In a developer post, Riot Character Producer John Goscicki announced the next VALORANT agent to be released will be an Initiator.
Since the beginning of VALORANT, Sova has been the supreme recon gathering agent in the game. His pick rates in ranked and professional play have stayed consistent mainly due to his kit being irreplaceable.
No other agent provides as much informational value to his teammates for site hits and general reconnaissance as Sova. Riot has released other Initiators in the past, including Kay-O and Skye, but their kits are based around their flashes and not as much info-gathering.
New Valorant agent to be in a similar vein to Sova
John Goscicki stated the developer team wants to introduce a similar archetype Initiator to Sova, but with a more “intimate feeling” his playstyle.
“There have been a lot of conversations within the Characters team around Initiators, specifically Sova. His Initiation tools are unique in that they rely on reconnaissance and information gathering to give you and the team tools to decide your next step.
So much of VALORANT’s tactical loop revolves around information. Knowing where enemies are/are not and exploiting that info to execute during that sliver of a window is key to many successful wins. So the notion of another Agent that revolves around the information gathering aspect of the tactical loop has, for a while, been top of mind for us.”John Goscicki
Localized Imitation and Recon Tools
Based on Goscicki’s wording, it’s an agent that will impact the intel gathering portion of Valorant but in a more intimate way than Sova. That could mean any number of things from a Yoru type stealth reconnaissance to a Cypher initiated hack that tracks players. The possibilities are endless, but the main takeaway is the developer team wants a new agent that impacts the planning stages of a round.
“Our focus early on was identifying unique gameplay differences within the realm of recon/info, and landed in a space that has more ‘localized’ Initiation and recon tools,” said John Goscicki.
Additionally, the use of the word “localized” points to the possibility of more suppression type Initiator abilities. Similar to Kay-O’s knife and ultimate, the post reads as if this new agent will provide similar value to Sova, but will go step farther and be more directly impactful on executes with area specific info gathering.
Cup of Tea
The last bit of information about the new VALORANT agent comes in the form of a cheeky wink-wink concept art. Similar to Neon’s reveal, we’re only given fragments of details and forced to decipher the clues. Here sits a hot cup of coffee, Turkish delights (possibly referring to the agents origin) and a web of connecting clues all leading to Cypher, who sits front and center in the frame.
Now by putting on the tin foil hat and the detective trench coat, one can decipher a potential link between the two agents. It’s possible his kit has similar properties to Cypher, or this is a part of the larger theme. Regardless, it’s not enough to jump to any solid conclusion and we’ll be waiting with bated breath in anticipation for more details