Power couple: Chamber and Fade were the most popular agents of the VCT Champions 2022 group stage

They're the hottest couple in VALORANT, in more ways than one.

Image via Riot Games

Chamber’s international pick rate has taken a bit of a hit at VALORANT Champions 2022 following the Patch 4.09 nerfs, but he’s still the most picked agent of the tournament. He and Fade, who’s seen a slight increase as well, are the only agents to be picked in over 50 percent of maps during the group stage, according to VLR.gg.

Across 49 group stage maps, Chamber and Fade had respective pick rates of 67 and 54 percent. Chamber was a popular pick on Haven, Breeze, Icebox, and Pearl, and was picked on every single Fracture game. Fade saw prominent usage on Haven, Ascent, Bind, and Pearl but was largely ignored on Fracture, Icebox, and especially Breeze.

Chamber is still an incredibly viable agent despite nerfs to Trademark and Rendezvous, plus an increased cost to Headhunter bullets. He is the go-to agent for getting opening kills, Trademark is still a useful tool for catching rotators even after nerfs, and the Tour De Force is still one the most impactful ultimates in the game. On maps where his pick rate is low like Ascent and Bind, it’s not even because he’s not viable, but just because agents like KAY/O and Jett on Ascent, and Raze and Brimstone on Bind, are more valuable.

There’s a pretty balanced split between initiator usage, at least when compared to severely divided categories like duelist and sentinel. But Fade is quickly becoming a leading favorite. The Prowler and Haunt abilities are excellent recon abilities and Seize is great for defuse denial and setting up Molotov abilites or Raze utility.

It continues to be a struggle for duelists not named Jett or Raze to get any screen time. Neon, at the very least, is the second most picked agent on Fracture but is largely ignored across the rest of the map pool. Yoru, Reyna, and Phoenix are the first, second, and third least-picked agents of the group stage, with only a handful of one-off appearances between the three of them.

With the tournament shifting to its playoffs, we can expect the top pick rates to get even higher and the lower ones to get even lower, with teams less likely to experiment and take risks with agent comps. Don’t be surprised to see Chamber’s playoff pick rate climb over 70 percent, or for one of the down-in-the-dumps duelists to be completely ignored.

The VCT Champions 2022 playoffs got underway today and conclude with the grand final on Sunday, Sept. 18.