When can we expect a pick-ban system in VALORANT? Read what the devs have to say.

Riot Games entered the FPS genre last year when it released VALORANT. The game features characters with abilities, but the focus remains on aim and skill according to Riot Games. 

As VALORANT nears its first anniversary, the community has ideas on how to improve the competitive scene. One of these ideas is to implement a pick-ban system similar to what we see in many other games. However, VALORANT has just fifteen agents.

Will VALORANT get a pick-ban system?

VALORANT has fifteen agents and the devs aim to release six agents per year. Image Credit: Riot Games/ VALORANT.

Because of its popularity, it is easy to forget that VALORANT is a relatively new game. The game is very much under development with new agents joining the list of characters every few months. 

VALORANT launched with ten agents in 2020 and has steadily added five more over the past year. However, a pick-ban system might still be a few years away as per VALORANT game designer, Nicholas Wu Smith. On his personal Twitch stream, Smith said Riot might aim for thirty agents before considering a pick-ban system. 

When someone asked Smith “At what Agent do you think bans will be viable?” his answer was “Maybe close to 30”. Currently, there are fifteen agents in VALORANT. 

It also really depends on if we get as much good competition out of banning stuff versus other games. Other games ban, but is it actually better? 

Nicholas Wu Smith.

The topic of implementing a pick-ban system in VALORANT has been around since its launch. VALORANT, like other similar titles, has different agent classes with varied abilities and strengths. A pick-ban system would implement a mental tug-of-war between the two sides, which adds a focus on strategy and requires teams to prepare better for the other team.

It also really depends on if we get as much good competition out of banning stuff versus other games. Other games ban, but is it actually better?

Nicholas Wu Smith
He later clarified that his comments were his personal opinion and were not reflective of the VALORANT dev team’s thoughts. Screengrab via Twitter.

Riot Games has been non-commital to a pick-ban system in the game. In November 2020, VALORANT game director Ziegler said Riot might consider a pick-ban system in the future after more agents join the list.

However, the developers are closely monitoring the impact of adding picks and bans to the game. 

How many VALORANT agents will be released in a year?

VALORANT executive producer, Anna Donlon, said Riot is targeting six agent releases in a year. There will be two episodes of six months each. Each episode contains three acts, which means acts last for two months each. VALORANT fans can expect a new agent at the beginning of each act, although the developers hope to remain flexible on this number.

At this rate, VALORANT fans can expect a potential pick-ban system in two to three years. For now, VALORANT fans can look forward to VCT Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík, Iceland which will be the first international VALORANT LAN event.

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

Rohan - Content Editor


Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)