As the Valorant meta continues to evolve, some agents just don’t get the same love as others. Currently, agents like Omen, Jett, Raze, Breach, and the double-info tandem of Cypher and Sova seem to be mainstays in the professional scene.
The First Strike tournament series showed us which agents gave teams the best chance at grabbing that gold on a worldwide scale, and which agents just can’t seem to find their place in the current meta.
The majority of the 18 countries that participated in the event had these five agents with the lowest pick rates:
Phoenix’s low pick rate tends to be because of players favoring Breach. Because Breach’s skills are great for, well, breaching, Phoenix’s skills are often overshadowed, with that duelist slot better going to a Jett or Raze, or even a Reyna.
With Skye entering the picture, Phoenix’s Curveball also takes a back seat, as Skye’s hawks offer information as well as a flash.
Brimstone makes the list because his skills rely on stable set plays. His skills are locked onto one area, which can be predictable and easy to move around in higher rank games.
Moreover, Brimstone’s Sky Smokes are limited, which means he’s probably better replaced by Omen, whose Dark Cover has longer range and is also free.
Valorant’s favorite chemist doesn’t get a lot of love in a competitive setting. Her skills, like Brimstone’s, are too predictable for pro play. While Viper’s Pit works well for spike plants, it’s still pretty risky as it affects both allies and opponents.
That’s not to say there weren’t some successful Viper plays. In fact, some teams, like FunPlus Phoenix and SUMN FC, made her their signature agent.
She was the only healer for quite a while but Sage’s healing isn’t as essential as it sounds. In a game like Valorant where sights on an enemy often mean instant death, healing just isn’t as much of a priority.
Resurrection can still turn the tide in a game, but more often than not, it leaves both Sage and the resurrectee in a vulnerable position.
Additionally, pros tend to prefer other utility skills, like smokes, over her Slow Orbs, and agents like Omen, Jett, and Raze can easily jump over her Barrier.
Skye makes the list not because she isn’t viable, but because she was banned from the First Strike qualifiers (along with the map Icebox). With such little time to incorporate her into team strategies, most teams arent comfortable enough picking her yet.
Liquid’s ScreaM shared his thoughts on Skye with ONE Esports. “It’s hard to change agents right before a tournament, but after this, Skye is definitely going to come in. She’s very strong. She brings a lot to a team if you play her the right way.”
With Skye already making appearances in the remaining tournaments for the year, you can bet we’ll be seeing more of her in 2021.