Valorant

Riot dev teases future Valorant Agent pick-ban system

by Andy Williams

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With Valorant’s Agent pool set to expand exponentially over the next few Episodes, Riot have hinted towards the potential introduction of a character drafting system, as seen in Dota 2.

While raw gun skill will get you so far in Future Earth, the difference between good and great players is often their ability to utilize their Agent effectively.

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With each Agent having four abilities and unique traits at their disposal, being able to appropriately use these in the most critical portions of a round is often the difference between winning and losing.

And with far more Agents set to be added into Valorant’s roster of characters, it looks like a drafting system of sorts might be in the pipeline to help manage the ever-expanding pool of Agents.

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Valorant Agent silhouettes.
Riot Games
As it stands, you can't see your opponents' Agent picks until you've already selected your character.

Riot tease Agent drafting

As it stands, building the optimal Agent composition is mainly reliant on map choice. While this differs slightly at the pro level, there is no direct way of strategizing your Agent pick to counter your opponent.

But with Riot looking to add more characters into each role — with five to six per category on the cards — having the ability to plot against your opposite number before you’re even in the server would add an extra tactical layer to Future Earth’s action. And it looks like Riot may be turning to Valve’s MOBA for inspiration in this department.

“Dota 2 is a great example to me, because each unit is unique, but drafting at the highest levels is about building the right toolbox (or so I think from my armchair),” Pwyff opened. “If you have a good, winning strategy, you can draft the S-tier Hero for that strategy, but if it's banned, you start picking up the A and B-tier Heroes who, when put together, can still do that function.If Valorant is more like that, I can see it supporting a much larger ecosystem of Agents.”

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Drafting Heroes in Dota 2.
Valve
There is an entire meta just in the Hero picks and bans within Dota 2.

The concept of Agent drafting via a pick-ban system was met with open arms by one Redditor, who replied: “Great to hear you're pro for drafting in this game. I love drafting and [in my opinion] it's a pretty undervalued skill in games. It's also fairly neglected, which is sad.”

Of course, we’re a long way before the sheer volume of Agents is remotely close to the number of Heroes in Dota. But with that said, having a pre-game drafting system is a feature that could work in Valorant as soon as each Agent category begins to fill out a little more.