Riot Games is reportedly experimenting with a new cascading agent select feature in Valorant, according to prominent leaker and dataminer ValorLeaks.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about such a system. Back in January, Valorant designer Jon Walker talked about the cascading pick system in a developer live stream and how it was designed to mitigate situations where players instalock an agent.
In the latest iteration of the system, players have to wait their turn to select the agent they want to play, similar to champion selection in League of Legends ranked games, which means that there’s a good chance they may not be able to pick their main.
How the cascading agent select system might work
The current version of the system gives each player 10 seconds to choose their agent, where players select their character in the order they are on screen.
Players can also pick a second agent as a preference, which will appear as a tiny icon at the bottom right corner of their main agent portrait.
If they don’t pick, the next player will presumably get their turn first, while the original player will be bumped further down the line.
As it turns out, pro players and fans aren’t thrilled at the prospect of cascading agent select. Many were concerned about the fact that the system would potentially increase the number of dodged games and overall toxicity, especially when players aren’t able to secure the agent they want.
For instance, the system could force players who only know how to play one agent into a role they’re not comfortable with. If said player is unable to perform, it only ends up ruining the experience for others.
It also hinges on players choosing an agent based on what the team needs instead of what they want to play, which seems a bit of a stretch, especially at the lower ranks.
Riot has been sending out surveys for players to give feedback on the system in its current form. Having said that, the feature is still very much a work-in-progress and may end up looking very different, assuming it ever gets released.