Riot aims to add 30 agents before trying out the Pick/Ban feature

Ever since Valorant evolved from its beta phase in June 2020, Riot has left no stone unturned when it comes to polishing their FPS project with new content and regular game updates. In fact, today’s the day when Riot released Valorant, while the latter still in its beta phase and was previously dubbed as ‘Project A’.

With the game-play getting tuned in every possible update along with a blooming professional scene,  the community has been putting forth several ideas before the game developers which do include an Agent Pick/Ban system. Today Riot responded to this request where they stated that their primary goal is to have 30 agents in their game first before inculcating the Pick/Ban feature within the game. Having started the Beta journey with 10 agents, we saw a gradual and steady growth in Valorant’s Agent roster. Across the past year, more than 5 agents have been added to the first-person shooter till now. With the game developers insisting on the addition of more than 15 agents to their pool, we might not be able to witness the pick/ban feature for the next 3 and a half to 4 years.

Currently, the Pick/Ban feature has been operational in Ubisoft Montreal’s Rainbow Six Siege, yet another First person tactical shooter. 

On Reddit, there have been some discussions brewing about Valorant getting an edge over their pool of agents, just like League of Legends with some basic agents (too easy for the beginners to catch upon) and thereafter some complex heroes, role, and strat wise. Tuning the Pick/Ban system in such an environment might bring in a new meta for the game’s professional scene. 

In a interview on Twitch, Nicholas Wu Smith added, 

It also really depends on if we get as much good competition out of banning stuff versus other games. Other games ban, but is it actually better? 

He further elaborated on the same by mentioning ex-Cloud9 Blue Valorant player, Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo where he stated, 

Is it better to see TenZ on Jett more often, or is it better that we never see that because it always gets banned against that team?

Statistically, TenZ has been a Jett-Main ever since he started to play Valorant professionally and has registered a pick rate of 63% across his games. Now just imagine the opposition banning Jett which would force him to change his pick. 

Now this thing will change his and other players’ meta and game plans while charging up for their competitive fixtures. 

The same above thing was backed and mentioned by Senior Game Designer Trevor Romleski who added, 

We expect teams to have set plays and strategies that will require very specific Agents. Banning an Agent would invalidate that entire strategy, and we don’t want to discourage the practice.

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