100 Thieves’ Hiko explains why Cypher dominates Valorant pick rates - Dexerto

100 Thieves’ Hiko explains why Cypher dominates Valorant pick rates

Published: 2/Jul/2020 12:58 Updated: 2/Jul/2020 13:04

by Joe Craven


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.


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.


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.”


“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.”


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.


Valorant First Strike Europe qualifiers: Schedule, eligibility, format

Published: 7/Oct/2020 17:06

by Jacob Hale


Valorant developers Riot Games have announced First Strike: Europe, the first-ever Valorant tournament wholly produced by Riot, set to kick off in November with some of the region’s best talent.

Since Valorant launched in June, it has become one of the most exciting games in esports, with players from all different titles migrating to Riot’s first-ever FPS. Some of the biggest competitors from the likes of Overwatch, CSGO and more are looking to make a name for themselves in the new shooter.


As a result, we’ve already seen some incredible talent, tense moments and top performances in a competitive setting, but now it’s becoming a little more official with the announcement of this highly-anticipated tournament.

So, with First Strike: Europe around the corner, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the tournament, and even get involved yourself.

Valorant First Strike art
Riot Games
First Strike is the first Valorant tournament organized entirely by developer Riot Games.

Valorant First Strike: Europe schedule

Open qualifiers for First Strike take place from November 9-22, giving teams around two weeks to stave off the best competition in the region and qualify for the main event.

The schedule for Open Qualifiers will be as follows:

  • Week 1
    • November 9-10: Qualifier A
    • November 11-12: Qualifier B
    • November 13: Play-In #1
    • November 14-15: Playoffs
  • Week 2
    • November 16-17: Qualifier C
    • November 18-19: Qualifier D
    • November 20: Play-In #2
    • November 21-22: Playoffs
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule.

After qualifiers have concluded, the main stage will be held from December 3-6. Here are the dates for each part of the main event:

  • December 3-4: Quarterfinals
  • December 5: Semifinals
  • December 6: Final
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule.

Eligibility for Valorant First Strike: Europe

As the name suggests, the Open Qualifiers for the tournament are open to (almost) anybody. You don’t have to be a pro player to sign up, but you have to be over the age of 16 and you will need to reach the rank of Immortal 1 by the time you register.

Riot haven’t specified how people can apply and register for the tournament yet, but advise in their announcement that full rules for the event and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks — and we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as we know.

Valorant First Strike: Europe tournament format

Valorant Icebox act 3 new map
Riot Games
Will we see much of new Act III map Icebox in the First Strike tournament?

The tournament format is fairly simple to follow throughout, from the qualifiers right up to the main event. Here’s how the single-elimination tournament works:

  • Qualifiers and Play-Ins: Best of 1
  • Playoffs: Best of 3
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals: Best of 3
  • Finals: Best of 5

With best of 1s in qualifiers and play-ins we might see some upsets, but finishing the tournament on a best of 5 means we really will see the two best teams in Europe fight it out and showcase their talent across all maps, proving how much they’ve mastered the game so far.

With G2 Esports undoubtedly the strongest team in the region since competition started, the main question now is whether they can prove it in Valorant’s biggest tournament yet.