The state of Valorant in 2022: an unstoppable machine

Valorant has been an undeniable success. Though it might not be the hottest topic in common gaming conversations, its esports scene is thriving and the community continues to grow. I’ve recently ended up on Valorant Tiktok and there are even specific influencers for the scene, sharing their Viper line ups, toxic experiences with other players, hilarious fails, and triumphant aces. The community in and around Valorant is alive and well, and it seems that all is going to plan, huh Riot?

Valorant came out as an obvious riff on Counter Strike mechanics mixed with a hearty helping of Overwatch’s cartoony heroes. An inviting aesthetic meets brutal time-to-kill shootouts; a successful cocktail now almost two years on from its full release, with more maps, more agents, and an exciting esports scene.

Admittedly not everything is fine and dandy with the game. Though gunplay was pitched as the great equaliser by Riot, the abilities of agents skew results and maps are noticeably loved or hated. Jett was overpowered from day one as the must-play Duelist, and it took almost two years to go through a significant nerf to try and combat that. Astra’s pick rate became awful after a heavy nerf and Chamber is going through a similar fate. Queues for competition revolve around who wants to dodge the map Breeze or if your agent of choice is already taken. There are still design issues that make the game a little frustrating.

Valorant's Sova, Phoenix, Viper, Jett, and Cypher.

(Image credit: Riot Games)

The reason Valorant has attracted and importantly kept so many players is because of Riot’s quick turn around with changes, with regular map updates, bug fixes, and so many agent additions it could make your head spin. There is a constant flow of content. The game now has double the agents it had at launch which is impressive if not intimidating. And as dreamy as that sounds, it can get a little nightmarish. What a Valorant player actually thinks about the game can change drastically depending on the season and recent updates. If you spent a lot of time playing Valorant six months ago, took a break, and came back to it, the meta would be unrecognisable. And that means your main agent could be left in the dust.

Valorant’s Agents

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