Agents of Mastery: How Top Esports Pros Utilize Unique Valorant Characters

At the time of writing, there are no less than 23 agents to pick from in Valorant, with Deadlock being the latest addition to the roster. While it’s a pretty low headcount compared to the 164 champions in League of Legends, it’s worth remembering that Valorant’s only been around for a few years. Although the overall number of agents is small, there’s a ton of variety here. Each one has a multitude of unique skills and abilities, demanding a fairly distinct playstyle. While the likes of Reyna, Jett, and Sage tend to be the most-picked agents with beginners, more experienced players might be looking for a challenge. Below, we’ll explore some of the trickier agents to master in Valorant and which pros use them particularly well. 

5. Viper 

If you’re a fan of Controller agents, you’ve probably played as Viper before. Chances are, she hasn’t become a firm favorite. Although her toxic abilities can deal some significant damage, Viper’s abilities are time-intensive. What’s more, she’ll you’ll plenty of fuel to hand to use her signature moves. If you want to excel with Viper, your attacks need to be perfectly timed. During the average Valorant tournament, don’t expect Viper to make too many appearances. However, there are some pros out there who’ve perfected playing as this high-risk agent. If you need some pointers, check out Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin of Team Liquid fame. 

4. Neon

There are many reasons to love Neon. This Duelist is incredibly nimble, with impressive movement speed that puts many Valorant agents to shame. However, being able to accelerate across the map can land you in trouble if you’re only scraping the surface of what Neon can do. Although you can land a kill when playing as Neon, she’s not the strongest of agents. Unless you’re backed up by an Initiator, don’t expect to walk away from too many skirmishes unscathed. Riot Games has released a few updates that make Neon a bit more beginner-friendly. However, she’s still a livewire you’ll need to practice with. If you need some tips, it’s worth watching Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas of G2 Esports in action. 

3. Cypher 

Cypher is a strange one. He lacks the flash abilities of other agents, so putting him to work can be a tall order for a first-time player. If you want to succeed with Cypher, you need to know the map you’re playing on inside and out. What’s more, this is an agent that works best as one piece of a larger puzzle. If you’re not practicing good comms with your teammates, there’s no point picking an agent like Cypher. One of the best Cyper players out there is Lee “k1Ng” Seung-won from Gen.G Esports. If you’re keen to tap into Cypher’s full potential, it’s worth checking out k1Ng’s Twitch channel.

2. Raze

Raze is a popular choice for Valorant newcomers. Her basic mechanics are easy enough to get to grips with. However, mastering this agent is a different matter entirely. At higher levels, you’ll need to be creative with your Raze palystyle. If you need some suggestions, try watching Wang “Jinggg” Jing Jie of Paper Rex in action. 

1. Astra 
There’s a reason why so few pros touch Astra when picking an agent. It doesn’t help that Riot Games has released some question patch updates for her in recent months. The main issue with Astra is that, when deploying some of her signature abilities, you leave yourself open to attack. What’s more, her Ultimate isn’t always useful and can put your teammates at a disadvantage if you fumble the delivery. If you want to reap the biggest rewards with Astra, you need to constantly communicate with your team and let them know what you have planned. Jinggg’s Paper Rex teammate, Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart, is particularly good at this.

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