VALORANT pros donned their gas masks last weekend, giving the game’s toxic agent more playing time than ever.
Across hundreds of matches at the NA VCT Stage Two: Challengers Two Open Qualifier, Viper’s pick rate spiked following her Patch 2.06 buffs. The poison-wielding agent still appears to be a situational option, however.
With a 19-percent pick rate, Viper beat out Skye, Reyna, Breach, Brimstone, and Yoru during the qualifiers. This is a massive difference from her five-percent pick rate at Challengers One, according to VLR.gg, which likely means her much-needed buffs were successful.
Viper’s kit will likely never make her a staple on any team comp. She has complex lineups, requires a lot of ability usage, and doesn’t succeed on every map. But as a niche pick that can control sites and stop an aggressive push, the toxic agent is perfect.
While she wasn’t selected often on Ascent or Haven, Viper had a whopping 49-percent pick rate on Icebox, 30 percent on Bind, and 29 percent on Split. And that makes complete sense. Ascent and Haven are large maps where last-minute rotations are common. If Viper uses her ultimate on one site, the opposing team can simply move on to the next one.
Icebox specifically is a perfect Viper map. With tight chokepoints on A, B, and mid, her wall can easily halt an opposing team. Enemies are forced to push through and immediately lose 50 health or wait the wall out. And learning Snake Bite lineups for the Spike can help stall out a round when attacking.
Even though Viper’s seen recent success following buffs, Yoru doesn’t seem to be faring any better. The duelist also got some love in Patch 2.06, getting his flash, ultimate, and Gatecrash buffed. But he was only picked in one percent of matches. The agent still suffers from predictable and loud abilities that aren’t worth mastering when there are far better options.
With the Challengers Two main event kicking off this Thursday, April 22, pick rates are liable to change. But Viper’s off to a great start.
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