VALORANT’s biggest event is here and the meta has shifted since the last major event in Berlin. The top-picked agents will look familiar but scroll down past the permanent picks and you’ll find a wave of fresh agent selections.

Valorant’s biggest event is here and the meta has shifted since the last major event in Berlin. The top-picked VALORANT Champions agents will look familiar but scroll down past the permanent picks and you’ll find a wave of fresh agent selections.

The VCT Champions group stages have concluded, showcasing a wide variety of play styles and inventive new ideas. The contrast between the region-specific playstyles is subtle, but compositions show teams playing around with the newly viable initiator agents and moving away from strictly double-sentinel comps.

Europe opted for the defensive-minded controller heavy comps, while North America and Brazil were more aggressive in agent selection. Here is a breakdown of the VALORANT Champions agent pick-rate and success on each map:

VALORANT Champions agent success by map
Agent pick rates via vlr.gg

VALORANT Champions Agent Pick Rates (Group stage)

  • Jett – 85%
  • Sova – 68%
  • Astra – 63%
  • Viper 57%
  • Killjoy – 49%
  • Sky – 46%
  • Breach – 27%
  • Sage – 26%
  • Cypher – 25%
  • Reyna – 19%
  • Kay/O – 15%
  • Brimstone – 2%
  • Omen – 1%
  • Phoenix – 0%
  • Yoru – 0%

The meta continues to shape and no one meta pick rules all on any map. It mainly comes down to how each team plays into their strengths with one glaring exception..

Jett Reigns Supreme in VALORANT Champions agent stats

Surprise, surprise but the queen of blades herself is back in the headlines as the hottest VALORANT Champions agent. The must-pick duelist is still a necessity as an entry on virtually every map and her 85% pick rate on 51 total maps shows that according to VLR.gg

Only on Split do we see her numbers dip down to 50%. Teams are still finding uses for her there, but not . On maps like Icebox and Ascent, Jett’s vertical and horizontal movement is needed to get an advantage on site. She also serves as the premier agent for Operator usage. So it makes sense that she’d be a valuable asset on maps with longer sightlines. 

Even more, so is the easy access Jett affords attacking teams with cloud burst smokes and dashes. She’s the ultimate creator of space and teams haven’t found similar value from the other duelist. Only Reyna and Raze have found spots in compositions as the primary duelist or secondary to Jett. But even then, they’re limited to specific maps. 

Conversely, only the European team Fnatic didn’t lock her as an instant pick, opting for Raze on Haven, Split and Fracture — three maps not traditionally known for Jett play. Fnatic did however stick with the single-duelist compositions and didn’t try out anything radical. In the meantime, Jett reigns supreme and until dash gets nerfed, things will likely stay that way in competitive Valorant. 

VALORANT Champions agent breakdown
Stats by player found via VLR.gg

The top fragging players in Berlin still overwhelmingly play Jett. Of the top 20 performers in the group stages, 12 of the 20 are Jett mains with Fnatic’s Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev and Vikings Olavo “heat” Marcelo ending the week with the highest combined ACS. All the perceived best players are insta-locking Jett.

Map Control is key 

In no short order, information gathering and map control agents still rule over the meta. Ever since Reykjavík, Viper, Killjoy, and Sova have stood firm as the best options for global map control. It’s not only the valuable utility usage on any one given map, but how teams can use these agents to synergize.

Viper, for instance, has made a raging comeback into the meta with how useful her utility and decay work with other, more aggressive agents. On Icebox, Breeze, and Bind, maps with smaller chokes and easily stalled areas, Viper has close to a 100% pick rate.

Teams are finding great value out of the Viper Pitt as a site anchor as well, being able to throw it out early in rounds and not worry about teams aggressing on that bomb site.

VALORANT Champions Agent analysis - Astra

Moving along, Astra has also become a mainstay in the controller meta. On larger maps, Astra is a no-brainer with her abilities able to reach any corner of the maps. In terms of Astra’s versatility, no agents match up.

Astra allows teams to play a variety of styles out of default or executes. The cosmic divide has also been a great tool on both attack and defense. It lets players take unique angles and hold usually vulnerable positions.

As for Sova, he ended the group stages as the second most picked agent with 68%. Similar to Jett, his kit is far too invaluable on most maps to disregard. No other agent has anything close to the info gathering tool as recon dart. His post-plant and usage on executes can’t be overlooked either.

Skye, back in Berlin, took some of the shine away from Sova, but as her usage has dipped down below 50%, Sova stands strong. However, he still isn’t an insta-lock on every map. Split lineups aren’t quite there and Skye’s versatility around corners makes her the pick over Sova.

The rest of the bunch

As mentioned above, Killjoy still gets plenty of run with specific bomb sites being a perfect combination with her defensive capabilities. Ascent is the Killjoy playground and that hasn’t changed with an 83% pick rate.

Killjoy’s ultimate continues to be one of the best and teams haven’t found adequate counter-play. Skye and Killjoy share the fifth and final spot on the pick rates, barely falling below the 50% threshold. 

Recently, Skye has fallen out of the meta after a fairly successful run in Berlin. The nerfs from patch 3.08 have played a major part in that as her flash executes and info gathering has gone by the wayside.

However, teams are still finding use out of her on the small maps like Bind or Split. Certain teams continue to use her consistently, like Gambit, Sentinels, or Vision Strikers but that’s not tied to any region. Her kit is still far too versatile to be ignored. Only time will tell if she makes it back into the meta.

Lastly, the best of the rest — you have your Sages, Cyphers, Breach’s, and the recently popular Kay-O. Again, teams want global map control and while each of these agents provides value, it’s mainly confined to bomb sites. They don’t provide a game-changing ultimates like the top-picked heroes.

The Case for Kay-O as a VALORANT Champions agent

Kay-O specifically is an interesting case, with only a handful of teams deciding to use machines in groups. Team Liquid and Vision Strikers had the highest pick rates for him among the teams but still used rather sparingly. If his ultimate provided any value he might find higher usage, but as it stands, it mostly comes down to combining his variety of flashes with other agents.

Now for the agents with not one map played during all of the groups: Yoru and Phoenix. In a meta defined by heavy utility agents, the two duelists provide nothing over Jett as a primary duelist. Same goes for any of the initiators, sentinels, or controllers. At this point, their kit needs a massive rework to become meta viable once again. And time will tell on Chamber, who was ineligible for Champions

So for now, the meta hasn’t shifted drastically but has opened up to more playstyles. Teams aren’t boxed into one composition and these phenomenal players are showing their versatility with several agent selections.

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