The Istanbul Valorant Champions meta - VCT 2022
The Valorant Champions, the last competition of the season ended on Sunday 18th September with the victory of LOUD. It is now time to look at the meta which set the pace for the competition and look at which agents and maps were popular with the different teams.
Evolution of the Agents' pick rate
Here we provide a comparison between the selection rate of agents in the Copenhagen Masters 2, and then at the recently concluded Valorant Champions. We can see that Jett, Sova and Omen were chosen more during the Champions than during the last Masters. Conversely, Raze, Chamber and Brimstone were selected less.
For the second time in a row, it is Chamber who takes the lead in the ranking of the most selected agents during the Istanbul Champions, although his percentage has dropped slightly. He went from 76.50% at 67.77%, which is still a great performance. The sniper was able to dethrone Jett, who remained, however, the favourite of the professional gamers and the community in general. Despite the fact that he suffered several nerfs in recent months, including in patch 4.09 and patch 5.03, nothing seems to stop the Sentinel. He is an indispensable asset to have on your team, especially from an economic point of view.
His high versatility allows him to be selected on all maps without exception, although he has a bit more difficulty to make his place on Bind, where he is rather replaced by Agents like Raze or Brimstone.
For her first appearance in competition at the Masters 2 in Copenhagen, Fade had already managed to reach the third place of the most selected agents. For these Valorant Champions, she did even better, as this time she claimed second place with a selection rate of 53.49%. The Initiator was originally intended to offer players a new alternative to gather information about enemies, as Sova was largely dominant in this respect. Well, she has succeeded in doing just that, as she has managed to dethrone the Soviet, which was in second place until a few months ago. It must be said that since his nerf in patch 4.08, players tend to turn to other agents, and in particular to Fade. Fade provides more information than Sova and is therefore favoured. Hopefully this popularity will not earn her a nerf in the coming weeks.
Since Fade is now in second place, a new agent has taken third place. It is Viper, with 45,35% of pick rate. This is not the first time she has appeared in this ranking, as she was already present at the Reykjavik Masters. However, she gave up her place during the Masters 2 in Copenhagen, after suffering a nerf in patch 4.04. For these Valorant Champions, she is back in force and pushes Raze towards the exit. It must be said that the Duelists were not very popular during these world championships and Viper took advantage of this to sneak in. Her ability to slow down opponents thanks to her poison, as well as her ability to break through lines of sight make her an important part of the team.
At the Masters 2 in Copenhagen, Phoenix had been totally forgotten by the professional players and had not been selected on any match. For these Valorant Champions, he finally came out of the woodwork, but his pick rate remains very low as it is only 5.81%. Once again, Raze was favoured at the expense of our fire specialist. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened, as he has been at the bottom of the table for several international events. We had hoped to see him back in the running for the Champions following the buffs that he received on the patch 5.01, unfortunately, this was not enough and Riot Games will have to do better to make the Agent more popular.
There are also Cypher in the abyss of the ranking, ex-aequo with Phoenix, since he too has a selection rate of 5.81%. The Agent's popularity was already declining during the two Masters of the year and this was confirmed during the Champions. The gradual disinterest of professional players in the Sentinel can be explained by the rise of other agents of the same class, namely Chamber and Viper. In addition, Cypher is not economically very profitable, which makes him even more difficult to operate.
Despite having received a rework at the beginning of the year, Yoru has never had his moment of glory in the international events of the 2022 season. It was hoped that he would compete with some of the midfielders, but to no avail. He was only selected twice during the Valorant Champions, only 1.16% of pick. As always, one prefers agents like Jett or Raze, although the latter have also lost popularity during the World Championships.
Yoru is also tied with another character and that is Reyna. She too was only selected twice and thus finished the Champions with a selection rate of 1.16%. Despite her ability to hinder enemies with her Leer ability, she is not not as efficient and versatile as Fade, Omen or KAY/O. It is therefore not too surprising to find her once again at the bottom of the ranking.
After dominating the meta for many months, Jett had lost her favourite position at the Copenhagen Masters. She had fallen to only 17.4% pick rate, while she was close to 82% at the Valorant Champions 2021. This sudden drop in popularity was obviously due to the arrival of Chamber, but also to the important nerf she received in patch 4.08. For the Champions, the Duelist managed to make it to the middle of the table and was selected out of 54 maps, reaching a pick rate of 31.40%. This is still a long way from 82%, but it is better. Presumably, this renewed interest is due to a better command of the Agent, now that professional players have had time to get used to the changes made to her.
Sova has also suffered greatly from a loss of popularity. After a long period of time, he was shot down by patch 4.08, the same patch that hurt his fellow Duelist. After the the nerfs of his drone and arrows, his selection rate went from 49% to 18.6%. The arrival of Fade has also contributed to his decline, as she is now the second most selected agent. Nevertheless, the Initiator managed to restore his reputation a little during the Champions, as he was picked no less than 56 times, i.e. 32.56%. Like Jett, it can be assumed that the players have become accustomed to the changes made to the Agent, which would explain this increase in selection.
Raze is undoubtedly the one whose pick rate has fallen the most since the Copenhagen Masters. While it was 53.80% at the end of July, it is now 34.30%. As a result, the Duelist dropped from second place in the Most Popular Agents ranking to sixth place. This turnaround can be explained by the renewed popularity of Jett and Sova. Raze had made her place following her nerfs, but it would seem that this was only short-lived. We will have to wait for the next international event to see if this is confirmed.
The maps of the meta
Throughout the Valorant Champions Istanbul, the players played 34 matches out of a total of 86 maps.
Of the seven maps available, Ascent and Haven were the most popular with the teams, respectively 17 and 16 times. In third place we find Bind, with 13 games played above. The second part of the table is occupied by Breeze with 11 selections, then Fracture and Icebox which were each selected 10 times. Ultimately, Pearl, the latest, comes last with only 9 selections. As it is still new to the game, it is not surprising that it has been chosen less than the others.
Haven and Ascent were already on top of the ranking during the Reykjavik Masters but lost some of their popularity during the Copenhagen Masters. They are back in force for the Valorant Champions. However, it is Breeze, which creates a real surprise here. Selected only 5 times during the previous international event, it was the least selected map. Here, the map is doing well and has risen from the abyss of the ranking to the fourth place. The big absentee from the competition is of course Split, as the map was removed from the game a few months ago and it is not yet known when, or even if, it will return.
On the winrate side, players gained more in defence than in attack. This is the case for Ascent, Haven, Breeze, Fracture and Pearl. The difference is on average 4 to 6%. But the biggest gaps are visible on Ascent and Icebox. The former has 45% of winrate in attack and 55% in defence, while the latter has 54% of winrate in attack and 46% in defence.
The Valorant Champions were the last stage of the VCT 2022 season. The meta has time to evolve considerably before the next season begins in January 2023 with the international event in Sao Paulo. However, we are already looking forward to seeing which agents and maps will be the most successful in the new competition year.