More Chamber nerfs are coming to Valorant as the French Sentinel continues to dominate the meta. They aren’t just band-aid fixes: Riot promises it’ll be worth the wait as they look to balance the game for the “long-term”.
Chamber has been a problem for Valorant players basically since the French Sentinel launched. With plenty of utility to lock down sites alongside a ton of firepower which was lethal in the hands of the sharpest players, he basically had it all.
Riot were quick to nerf him early on into his existence, but he has still kept a stranglehold on the meta all the way through 2022. With the off-season kicking off though, his reign might be coming to an end.
The community did take efforts into their own hands at one point. Riot were patient with pulling the trigger across the end of the esports season. But with a “sharpening up” of his identity, as lead agent designer Jay Watford put it, he will still be able to shine without choking out others in his class.
“One of our deep philosophies with agents in Valorant is each one should bring its own tactics it unlocks, its own special strengths and weaknesses, and reasons to pick one agent over the other agents in a game,” Watford said.
“When we’re talking about sharpening, we’re looking at one agent who is achieving things which we don’t think is correct. They’ve gone too far and gotten too powerful, or they’re unable to achieve the thing we wanted them to achieve.”
Chamber falls into that former camp. He has pushed other Sentinels like Cypher out of the meta, despite big buffs to counteract his dominance. They are wary of going too hard on the balancing in either direction though for the long-term health of Valorant.
If they nerf Chamber too hard, and buff Cypher and other Sentinels too much, the Chamber problem then becomes another agent’s demise. The tiptoe approach may not satiate players immediately, but it’ll save the game from constantly swinging from one meta to the next.
“This is a patch to make Cypher stronger at what we think he should be great at, but the reality is we have another agent in Chamber who is too good at too many things and he is crowding out Cypher in his space,” Watford added, talking about the recent Cypher buffs specifically.
“The danger we get in is if we buff Cypher to the point where he could compete with Chamber, the second we get Chamber into the place we wanted, we’d have a Cypher problem. Suddenly he’d be the dominant one.
“The reality is we want to have our eye out for that power creep and we are pushing Cypher to the right long-term spot knowing that we’d get Chamber down to the right spot as well.”
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