Very few topics in Valorant have been more contentious than the strength of the Operator. After CS:GO legend Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev called it “the worst weapon” in the game, debate has flared up on social media.
The Operator has been through the ringer across Valorant’s short life span. On release, it was the gun everyone wanted. Defenders would aim to have upwards of three on their side, as it was strictly the best gun to keep attackers at bay.
It’s a one-shot kill — much like CS:GO’s AWP — and originally at 4,500 Creds was decently affordable. However, nerfs to its movement accuracy, cost, fire rate, and more in patch 1.09 quashed its power somewhat.
However, the debate over its power has risen from the dead after CS:GO legend s1mple called the Operator “the worst weapon” in Valorant.
Native Valorant stars, like Lucas ‘Mendo’ Håkansson, claim the Operator is “balanced” at best, and overpowered in ranked — in direct conflict with s1mple’s opinion.
A gun should not completely shut down and counter a composition when most of my teammates ‘can’t’ even play smoke characters,” Mendo said, talking about the lack of utility Agents in ranked line-ups.
“It’s extremely easy to use, extremely oppressive, and it can even get to the point where an entire ranked team’s composition just does not have the remote possibility of countering the oppressiveness of the weapon.”
But in ranked, it's extremely easy to use, extremely oppressive, and it can even get to the point where an entire ranked team's composition just does not have the remote possibility of countering the oppressiveness of the weapon
let's give all characters a smoke and 2 flashes?
— Liquid Mendo (@Mendo) March 25, 2021
This view was held by Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo, who said that while the Operator isn’t overpowered, players just don’t punish it in ranked.
“I never thought it was overpowered but people just don’t use their abilities to smoke off or push off common [Operator] angles. Gun is legit made to punish people ego peeking and taking unnecessary duels,” he said.
TenZ pushed for Operator nerfs early in Valorant’s lifecycle, including a sound cue to tell enemies when it’s scoped in.
Seeing some talks about the operator again on my feed, never thought it was overpowered but people just don’t use their abilities to smoke off or push off common Op angles. Gun is legit made to punish people ego peeking and taking unnecessary duels
— TenZ / Tyson (SEN) (@TenZOfficial) March 25, 2021
Fellow CS:GO star Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub backed up s1mple though. The French AWPing legend, who got the CS:GO gun nerfed because of his insane movement with it, felt like he was held back by the Operator in Valorant.
“It’s fun but operator movement and the time you have to wait before shooting…I don’t like waiting,” he said.
It’s fun but operator mouvement and the time you have to wait before shooting you know… I don’t like waiting
— kennyS (@G2kennyS) March 24, 2021
Rumors are circulating that the Operator could be getting a cost buff in the upcoming patch 2.06.
If that’s the case, it’s likely we will see the Operator debate hit fever pitch right before the start of VCT Stage 2.