Valorant

100 Thieves’ Hiko explains why Cypher dominates Valorant pick rates

by Joe Craven

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Spencer 'Hiko' Martin, professional Valorant player for Nadeshot's 100 Thieves, has explained why Cypher is an "invaluable" Agent in Riot Games' new FPS title. 

Hiko started life in esports at Twitch, before starring as a professional Counter Strike: Global Offensive player. He most recently represented Rogue, before leaving Valve's FPS to pursue Valorant full time.

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While Valorant's competitive scene is yet to be fully established, Hiko has identified Cypher as one agent who is "invaluable" to teams of all calibres.

Valorant's Cypher.
Riot Games
Cypher has been described as "invaluable" by Hiko.

During a July 1 Twitch stream, Hiko was placing Valorant's agents into tiers, as we have seen a host of esports stars doing recently.

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Alongside Sage, Hiko placed Cypher into S-Tier - the best ranking possible. This surprised some of his viewers who considered Cypher powerful, but not necessarily among the very best in the game.

However, Hiko was on hand to explain his decision, reiterating how important Cypher can be to any team.

"Cypher was also S-Tier in the beta," he said. "If you look at the stats from the tournament this weekend - the T1 Valorant tournament - I think Cypher actually had the highest pick rate of all the agents."

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"I don't think that he's as good as he was before," Hiko continued. "But I think what he brings to your team, it's invaluable. There's no better agent at holding and stopping flanks. When you don't have a Cypher, you always constantly have to think about flanks."

He went on to explain that if he comes up against an enemy team that does not have a Cypher, he is able to flank them and ambush enemies.

"If you just look at the pick rate of Cypher this weekend," he finished. "Literally, I think it was 95 or 99% of all teams on all maps pick Cypher... His cameras, the amount of information he gives you, his cages being like smokes... he literally makes it, on attack, so hard for your team to flank."

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Cypher has been a popular pick since Valorant's beta launched, but nerfs to his abilities before the full game released saw his viability drop in the eyes of many.

Hiko, however, clearly thinks he's one of the top three agents in the game, regardless of the changes Riot have made to him so far. Whether future changes are the way is another matter but, for now, expect to see Cypher in nearly every competitive Valorant match.