The Valorant Champions meta
The Valorant Champions, the final competition of the season, has just finished on Acend's victory, who are now the first world champions. It's now time to look at the meta that marked the competition and to look at the pick rates of the different Agents, their winrate, as well as the picks and bans of the maps.
Agents pick rates
We had already written an article on the Masters 3 meta. Overall, it hasn't really evolved since then, and we quickly notice that it's always the same Agents at the top, and the same ones who flop.
The most popular Agents
Jett remains unchallenged and is, unsurprisingly, the most selected Agent during this Valorant Champions. It was thought that the nerf she suffered in Patch 3.06 would allow other Agents to make their way to the top of the leaderboard, but it clearly wasn't enough. Already in the lead at the Reykjavik Masters, then the Berlin Masters, she finished to establish her superiority at the last event of the year. Her pick rate was 82.4%, compared to 85% at the Berlin Masters. Although this is slightly lower, it does not detract from the fact that Jett is still the essential Agent to have on your team if you want to win the game.
Selected on absolutely all maps in the game, the Duelist still struggled on Fracture, a map where players had a slight preference for Breach.
Just like at the Berlin Masters, it's Sova who takes the second place in the ranking, with a pick rate of 68.3%. He was slightly more selected than at the previous international event, where he had a 64% winrate. His abilities are proving to be as important as ever to a team, as they allow him to reveal enemies while inflicting damage.
Sova also played on all maps, except Fracture, where no team ventured to select him. Indeed, the map is composed of large spaces and many hiding places, so his abilities have less impact on the game. On Split, only Crazy Raccoon chose to select the Initiator, again because of the less effective abilities.
Finally, Astra once again climbed to third place of the most played Agents. She had revealed herself during the Masters 3, reaching 60% pick rate against only 43% during the Masters 2. A few months later, she still appeals to professional players, as she reached this time a 59.2% pick rate. Her abilities have a strong impact during the games, as they allow to do damage while limiting the vision of the opponents, which proves to be a great asset on many maps. However, her role is limited on Icebox and Breeze and this is reflected in the stats, as she was not picked once in the entire event on these maps.
The least popular Agents
It was thought that the pick rate of Yoru couldn't be any lower than at the Berlin Masters, where he was only picked once. Well, it turns out it can be, as this time, the Agent was not selected at all during the competition. This is something we already know, his abilities pool is far from unanimous and many players find no point in playing him when they can select a Jett or a Raze instead. His abilities, normally designed to fool opponents, don't fool anyone except players with very little experience. A duelist and even Valorant's least popular Agent, Yoru will soon receive a rework, however, and will hopefully be more successful in the 2022 season.
Phoenix suffered exactly the same fate as Yoru, and finished this Valorant Champions with a pick rate of 0%. If he was already not very popular during the previous international events, this time he has been totally put aside. The problem is the same as for Yoru, professional players prefer to turn to Jett or Raze, both Agents having better fighting abilities.
Hard blow for Omen, who falls at 2.1% pick rate. Already underplayed in Masters 3 (8%), his "Lone Agent" aspect deterred players from selecting him for such an important event as Valorant Champions. Astra, and in particular Jett, have had the better of the Controller, as they have similar abilities to his and are proving to be more effective.
If Breach had been neglected at the Berlin Masters, with a pick rate of only 6%, he was able to make his place during the Valorant Champions and obtained this time a pick rate of 23.2% ! He was particularly popular on maps like Split and Fracture, which can be explained by the inefficiency of his fellow Initiator Sova on these.
KAY/O has also been more succesful, increasing his pick rate from 2% to 18.3% . The buff that Patch 3.06 brought to him probably has something to do with it. This interest in the Initiator also shows that players have managed to handle him and learn to deal with him. His release was still recent at the time of the Berlin Masters, and the professional teams had not had the opportunity to gauge his effectiveness. This has now been done and it's hoped that he will be selected even more during the 2022 season.
As mentioned in our article on the Berlin Masters meta, Skye was quite successful, going from 34% to 58% pick rate between Masters 2 and Masters 3. Very versatile and with effective abilities to get information on the position of enemies, it is understandable why she is so popular. Unfortunately, this popularity was slightly shaken during Valorant Champions, and the nerf she received in Patch 3.06 is certainly the main cause. Despite this, she still has a pick rate of 43%, which is still acceptable. 43%This is still acceptable.
Like Skye, Sage has also experienced a decline in popularity. Her pick rate was 44% during Masters 3, compared to only 28.2% during Valorant Champions. The increase in KAY/O's pick rate probably has something to do with this, as the Initiator is a much more aggressive and impactful support than the Sentinel, although it's interesting for a team to have a healer.
Agents win rates
As far as the win rates for attack and defense are concerned, they are quite balanced for the majority of the Agents. If we look at Jett, she wins as much in attack as in defense, with respectively 49.5% and 49.4%, on a total of 117 maps played. This trend is repeated for Astra and Sova, but this is hardly surprising since they are the three most popular Agents of this Valorant Champions and are therefore regularly played in both camps.
Cypher is much more effective when he is on the attackers' side, with 51% of wins against only 44.7% in defense. During Masters 3, however, he was much more noticeable on the defensive side.
The same applies to Brimstone, who had shone in defense at the Berlin Masters with a win rate of 64.2%, dropped at 56.1% at Valorant Champions. His attacking win rate is 68.1%. This can be explained by the fact that he was played by quite aggressive teams. However, it should be noted that the Agent has a pick rate of only 4.2% and has only played 6 maps, so these statistics are not very representative.
KAY/O, who has considerably increased his selection rate, performs better on the defender side than on the attacker side, with 53.3% and 43.7% win rates respectively. This is not surprising, as his ability to neutralise other Agents is proving very effective in preventing attackers from approaching a zone to plant the Spike.
The maps of the meta
In total, the teams competed in 28 matches and on 71 maps during Valorant Champions.
Of the seven maps available, Icebox, Breeze and Haven were played the most by the teams, twelve times each. Split and Ascent are just behind them with respectively eleven and ten games played on them. The two least popular maps are Bind, which hosted only eight matches, and Fracture with only six. . The latter, which is the most recent addition to the game, has not been popular with professional players.
Haven and Icebox were already at the top of the leaderboard at the end of Masters 3, having been played thirteen times each. The surprise here comes from Breeze, which had been the least selected and played map in Masters, with a total of six selections. It moves from last place in the rankings to first, proving that teams are now quite comfortable with it, which was not yet the case during the last international event.
The win rates are almost identical for attack and defense on Icebox, Breeze, Haven and Bind. There is a very slight difference on Split, where defenders won 52.38% of the games, compared to 47.62% for attackers.
But the map that stands out is Fracture, the latest addition. Already at the bottom of the most played maps ranking, it is also the one with the biggest difference in win rate between attack and defense. The teams that played it won 60% of the games as attackers, and only 40% as defenders. As the map has a double spawn, it becomes more difficult for the defense to see enemies coming and aggressive attackers can quickly overwhelm their opponents.
The Valorant Champions was the last stage of the 2021 VCT season. The meta has time to evolve considerably before the beginning of the next season, in February 2022. However, we are already looking forward to seeing which Agents and maps will be the most popular with professional teams.