseen bugs that can be somewhat mitigated with the existence of a test server.
Test server incoming
Riot already hinted at a potential public test server awhile back, but this time they officially confirmed it for 2021. More details regarding the exact implementation will be given in 2021.
Having a public test server will be a great tool for fixing bugs before they hit the live servers. It also gives the developers more freedom to try out more unique and risky updates. Riot already declared that they will take more risks while introducing future agents in the game. The introduction of a test server will definitely help in that endeavor.