Valorant’s first international event of 2022 has concluded with OpTic taking home the top prize and winning 87% of their maps with Neon

The OpTic win came off the back of superior tactics, rifling, and most importantly, the ability to catch teams off-guard with Neon composition. Heading into the Grand Finals against Brazil’s LOUD, the majority of OpTic’s success was found in Victor Wong running straight into opposing defenses. Considering this, OpTic finished 87% win percentage with Neon and 61% on every other comp. 

Victor spoke to the media on whether or not the Neon is viable in the current meta. “I don’t think she’s an agent, when you look at her individually, that you think ‘oh my god, she’s so much better than Raze or so much better than Jett,’ so I don’t think there’s really that much of an advantage.”

Chamber Proves a viable option to Jett

The difference in compositions showed across regions, with North America’s OpTic on the Neon and Asia’s Paper Rex running the Yoru and Reyna double-duelist comps. However, it was the first VCT Masters event where Jett’s pick rate dipped under 70%, showing a distinct change in philosophy across all regions and less reliance on her mobility to take space. Here is a breakdown: 

Pick rates for various agents at VCT Masters Reykjavik. OpTiC end the tournament with an 87% win-rate on Neon.
Pick rates graphic via vlr.gg

For starters, Chamber wasn’t available at VCT Champions, so Reykjavik was our first look at the Sentinel on an international scale. The introduction of Chamber into the meta has certainly reduced Jett’s pick rate. Take OpTic’s Jacob “yay” Whittaker for example, once a Jett one-trick, is now relying heavily on the Chamber on most of the map pool. Any player with a pension for the Operator now has options in terms of agent pool.

  • Jett: 65%
  • Sova: 49%
  • Viper: 46%
  • Chamber: 44%
  • Sage: 43%
  • Omen: 38%
  • Kay/O: 33%
  • Skye: 33%
  • Breach: 30%
  • Raze: 28%
  • Killjoy: 27%
  • Astra: 23%
  • Brimstone: 15%
  • Cypher: 13%
  • Neon: 8%
  • Yoru: 4%
  • Reyna: 2%

In fact, Chamber is the first new agent to appear in the top-five at a VCT international event. His ability to teleport in mere frames and activate the Tour De Force ultimate makes him a viable replacement for Jett’s ability to push off-angles with an Operator. And yet, Jett still makes her mark on the current meta.

Ninja in Pyjamas Alexandre ” xand ” Zizi believes the Chamber to be strong but not a necessity.

“I believe the Chamber is strong and good in meta, but I don’t believe in the second part. Even if a team doesn’t have a strong Chamber, they can still use other agents that are as strong as Chamber. So no, I don’t think Chamber is that much better

NIP xand in a post-game press conference

Even with teams throwing out unorthodox compositions centered around the Chamber, Neon or even Yoru on the entry role, Jett remains the queen. Until patch 4.08 drops, she will remain on top of the agent pool. Running another Duelist was proven to be a viable option at VCT Masters Reykjavik, but her kit still appears virtually irreplaceable. 

The Diversity among non-duelist picks

Focusing on non-duelist, there’s a good balance of agents being selected between Initiators, Sentinels and Controllers. Sova remains the de-facto information gathering specter we know and love with the second highest pick rate at 49%, but there’s more diversity across the board.

At previous events, Astra was far-and-away the most picked Controller, but recently, Omen and Brimstone have made their way back into the meta. Omen, who comes in as the second most picked Controller at 38%, proved his usefulness in the triple flash compositions on Haven and other execution heavy maps. Jimmy “Marved” Ngyuen showcased his ability to frag-out on the Omen, putting up gaudy multi-kill numbers in the OpTic wins. 

Furthermore, the Viper continued her streak of high pick rates. No other Controller has the same versatility and valuable ultimate. Despite a small dropoff compared to Champions (57%), the evolution of Viper’s meta has advanced a great deal. Teams were finding huge value on maps Icebox and Bind where she could consistently deny plants and take map control. Zeta Division, DRX, and LOUD found great success in these situations. 

Double-initiator Picked over 50% of the maps at VCT Reykjavik 

Looking at Initiators, the pick rates stayed relatively balanced among the cast. Each individual Initiator has value on specific maps, and that’s reflected in Breach, Kay/O, and Skye having a 33% pick rate across the board. With double Initiator being the most popular composition, it comes down to player preference and map usefulness. 

OpTiC used Neon to optimal effect at VCT Masters Reykjavik.

Returning back to Sova, with him being used on half of the total games at Reykjavik, it’s only natural to pair him with a flash heavy agent. On the 74 total playoff maps played, the double initiator was used 51.4% of the time. Only teams like Zeta Division and LOUD, who preferred the Astra double-Controller comps, opted out of that composition.

State of the Meta with Fade’s Introduction

The most important takeaway is by all means the game is balanced. Even if Jett remains the strongest, she’s no longer the only viable Duelist. There’s far more counter-play to Jett’s oppressive nature and in some situations she simply loses out to Chamber. 

With the new Initiator Fade to make her presence known soon and Jett receiving a massive nerf to her Tailwind, coaches will be able to get even more creative. OpTic coach Chet Singh spoke on her potential. “I unfortunately have no clue what she does but I’m always down for something crazy. So, you’ll probably see her from us”

Let’s hope this pushes the meta towards more goofiness like the Yoru pick from Paper Rex or the Victor Neon. It’s a fun time to be a Valorant player, exemplified by the players at the top level.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Valorant news and updates.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022