How to play as Viper: Valorant’s toxic Controller Agent - Dexerto
Valorant

How to play as Viper: Valorant’s toxic Controller Agent

Published: 8/Jun/2020 13:20 Updated: 8/Jun/2020 13:35

by Andy Williams

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Valorant’s American chemist, Viper, has an array of poisonous abilities to support her Controller playstyle, but what is it about the Agent that makes her stand out from the rest?

Viper is a Controller Agent, which means that she can control the battlefield with her array of chemical devices, which allow her to distribute her toxins all over the map in a variety of ways.

With a highly poisonous set of abilities to utilize, Viper can come up clutch when the odds are heavily stacked against her. Given her potential to change the landscape of a round, let’s take a look at what makes Viper so deadly.

Viper’s abilities

Valorant's Viper.

Two of Viper’s abilities rely heavily on her toxin reserves (we’ll touch on this later), so you’ll need to keep track of exactly how much fuel you have when using them. All of her abilities are detailed below:

  • 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.

Viper’s Poison Cloud can be used to cover one specific chokepoint (such as an entrance to a Reactor Site), but will cost Viper fuel from her reserve. When activated, the cloud will deal damage over time to an opponent that chooses to walk through it — which, on paper, should be enough to ward them off pushing through.

Perhaps Viper’s most valuable asset, though, is her Toxic Screen. The line of gas emitters can be used to divide a portion of the map in two. Mastering lineups with this can be extremely useful when trying to take control of certain portions of a map, as it will reduce the amount of areas you need to look.

Viper's Toxic Screen Ability in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Viper can obscure the vision of enemies on one side of the Toxic Screen, while she handles the danger on the other side.

Snake Bite will provide a quick and effective way to clear out a corner or patch where you think an enemy has set up shop. You’ll be able to buy two of these in a round, and at 100 Creds a pop, they’re a worthwhile piece of kit to have in your utility.

Viper gameplay

Former Counter-Strike pro, Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez, showcased exactly why Viper can be considered a solid choice for any team.

Right off the bat, it’s clear to see that Viper’s Ultimate Ability is he biggest trump card. Maniac manages to deploy Viper’s Pit at the 1:12 mark (in the embedded video above) when attempting to retake a Reactor Site.

As soon as the opponent enters the toxic cloud, their health is immediately reduced (although enemies cannot die at the hands of the poison). With that in mind, the Ultimate will still require you to be a sharpshooter, or else you can still get caught off-guard, just as Maniac did in the clip.

Viper's Pit Ultimate Ability in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Viper’s Pit also distinctly highlights enemies that come inside the toxic cloud, making it easier to look onto them and win your gunfight.

At 4:14, we see this more effectively to take control of a Reactor Site. As Maniac deploys Viper’s Ultimate to push A-Long on Haven, the cloud highlights the precise location of the Defender on-site. One slight caveat to the Ultimate is that it requires Viper to stay inside, otherwise it begins to fade away.

Dexerto’s take: Hard to master, but could be worth it

Maniac touched on his difficulty mastering Viper, describing her as “one of the most complex Agents” in Valorant’s roster of characters, despite having an “overpowered” Ultimate.

Quiquerez even compared the learning process of getting to grips with Viper to learning to fly a spacecraft, which is highlighted by the “cognitive burden” imposed by having to activate/deactivate an ability to ensure you don’t completely deplete your toxin fuel reserves.

Viper's Poison Cloud Ability in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Poison Cloud requires you to activate/deactivate via the fuel mechanic in the bottom-center.

Even at the 2:45 mark, one of Maniac’s enemies pushes through their poisonous cloud of smoke, which is perhaps due to the fact that “people just don’t fear it, because the damage is over time.”

Given Viper’s steep learning curve, it is clear to see why plenty of players might struggle getting to grips with her comparatively complex ability set. With there being minimal trade-off for the cognitive investment required to utilize some of Viper’s abilities, it’s clear to see why she might not be for everyone.

Viper essentially bridges the gap between Controller and Initiator Agents, as she can both disrupt and shape the battlefield simultaneously.

So on the whole, if you’re willing to put in the time to master Viper’s poisonous arsenal and get the timing of when and where to activate her toxins down to a tee, this Controller Agent might be the one for you.

Valorant

Valorant First Strike Global Finals: European predictions

Published: 29/Nov/2020 15:51

by Lauren Bergin

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Eight teams have qualified for Valorant’s European First Strike finals, but only one will emerge victorious. Who will take the regional crown? We’ve ranked all qualifying teams ahead of the Global Finals.

Valorant’s First Strike is Riot’s first real move into developing their flagship tactical shooter into a well-established esport. Although events like the Ignition Series and other smaller competitions have allowed teams to flex their muscles throughout the year, the First Strike series has become the true proving ground.

Ahead of the European leg of the Global Finals — one which has seen Guild Esports have to forfeit a win against G2 Esports, among a plethora of upsets — we’ve compiled our predictions of what teams to keep an eye on between December 3-6.

First Strike Europe predictions

8. Orgless V (formerly Prodigy)

Orgless V’s qualifying run has been anything but easy. The first round of qualifiers saw a decent run for the team, but their game in the Playoffs against Team Liquid was anything but convincing. While their first map of Ascent went pretty well, the team were demolished by Liquid on Split.

Their mental, however, remained unbroken. The second round of qualifiers saw Orgless V face-off against L’Institut in a slightly better showing, but L’Institut have a lot less experience than the likes of G2 Esports or Team Liquid and still managed to give Orgless V some trouble. If they’re looking to put on a show versus the big dogs, they’ll really need to step-up their game.

7. Purple Cobras

Purple Cobras have certainly had a few shining moments throughout their battle for one of the top spots. While their first attempt to qualify didn’t go swimmingly, they came back with vengeance and toppled titans in order to earn that First Strike spot.

A strong performance against iconic FPS organization Ninjas in Pyjamas — a team who gave G2 a run for their money — saw the Cobras secure their spot in the Playoffs, where they went up against ‘need more DM.’ Possibly one of the easier opponents of the playoffs bracket, it’ll be interesting to see if the Purple Cobras can slither their way into a better spot.

6. nolpenki

Nolpenki are the team that no one quite expected to be here. A band of five friends just playing for fun, their first attempt at qualifying ended with a loss to Orgless V and it seemed as though they were maybe just ‘another rookie team.’

That’s not quite the case. Coming back in the second round of qualifiers, nolpenki have emerged as a force to be reckoned with. A fierce battle saw the band of brothers topple fan favorites Guild Esports, who were tipped as being one of the teams likely to make the main event. This, followed by the madness of their reverse sweep against Enterprise Esports sets them up as a possible dark horse in the fight for the title.

5. Team Heretics

Team Heretics are the obvious frontrunners from the second round of qualifiers. Their performance throughout this round was one of dominance, as they stomped pretty much every opponent they were matched against throughout the Play-ins.

Their playoffs performance cemented this, as they dismantled Team Finest with insane plays on both Ascent and Bind. Team Heretics are definitely ones to watch, especially if others see them as less threatening than the likes of FunPlus Phoenix and G2 Esports. Win or lose, we know Team Heretics are going to put on a show.

4. SUMN FC

SUMN FC are a team that a lot of fans wouldn’t expect to be so high on this list. Yet another org-less team based out of the UK, SUMN have cemented themselves as one of the best Valorant teams in Europe. Their run through the qualifiers and play-ins was smooth sailing, with none of their opponents being able to even slightly rock the proverbial boat.

The Playoffs, however, were a little tougher for the UK’s newest contender. Although beating eXiLe eSports 2-0, their opposite number made them work for it and the games were tight. While SUMN are in a great position to take out some of the lower ranked teams, whether they can prove themselves against the ‘best of the best’ is another story entirely.

3. Team Liquid

Team Liquid’s Valorant journey hasn’t always been the easiest. A lot of Valorant fans will cast their mind back to the organization’s less than satisfactory third place at the BLAST Twitch Invitational, where a 0-2 loss to FunPlus Phoenix forced Liquid back to the drawing board.

This time, however, TL have made the First Strike Europe qualifiers and Playoffs look like a walk in the park, and insane plays from Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom and Travis ‘L1NK’ Mendoza have come to define expectations for the future of Liquid in Valorant. Can they finally see off FPX and G2?

2. FunPlus Phoenix

When Chinese organization FunPlus Phoenix announced their entry into the European Valorant scene, players and fans were shaken. FPX’s history of dominance outside the Valorant sphere set them up as favorites in the competition — and it’s a legacy that they’ve proven they deserve.

Their play-in and playoff runs were marked by pure dominance, only dropping three maps en-route to the main event. It’ll be interesting to see how they stack up against longtime rivals G2. Will their League of Legends dominance transfer over to Future Earth? Or will G2 have their number in Riot’s FPS?

1. G2 Esports

G2 Esports have become one of esports’ most respected teams in the world. Associated with excellence and passion, these samurai have sliced open every game they’ve played, rejigged the meta to suit themselves and left others play catch-up. Their Valorant story is no different.

With a win-rate of 88% and a roster featuring former CS:GO pros like Oscar ‘Mixwell’ Cañellas Colocho and Ardis ‘Ardiis’ Svarenieks, the heat is on for G2. Their qualifying run was dominant, their plays insane and they just keep getting better. We won’t be too surprised if G2 win First Strike Europe, but we can’t wait to see them fight to get there.

G2 Esports to take Valorant’s European crown

Dexerto's Valorant First Strike EU predicitions
Riot Games / Dexerto
G2 Esports are undeniably the best team in Europe heading into First Strike’s finals, but can they live up to expectations?

So that’s it for our predictions. We certainly can’t tell the future, but based on each team’s showing in the tournament so far, we think G2 are the hot favorites to come out on top.