The first stop on the final stretch of the road to Champions will be made in Berlin, with VCT Masters Three. In just the second official international VALORANT LAN, 16 teams from around the world will compete in a group stage format leading to an eight-team single-elimination bracket to secure their spots in the eventual world championship.
In VALORANT, matches can be won and lost during the agent selection process, based on a team’s level of communication and what map they’re playing on. Before a match even begins in Berlin, we’ve constructed a composition of five agents to keep a close eye on at Masters Three next month.
It should be no surprise to see Jett here, since she’s the most impactful duelist in the meta right now and one of the most popular agent choices across multiple regions. At the Stage Three: Challengers Playoffs, Jett was the most picked agent for North America (78 percent), EMEA (65 percent), Korea (85 percent), Brazil (75 percent), and several others. Jett’s blend of mobility and lethality is unlike any other duelist or agent. Her smokes let her create plays on her own, and her Blade Storm is a tremendous boost to any force buy round or Op player.
Berlin is going to feature one of the greatest international selection of top-tier Jett players ever amassed from one tournament. Several of the game’s rising stars that have made their name playing Jett will be dueling each other: Sentinels’ TenZ, Acend’s cNed, Envy’s yay, Vision Strikers’ BuZz, and SuperMassive Blaze’s Izzy, among others, will be competing in Masters Three. With how prolific some of these players are, Berlin may very well be decided by who has the best showing on the dynamic aerial assassin.
Sova is the consensus number-two agent selected across the majority of VALORANT regions. In fact, Sova traditionally has a higher pick rate than Jett on maps like Ascent, Bind, and Icebox, but his overall rate is pulled down by his non-appearances in Split agent selections. The value he provides on other maps, however, cannot be understated. Sova’s utility is geared towards gathering information for the team and forcing opponents out of spots and off the spike.
In Berlin, you’re going to see a lot of Sova selections, and then you’re going to see Sova dominate the beginning and the end of site takes on attack. There’s going to be Recon Bolts and Owl Drones to make space, then Shock Darts and perhaps a well-timed Hunter’s Fury to secure the round via post-plant. Look for the recon abilities to provide even more usage on defense, since a well-timed arrow can reveal a push before it starts. Players like 100 Thieves’ Hiko, Sentinels’ ShahZaM, G2’s koldamenta, and Gambit’s Chronicle will be Sova players to watch in pivotal rounds.
As opposed to agents that are universally preferred by VALORANT teams across the world like Jett and Sova, there are a couple of agents that have seen an exceptional amount of usage in a specific competitive region. One of those agents is Sage, who emerged as a favorite in EMEA with the second-highest overall pick rate during the Challengers Playoffs of 63 percent, including a +80 percent rate on Ascent, Icebox, and Split. That overall rate highly contrasts the overall rates you see in other regions: 33 percent in Brazil, 26 percent in Korea, and 17 percent in NA.
The EMEA teams love the security a Sage wall provides against a controller’s smoke or the walk-through wall of a Phoenix or a Viper. This can slow down opposing pushes or retakes, and even cut off vision if placed correctly. Against regions that favor an aggressive playstyle like NA or Korea, the ability to slow that style down with walls or slow orbs is pivotal, and having heals and resurrection lets a team recover from unchecked aggression. EMEA teams like G2 and Acend each have more than one player that runs Sage too, and all four teams use her in their comps frequently.
On the opposite side of the ocean, in NA, Astra has risen in the ranks up to become a top three agent; 69 percent overall pick rate during the Stage Three: Challengers Playoffs. She’s seen a rise in regions like Brazil and Korea, but NA is where she’s thrived the most, especially on Haven, Ascent, Split, and Bind. On maps like Split and Bind with close angles and less wide open spaces, her star usage can be amplified and the high amount she’s capable of deploying is critical on a three-site map like Haven. She’s had impact on the international stage before, back at Masters Two Reykjavík. NA representative Version1 used Astra exceptionally well in their upset win over Liquid, who had no answer for her utility.
Astra has incredible combo potential with another popular agent in NA, Killjoy. A popular play is stacking Killjoy’s Nanoswarm on an Astra star, then detonating the swarm while pulling the opponents in, trapping them and whittling down their health. But even without Killjoy, being able to deploy either smoke, a concussive charge, or a vortex virtually on a whim (and recall them) provides tremendous value to a team. Look for top NA controllers like Sentinels’ zombs, 100T’s nitr0, and Envy’s Marved to take control of the map and cause trouble to other teams with Astra.
Even without Astra’s stars to combo with, Killjoy’s utility is capable of having massive impact on any VALORANT match she’s in. It’s why she was the most picked sentinel agent in North America, Brazil, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Across these regions, she’s especially popular on maps like Ascent, Icebox, and Breeze.
Killjoy’s utility truly lets her do a little bit of everything. Her turret can be used to check and hold angles, Alarmbot can deter lurks and retakes, Nanoswarm is a perfect post-plant ability, and her ultimate is useful on both offensive site takes and defensive retakes. Look towards NA again, and player like Sentinels’ dapr, Envy’s FNS, and 100T’s steel to lockdown sites all on their own.