Gekko and Reyna discussing plans in a VALORANT GIF.
Image via Riot Games

VALORANT players want their teammates to stop thinking about the game like CoD

It just ain't that simple.

In the grand scheme of the game, the goal of VALORANT is to accomplish tasks, mostly bomb plants or defuses, by eliminating the enemy team. That might be the simplest method to victory, but the variety of ways you can win are much broader than just hitting shots.

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Unlike games like Call of Duty, there are so many aspects to VALORANT that allow for players to win rounds without ever firing a single bullet, or landing one on an enemy. Thanks to the plethora of utility that teams can fit together from the agent pool, the resulting complexity of strategy allows for smart players to defeat enemies who can only aim well. Aim and kills still matter, but it just ain’t that simple in VALORANT.

This was, and still is, an avid discussion on Reddit, with a couple of threads talking about this topic today. One of the first is someone trying to figure out the answer to a simple question: are kills everything? They play with a friend who plays Skye, an initiator, but that friend never uses their utility to help the team. Instead, they focus on using it for themselves, securing kills on lurks or bait plays. Then, when the first player doesn’t get as many kills, usually playing a controller, the Skye gets mad at them.

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The player asked the VALORANT subreddit if they were in the wrong, and the answer was a resounding no. One of the simplest replies in the comments is how much assists matter for initiators. The commenter noted that “one thing about Skye is that if you have less than 10 assists you’re playing the agent very poorly. Sounds like he’s throwing.” Initiators are meant to gain information for the team, along with blinding enemies or spotting them out easily. If you play them entirely for yourself, you’ll get more kills, but your team won’t be able to gain information as easily, leading to round losses and eventually game losses.

Don’t get it twisted though, this rule isn’t just for initiators. It’s just as important for duelists, sentinels, and controllers to focus on assists just as much as kills when it comes to winning games. Another thread on Reddit spoke on that topic, and while not all assists have the same value, they usually lead to the same end: victory. From landing KAY/O’s ZERO/POINT and suppressing enemy abilities to placing good smokes and getting assists when enemies swing out and die, there are more ways to assist teammates than just good flashes, even if that’s usually the easiest way to get assists outside of doing more than 50 damage to an enemy. You’ll most likely get less assists playing a duelist like Jett or Reyna than Skye or Fade, but that one assist might’ve been crucial in a round win.

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Plus, looking from an even wider perspective, there can be times when you don’t get kills or assists at all, but you still do a lot to help win a round. Reading enemies and rotations are one example, but another hypothetical was brought up in the assist Reddit thread. Imagine you’re a Killjoy, and you used your Nanoswarm grenade, doing exactly 48 damage to four enemies rushing towards you. Then, a teammate guns them down for you. You don’t get a single assist, but you found all the enemies and whittled them down for your teammate to clean up.

Where in other games, killing the opponent is the best statistic to point to for success, a game like VALORANT is much more complex. It can lead to it being harder to track, but it also means that you can out-think your opponents to victory just as often as you click their heads.


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Author
Michael Czar
Contributing writer for Dot Esports. Covering esports news for just over five years. Focusing on Overwatch, VALORANT, Call of Duty, Teamfight Tactics, and some general gaming content. Washington Post-published game reviewer. Follow me on Twitter at @xtraweivy.