Updated on April 25, 10:30 a.m. (GMT+8): Improved relevancy.

Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin is known for his incredible mastery as a Killjoy, Viper, and Cypher main who is able to successfully anchor sites against the top teams.

NAts’ creativity with the agent’s utilities and superior positioning had his opponents bewildered when he competed in his first international LAN event in Germany in 2021 at Masters Berlin,

In an interview with ONE Esports he shared why Cypher is his favorite agent and how he gets the most out of the intel-gathering sentinel.

Cypher official Valorant art
Credit: Riot Games

What makes Cypher such a strong agent in Valorant

NAts shared that Cypher was the agent he used when he first started playing Valorant. The sentinel agent’s abilities resonated with the Russian player as he believes he can do everything with said agent.

What is the anchor role in Valorant?

The ‘anchor role’ originated from Counter-Strike. It refers to players who are left alone on the site with the goal of holding it, or who delay the enemy team and prevent them from taking complete control of the site.

Anchor role players are also the last ones to rotate. It is one of the hardest roles to play in competitive FPS, because you can’t expect any help from your teammates until they’ve rotated.

Sentinels and controllers are the best anchor classes in Valorant because of their ability to delay the enemy team from advancing.

nAts, Gambit Esports, VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin, Valorant, Riot Games
Credit: Riot Games

How nAts plays the anchor role in Valorant using Cypher

On the defender side, he often tells his teammates to make plays around the map, since he’s able to play the anchor role on defense.

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1. Divide and conquer

Cypher players should look for individual gunfights against attackers by utilizing their agent abilities. Getting consecutive one-on-one engagements increases the likelihood of holding a site.

First, players should use a Spycam to see if the enemy team is committing to a push.

Utilize your Trapwires entry routes to slow the enemy team down. This will split up the attackers and let you focus on enemies who enter the site first.

Be careful of players using Raze’s Blast Packs, or Jett’s Updrafts and Tailwind to get over your abilities. These entry plays could catch you off-guard.

2. Deny them information

Use the Cyber Cages to deny the enemy team vision of where you are. Remember, you could even hide inside the Cyber Cages. An audio cue will be triggered when an enemy agent enters the Cyber Cage, which should give you the upper hand.

Cypher’s abilities are perfect for pinpointing where enemies are on the map. With this information, players can move in and out of cover. They can also move to new defensive positions to surprise opponents, which nAts is proficient at.

nAts’ lurk plays explained

NAts also shared he enjoys lurking on attack. Playing Cypher requires plenty of patience.

1. Keep track of your opponents’ tendencies

Players should be constantly tracking the enemy agents’ whereabouts in order to know where and when to begin their lurk. They should also keep in mind which parts of the map agents are defending in each round.

2. Communication is key

Coordinating with your team is critical because they will be the ones to let you know where to make your move.

Defenders sometimes over-rotate when they hear movement and ability usage on the map. You can catch them off-guard when they’re moving around the map.

3. Cover your flanks

Cypher is also the ideal agent to counter aggressive defenders that decide to push toward the attackers’ side of the map. Leaving Trapwires in certain areas will inform your team how much space defenders currently control.

Gambit Esports went on to win Masters Berlin with nAts seen as the MVP of the entire tournament. The Russian squad swept their North American rivals Team Envy 3-0, winning US$225,000 in prize money.

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