Best Agents to use in Valorant: Every character ranked - Dexerto
Valorant

Best Agents to use in Valorant: Every character ranked

Published: 21/Sep/2020 4:50 Updated: 21/Sep/2020 5:55

by Andy Williams

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Here’s every Agent in Valorant ranked in our tier list from best to worst. If you’re wondering which character you should main, or who your second choice should be, this guide will explain all.

Valorant incorporates a diverse array of characters into a high fidelity tactical shooter, which are referred to as Agents. While each Agent has their own unique ability set, Riot has balanced characters extremely well.

That being said, some Agent’s strengths far out-weigh others. With that in mind, which character should you look towards mastering so you can dominate inside the server? We’ve ranked every Valorant Agent to bring you the ultimate tier list along with helpful guides to help you along the way!

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Valorant’s S-tier Agents

Cypher

Valorant's Cypher.

The master of intel, Cypher is a one-man surveillance network that can provide your team with an edge in combat at any given moment. Their Trapwire often catches enemies off-guard, dazing them and temporarily revealing their location — making it easy for Cypher (or a nearby teammate) to swoop in for a simple frag.

Cyber Cage is a great tool to prevent enemies from pushing specific choke points, meaning that you can isolate your focus to just one portion of the map. But it’s Cypher’s Signature which makes them most appealing.

  • Ability 1 — Trapwire (200 Creds): EQUIP a trapwire. FIRE to place a destructible and covert tripwire at the targeted location, creating a line that spans between the placed location and the wall opposite. Enemy players who cross a tripwire will be tethered, and dazed after a short period if they do not destroy the device in time. This ability can be picked up to be REDEPLOYED.
  • Ability 2 — Cyber Cage (100 Creds): EQUIP a cyber cage. FIRE to toss the cyber cage in front of Cypher. ACTIVATE to create a zone that blocks vision and slows enemies who pass through it.
  • Signature Ability — Spycam (1 free): EQUIP a spycam. FIRE to place the spycam at the targeted location. RE-USE this ability to take control of the camera’s view. While in control of the camera, FIRE to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.
  • Ultimate Ability — Neural Theft (7 Points): INSTANTLY use on a dead enemy player in your crosshairs to reveal the location of all living enemy players.

If you’re holding down a Reactor Site, but don’t want to peek for info, you can activate a well-placed camera which can provide you with info on the enemy’s whereabouts without having to risk your life.

Neural Theft will temporarily reveal enemy locations, but is the joint-most expensive Ultimate in the game, which means you’ll often find yourself having to push for orbs to boost points.

While being able to use Cypher effectively will have a steep learning curve, he is an essential Agent in almost every lineup — especially when you consider that you can leave a Reactor Site unmanned if his abilities are all used the right way.

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Breach

Valorant's Breach.

Breach is one of Valorant’s most well-rounded Agents, who can go into combat all guns blazing, but lacks the flare of the likes of Jett and Phoenix. Both Aftershock and Flashpoint are designed to allow you to burst through enemy lines, making them a great tool when your team is trying to take a Reactor Site.

  • Ability 1 — Aftershock (100 Creds): EQUIP a fusion charge. FIRE the charge to set a slow-acting burst through the wall. The burst does heavy damage to anyone caught in its area.
  • Ability 2 — Flashpoint (200 Creds): EQUIP a blind charge. FIRE the charge to set a fast-acting burst through the wall. The charge detonates to blind all players looking at it.
  • Signature Ability — Fault Line (Free; 35s cooldown): EQUIP a seismic blast. HOLD FIRE to increase the distance. RELEASE to set off the quake, dazing all players in its zone and in a line up to the zone.
  • Ultimate Ability — Rolling Thunder (7 Points): EQUIP a seismic charge. FIRE to send a cascading quake through all terrain in a large cone. The quake dazes and knocks up anyone caught in it.

Breach’s Signature and Ultimate abilities can completely disrupt the battlefield in the blink of an eye. Providing you have the necessary intel on the enemy’s whereabouts, both Fault Line and Rolling Thunder make gaining map control a relatively easy process.

Buddying up with a Sova, Cypher, or even a Duelist will easily turn Breach into one of the most (if not the most) impactful Agents in the game. His flashes are incredibly potent, and his ability to hamper the enemy’s attacks or defence is unparalleled.

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Omen

Valorant's Omen.

Omen is a difficult Agent to master, but when you do, you’ll soon realize that they’re a ‘Jack of all trades.’ Shrouded Step permits Omen to get on top of hard locations other Agents can’t, or to move behind an object/into their Dark Cover while avoiding the sound cue that comes with footsteps.

Dark Cover essentially provides Omen with a long-range shadow sphere that can be deployed through walls to block enemy’s line-of-sight, while Paranoia can flash enemies through walls and give you the edge when peeking in a one-on-one gunfight.

  • Ability 1 — Shrouded Step (100 Creds): EQUIP a shadow walk ability and see its range indicator. FIRE to begin a brief channel, then teleport to the marked location.
  • Ability 2 — Paranoia (200 Creds): INSTANTLY fire a shadow projectile forward, briefly reducing the vision range of all players it touches. This projectile can pass straight through walls.
  • Signature Ability — Dark Cover (2 free; 35s cooldown): EQUIP a shadow orb and see its range indicator. FIRE to throw the shadow orb to the marked location, creating a long-lasting shadow sphere that blocks vision. HOLD ALTERNATE FIRE while targeting to move the marker further away. HOLD the ability key while targeting to move the marker closer.
  • Ultimate Ability — From the Shadows (7 Points): EQUIP a tactical map. FIRE to begin teleporting to the selected location. While teleporting, Omen will appear as a Shade that can be destroyed by an enemy to cancel his teleport.

On paper, Omen’s Ultimate is the best in the game, but when you deploy it mid-round, the quip will inform the enemy when you have used it.

If you happen to teleport close to an enemy, there is a distinct audio cue, which will reveal your location and make you vulnerable as an easy kill. So be sure to cancel a teleport if you think you’ve landed close to danger! Or perhaps use it to get a sneak peek at the enemies’ setup and then cancel to ensure you can use the info to your advantage!

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Valorant’s A-tier Agents

Jett

Valorant's Jett.

Another one of Valorant’s ‘high-risk, high-reward’ Agents, Jett is a fantastic character to use if you’re all about using movement to get one over on your opposite number. Combining her Updraft and Tailwind abilities can often give you the edge in close-quarters engagements.

To top things off, Updraft can be used to get you on top of various locations so you can catch someone on the ground off-guard.

  • Ability 1 — Cloudburst (100 Creds): INSTANTLY throw a projectile that expands into a brief vision-blocking cloud on impact with a surface. HOLD the ability key to curve the smoke in the direction of your crosshair.
  • Ability 2 — Updraft (100 Creds): INSTANTLY propel Jett high into the air.
  • Signature Ability — Tailwind (1 free; 2 kills for extra): INSTANTLY propel Jett in the direction she is moving. If Jett is standing still, she will propel forward.
  • Ultimate Ability — Blade Storm (7 Points): EQUIP a set of highly accurate throwing knives that recharge on killing an opponent. FIRE to throw a single knife at your target. ALTERNATE FIRE to throw all remaining daggers at your target.

Blade Storm is an incredibly impactful Ultimate, providing you are accurate with it. If you miss, an enemy equipped with a weapon will certainly let you know about it. Jett’s throwing knives can often come in handy as a replacement for a weapon when your team opts to save. The extra credits you save can help you buy an Operator, and Jett is certainly the best user of the sniper in Valorant, with her ability to dash away after getting a pick.

All in all, Jett offers very little to a team utility-wise. Cloudburst is her only way of directly assisting her team, and they dissipate within a matter of seconds — when compared with Brimstone or Omen’s smokes. However, her fragging capabilities, especially with the Operator, are the best in Valorant.

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Sage

Valorant's Sage.

Valoran’t resident medic was once an essential Agent on any team. However, recent nerfs have pushed her down the tier list somewhat. With less healing and less potent utility, Sage isn’t the all-powerful Sentinel she once was. However, she’s not useless either.

  • Ability 1 — Barrier Orb (400 Creds): EQUIP a barrier orb. FIRE places a solid wall. ALT FIRE rotates the targeter.
  • Ability 2 — Slow Orb (100 Creds): EQUIP a slowing orb. FIRE to throw a slowing orb forward that detonates upon landing, creating a lingering field that slows players caught inside of it.
  • Signature Ability — Healing Orb (Free; 45s cooldown): EQUIP a healing orb. FIRE with your crosshairs over a damaged ally to activate a heal-over-time on them. ALT FIRE while Sage is damaged to activate a self heal-over-time.
  • Ultimate Ability — Resurrection (7 Points): EQUIP a resurrection ability. FIRE with your crosshairs placed over a dead ally to begin resurrecting them. After a brief channel, the ally will be brought back to life with full health.

Both her Slow and Barrier Orbs are handy for temporarily cornering off specific sections of a map — which the latter can also be used to boost on top of stacked boxes (or such alike) to give you a height advantage when peeking for information or an early kill.

Sage’s Orbs aside, the Agent’s Resurrection Ability can turn the tide of a round in your favor, especially when in a clutch situation where the man-advantage can be pivotal. Her numbers aren’t great anymore, but her utility is undeniably powerful even post-nerf.

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Raze

Valorant's Raze.

Raze is a Duelist that is all about area denial. All of her abilities will ensure that the enemy is on the back foot, while you’re busy taking the fight up close and personal.

  • Ability 1 — Boom Bot (200 Creds): EQUIP a Boom Bot. FIRE will deploy the bot, causing it to travel in a straight line on the ground, bouncing off walls. The Boom Bot will lock on to any enemies in its frontal cone and chase them, exploding for heavy damage if it reaches them.
  • Ability 2 — Blast Pack (200 Creds): INSTANTLY throw a Blast Pack that will stick to surfaces. reuse the ability after deployment to detonate, damaging and moving anything hit.
  • Signature Ability — Paint Shells (1 free; 2 kills for extra): EQUIP a cluster grenade. FIRE to throw the grenade, which does damage and creates sub-munitions, each doing damage to anyone in their range.
  • Ultimate Ability — Showstopper (7 Points): EQUIP a rocket launcher. FIRE shoots a rocket that does massive area damage on contact with anything.

Equipped with a Boom Bot for essential intel, a Blast Pack to boost her into places that give her a vertical advantage and up to two sets of cluster grenades which have a devastating radius — it’s easy to see why Raze can be devastating on both Attack and Defense.

That’s not to mention her incredible Ultimate Ability, which can prove lethal at both close and long range. Perhaps the only thing keeping Raze from being in a league of her own, is just how vocal the Agent is when deploying her abilities… But what can we expect? Her rowdy nature has to come with some drawbacks, right?

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Sova

Valorant's Sova.

Sova is another Agent that can offer crucial intel during a round, but is slightly more nimble than Cypher in doing so. His trademark bow can either fire a Shock Bolt – that is handy for getting a camping enemy out of a corner – or it can fire a Recon Bolt, which can reveal enemy locations.

  • Ability 1 — Owl Drone (300 Creds): EQUIP an owl drone. FIRE to deploy and take control of movement of the drone. While in control of the drone, FIRE to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.
  • Ability 2 — Shock Bolt (100 Creds): EQUIP a bow with a shock bolt. FIRE to send the explosive bolt forward, detonating upon collision and damaging players nearby. HOLD FIRE to extend the range of the projectile. ALTERNATE FIRE to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
  • Signature Ability — Recon Bolt (Free; 35s cooldown): EQUIP a bow with recon bolt. FIRE to send the recon bolt forward, activating upon collision and revealing the location of nearby enemies caught in the line-of-sight of the bolt. Enemies can destroy this bolt. HOLD FIRE to extend the range of the projectile. ALTERNATE FIRE to add up to two bounces to this arrow.
  • Ultimate Ability — Hunter’s Fury (7 Points): EQUIP a bow with three long-range, wall-piercing energy blasts. FIRE to release an energy blast in a line in front of Sova, dealing damage and revealing the location of enemies caught in the line. This ability can be reused up to two more times while the ability timer is active.

By mastering some lineups with Sova’s bolt, the Agent offers a diverse approach in their quest for intel that no other can match. His Owl Drone isn’t to be forgotten though, as it makes for the perfect ‘entry’ into a site when coupled with an ally right behind it.

Hunter’s Fury is great when combined with a Recon Bolt that goes undetected, as it can penetrate walls to damage enemies. If the enemy is already weak, one blast of energy will be enough to leave them on the sidelines. But the loud voice quip, together with a warning that you’re being targeted, makes it relatively easy for your foes to escape unharmed.

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Valorant’s B-tier Agents

Killjoy

Valorant's Killjoy.

Killjoy can operate far outside the bounds of her Sentinel status. While her abilities make her one of the most powerful Agents on Defense, she can also be extremely beneficial on Attack, too. Her Nanoswarm grenade can be incredibly impactful during the early stages of a round — even if not triggered, it offers valuable area denial.

Combining Nanoswarm with Alarmbot will dispatch anyone within its vicinity within a matter of seconds, regardless of their health status. These are an undeniably powerful set of tools to have at your disposal during a post-plant situation.

  • Ability 1 — Alarmbot (200 Creds) — EQUIP a covert Alarmbot. FIRE to deploy a bot that hunts down enemies that get in range. After reaching its target, the bot explodes, applying Vulnerable. HOLD EQUIP to recall a deployed bot.
  • Ability 2 — Nanoswarm (200 Creds) — EQUIP a Nanoswarm grenade. FIRE to throw the grenade. Upon landing, the Nanoswarm goes covert. ACTIVATE the Nanoswarm to deploy a damaging swarm of nanobots.
  • Signature Ability — Turret (Free) — EQUIP a Turret. FIRE to deploy a turret that fires at enemies in a 180-degree cone. HOLD EQUIP to recall the deployed turret.
  • Ultimate Ability — Lockdown (7 points) — EQUIP the Lockdown device. FIRE to deploy the device. After a long windup, the device Detains all enemies caught in the radius. The device can be destroyed by enemies.

Her handy Turret ability is your own personal scout. If you’re left in a 1vX situation, the Turret can provide essential intel on your enemies’ whereabouts (depending on the location you choose to place it).

But the most devastating piece of Killjoy’s arsenal is her Ultimate, Lockdown. Regardless of it’s long wind-up phase, the radius it can reach can make the most impossible of clutch scenarios a doddle, since it will literally render your foes useless.

However, there’s a major drawback with Killjoy, and it’s just how easy it is to shut down her utility. Her grenades and alarm bot are very visible nowadays, making for easy site clears. On top of that, the surprise factor has worn thin since her release. Nevertheless, in the right hands, she can still wreck havoc, especially in post-plants.

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Brimstone

Valorant's Brimstone.

You might wonder why Brimstone finds himself towards the backend of the pack? Surely one of Valorant’s most versatile Agents would be a great addition to any team? Well partly, yes. His Sky Smokes are fantastic to smoke-off key lines-of-sight (and can be easily deployed with his handheld radar), concealing an enemy’s vision. But that’s just about as good as Brimstone gets.

Their Stim Beacon grants any player on your team rapid-fire, meaning that if an ally is nearby, they will also benefit. Brimstone’s Incendiary is easy to escape from and offers very little damage in exchange for 300 Creds (which could be put towards upgrading your weapon). But that said, it does offer a distinct advantage when in a time-limited post-plant situation.

  • Ability 1 — Stim Beacon (100 Creds): EQUIP a stim beacon. FIRE to toss the stim beacon in front of Brimstone. Upon landing, the stim beacon will create a field that grants players rapid fire.
  • Ability 2 — Incendiary (300 Creds): EQUIP an incendiary grenade launcher. FIRE to launch a grenade that detonates as it comes to a rest on the floor, creating a lingering fire zone that damages players within the zone.
  • Signature Ability — Sky Smoke (1 free; 100 Creds for extra): EQUIP a tactical map. FIRE to set locations where Brimstone’s smoke clouds will land. ALTERNATE FIRE to confirm, launching long-lasting smoke clouds that block vision in the selected area.
  • Ultimate Ability — Orbital Strike (7 Points): EQUIP a tactical map. FIRE to launch a lingering orbital strike laster at the selected location, dealing high damage-over-time to players caught in the selected area.

And again, on paper, their Orbital Strike is great, as it provides a large blast radius and can clear out a Reactor Site with no problem. But enemies can easily escape the damage zone, given how much notice they have (combining both the visual and audio cues).

When weighed up against other Ultimates that cost 7 Points (like Raze’s and Sage’s) there really isn’t any competition. While Brimstone is great when you have a cast of Agents to support him, on the whole, the Controller Agent doesn’t bring as much to the table as some others in his class.

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Phoenix

Valorant's Phoenix.

Phoenix is a gung-ho Agent who is ideal to use if you’re often the ‘Entry Fragger’ for your team. Blaze can divide a portion of a map in two while obscuring the enemy’s sight, whereas Hot Hands will give you a fireball that spreads on impact.

One handy perk to both of these abilities is that they will regenerate a certain amount of your health over time. But beware, your fellow teammates will take damage if they touch your flames.

  • Ability 1 — Blaze (200 Creds): EQUIP a flame wall. FIRE to create a line of flame that moves forward, creating a wall of fire that blocks vision and damages players passing through it. HOLD FIRE to bend the wall in the direction of your crosshair.
  • Ability 2 — Curveball (200 Creds): EQUIP a flare orb that takes a curving path and detonates shortly after throwing. FIRE to curve the flare orb to the left, detonating and blinding any player who sees the orb. ALTERNATE FIRE to curve the flare orb to the right.
  • Signature Ability — Hot Hands (1 free; 2 kills for extra): EQUIP a fireball. FIRE to throw a fireball that explodes after a set amount of time or upon hitting the ground, creating a lingering fire zone that damages enemies.
  • Ultimate Ability — Run it Back (6 Points): INSTANTLY place a marker at Phoenix’s location. While this ability is active, dying or allowing the timer to expire will end this ability and bring Phoenix back to this location with full health.

Phoenix’s Curveball makes peeking around corners a doddle, given how easy they are to bend around objects. Since they blind anyone that sees the orb, they’re particularly useful for challenging multiple enemies if you’re looking to open up a round.

Run it Back grants Phoenix a temporary placebo life, meaning that they can peek for info without dealing with the repercussions of sitting out the remainder of the round. Beware though, as enemies can often snuff out your marker and can roll up for an easy kill while you’re at your most vulnerable. Comparing Phoenix with someone like Reyna, is there really any competition for someone who’s looking to entry frag?

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Valorant’s C-tier Agents

Reyna

Valorant's Reyna.

Reyna is the ultimate feast-or-famine Agent in Valorant. If you prefer to play aggressive and make plays for your team, there’s no character better equipped for the job than Reyna.

  • Ability 1 — Leer (200 Creds): EQUIP an ethereal destructible eye. ACTIVATE to cast the eye a short distance forward. The eye will Nearsight all enemies who look at it.
  • Ability 2 — Devour (100 Creds): Enemies killed by Reyna leave behind Soul Orbs that last 3 seconds. INSTANTLY consume a nearby Soul Orb, rapidly healing for a short duration. Health gained through this skill exceeding 100 will decay over time. If Empress is active, this skill will automatically cast and not consume the orb.
  • Signature Ability — Dismiss (Free): INSTANTLY consume a nearby Soul Orb, becoming intangible for a short duration. If Empress is active, also become invisible.
  • Ultimate Ability — Empress (6 Points): INSTANTLY enter a frenzy, increasing firing speed, equip and reload speed dramatically. Scoring a kill renews the duration.

The Duelist’s Leer will temporarily blind any enemies that look directly towards the eye. Given that Reyna can cast the eye through walls, this is especially handy for peeking areas where you might anticipate an enemy to waiting. Be mindful that the eye itself is easy to destroy, so try not to become too predictable in how you use them, else an enemy will easily counter you!

While Reyna’s Leer is great by itself, her ability to consume Soul Orbs as a reward for picking up a kill is really where she comes into her own. Devour can overheal you to 150 HP (even if you didn’t purchase armor beforehand), while Dismiss will make it easy to evade the scene of the crime should you bite off more than you can chew.

Empress will mod Reyna into the ultimate killing machine. Combining this will Dismiss will temporarily turn Reyna completely invisible, meaning that you can get behind enemy lines without crossing anyone’s line of sight. While on paper, Reyna is a one-man army, she is completely reliant on being able to pop off with little to no room for error, making her a high-risk, high-reward character.

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Viper

Valorant's Viper.

Now Viper is a different story altogether. Essentially, all of her abilities can deal a devastating amount of damage over time. Snake Bite will both damage and slow enemies, if they fall within the chemical zone — great for clearing out corners when pushing a site.

But, both Poison Cloud and Toxic Screen cost fuel. And it’s this fuel reserve that places Viper so low in the rankings. In a tactical shooter, where there is already enough to deal with, the added variable of keeping tabs on your fuel reserve can often prove to be a nuisance.

  • Ability 1 — Snake Bite (100 Creds): EQUIP a chemical launcher. FIRE to launch a canister that shatters upon hitting the floor, creating a lingering chemical zone that damages and slows enemies.
  • Ability 2 — Poison Cloud (200 Creds): EQUIP a gas emitter. FIRE to throw the emitter that perpetually remains throughout the round. Reuse the ability to create a toxic gas cloud at the cost of fuel. This ability can be reused more than once and can be picked up to be redeployed.
  • Signature Ability — Toxic Screen (1 free): EQUIP a gas emitter launcher. FIRE to deploy a long line of gas emitters. Reuse the ability to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel. This ability can be reused more than once.
  • Ultimate Ability — Viper’s Pit (7 Points): EQUIP a chemical sprayer. FIRE to spray a chemical cloud in all directions around Viper, creating a large cloud that reduces the vision range and maximum health of players inside of it.

Granted, Viper’s Pit is incredibly useful in a post-plant scenario. But if your enemy is a quicker draw than you, the chemical cloud is almost useless other than it causing your enemies to glow when they’re inside.

Step outside of the cloud and your reserve will dwindle, which forces you to stay within a specific vicinity from when you activated Ultimate. While things have gotten better for Viper recently, she doesn’t quite cut the mustard when compared with other characters.

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So there you have it, each of Valorant’s Agents ranked from best to worst. Since Riot are keen on introducing changes to Valorant in a bid to balance the roster, don’t be surprised to see this list swapped and changed to reflect that.

Of course, each Agent offers their own distinct benefit and drawback on the battlefield. The choice of which character you use should revolve more around compiling the most well-rounded squad possible, as Valorant heavily relies on teamwork in order to overcome your opposition.

Valorant

Valorant pros ShahZam and WARDELL spark feud over “rats” comment

Published: 29/Oct/2020 13:45

by Lauren Bergin

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Former CS:GO players turned Valorant pros Sentinels ShahZam and TSM WARDELL have had a fiery exchange over Twitter. 

Even at the highest level of esports, trash talk remains common between the big name players, contributing to in-game rivalries that spice up any match.

There’s some age old rivalries between esports organizations like G2 Esports and Fnatic, never mind within the player base itself. Although sometimes these rivalries stay lighthearted, they can ignite and start a real feud.

This is exactly what appears to have happened between former CS:GO pros turned Valorant stars Shahzeb ‘ShahZam’ Khan of Sentinels and Matt ‘WARDELL’ Yu of TSM.

ESL
The TSM player gave the video a fiery reaction.

WARDELL responds to ShahZam video

The fiery exchange began when the Sentinels posted a short clip of ShahZam talking about his feelings towards TSM. With ShahZam stating that be believes Sentinels have more consistency than TSM, admitting that he does “like to seem them lose,” the video received a knee-jerk response from the TSM player.

WARDELL hit back with a slamming criticism of the video, writing “who knew rats can talk? LMAO.” ShahZam quickly followed up with a defence of his team, stating that the video was old and asking WARDELL “why are you so mad?”

This, however, just ignited the fire more. WARDELL promptly responded to ShahZam by making fun of the player’s hair, stating that ‘it’s not silver, it’s platinum’ to which ShahZam playfully accused the TSM player as ‘having a crush’ on him.

Banter gone wrong?

A lot of fans chalked the exchange up as trash talk and banter, but others were unsure considering the genuine surprise that ShahZam appeared to show in his first tweet.

Either way, the feud has sparked a more intense rivalry between the already battling teams; a rivalry that may be settled on the battlefield of the NA First Strike tournament. It would be great to see Sentinels and TSM face off once more and settle their long established rivalry, so fingers crossed we finally get that rematch.