With VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3 Masters starting on Sept. 9, and no more patches between now and the tournament, Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs could be a good marker to predict which agents might show up at the Berlin LAN event.
After a look at all the numbers, here are the top eight picked agents internationally as well as the top three VALORANT pros who will be at Berlin for each agent (based on Average Combat Score from Challengers Playoffs).
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Jett
76% international pick rate – up 3%
Is this surprising at all? Jett has always been the Empress of VALORANT. She fits well on practically every map and every team comp.
That said, she does struggle in tighter chokes, or long hallways where she cannot easily dash in and out. This makes Raze her primary competition on Bind and Split. But even then, she is often paired WITH Raze when teams run a double-Duelist comp.
The mobility she has thanks to Updraft, Drift and Tailwind allows her to maneuver past entry hazards and catch enemies off-guard. She commands space with Cloudburst and Blade Storm, forcing enemies into unfavorable positions. As a result, Jett is practically unparalleled.
The nerfs really did nothing to stop Jett’s dominance over the rest of the Duelist class. Yes, she is more expensive, but funneling money into your Jett so they can get a gun is usually worth the payout, as Jett’s refrag and follow-up potential is phenomenal. No matter how you look at it, Jett will be the primary force anchoring teams in Berlin.
Top 3 players: Paper Rex’s Jason “f0rsaken” Susanto (301), Acend’s Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek (285), SuperMassive Blaze’s Baran “Izzy” Yilmaz (277)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Sova
68% international pick rate – down 5%
With Skye getting more use, Sova has taken a small hit. But really, that loss isn’t much considering his near 70% pick rate. That number means he was used in 17 out of every 25 games.
Sova’s weakness is similar to Jett’s — he does not like tight places and lots of corners. On maps like Bind and Split, Skye and Breach tend to thrive more, which pushes him out of that Initiator spot. In fact, if we ignored his Bind and Split rate, his pick rate jumps to a staggering 87%.
It’s just impossible to ignore how powerful Sova’s kit is. He offers so much information, and his abilities are powerful during any phase of a round. He even pairs up with Skye on a frequent basis, as their kits combine well to push back aggressors and take space while keeping the enemy on their toes. As for Berlin, it is clear that, as long as Sova’s core mechanics don’t change, Sova will be standing proudly on top with Jett as the powerhouses of VCT.
Top 3: Crazy Raccoon’s An “Medusa” Min-cheol (264), ZETA DIVISION’s Koji “Laz” Ushida (243), Vivo Keyd’s Lucas “ntk” Martins (224)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Astra
48% international pick rate – up 22%
Astra bounced back from her low 26% pick rate in Stage 2 and is currently surpassing her Reykjavik numbers. Teams are using her more and more over Omen, which has pushed down the spooky ghost boy to 23% (a 13% drop in pick rate). Astra excels in the same tight chokes and pathways as Omen. But unlike them, she can have impact on both sides of the round.
Omen’s flash, once used, leaves him completely out of his engage tool. This forces teams to follow up on his Paranoia immediately or waste his 300-credit ability and lose an important piece of utility. Astra has five chances to create space and force mistakes, and even if she uses two smokes (like Omen typically uses on command), she still has three stars at her disposal.
The only thing stopping Astra from the level of dominance that we see with Sova and Jett is player choice and map design. Some teams are still more comfortable with Omen’s hard and fast playstyle. While a 23% pick rate is not a lot, it’s still not choosing Astra 23% of the time.
In addition, maps like Icebox and Breeze do not suit a small bubble smoker like Astra well. Viper is much preferred (almost mandatory) for the map, followed by double-Duelist or double-Initiator. So, while she may never reach that 60%-70% pick rate, Astra is definitely establishing herself as the queen of the closed map Controllers.
Top 3: Gambit Esports’ Igor “Redgar” Vlasov (220), F4Q’s Kim “zunba” Joon-hyuk (214), Vision Strikers’ Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan” (206)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Skye
47% international pick rate – up 11%
Let’s do a little math. For argument’s sake, say that a player doesn’t buy Skye’s flash at the beginning of a round. A round (before spike planting) is one minute and 40 seconds, and the spike can extend things by 45 seconds. That means the longest a round could, theoretically, be is two minutes and 25 seconds. If a Skye player uses her flash RIGHT as the barrier drops and again on cooldown (40 seconds), including the flash right at the start, she would get to use four total birds.
That’s four free flashes that blind for two seconds and give information if a player (or players) took the full force of her blind. Plus, keep in mind, that is at minimum. Most flash characters in VALORANT have low usage rates, as their other utility cannot supplement their flashes well enough to warrant higher usage (or they are simply map dependent). But Skye’s rework made it so that “she had more power in her overall kit.” That means she is much more well rounded than the others in the game.
She can also fit right into a double-Initiator comp with Sova. In this setup, she acts like a pseudo-Duelist, mixing how she deploys her birds to throw the enemy team off and using her Trailblazer to clear out angles so her team can push. I think the 11% spike in usage is enough to show that pros are really starting to see how powerful Skye is as an agent. And, with Patch 3.0 having no changes in terms of agent balance, Skye will still be the oppressive monster we’ve known so far.
Top 3: Havan Liberty’s Rodrigo “myssen” Myssen (255), ZETA DIVISION’s Laz (241), Vision Strikers’ Kim “stax” Gu-taek (237)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Killjoy
41% international pick rate – up 2%
Killjoy definitely took a hit after Patch 3.0, but she is slowly returning to her former glory. After dropping a full 12% in usage from Reykjavik to Stage 3 Challengers 1 (53% to 41%), she is now sitting comfortably in that low 40% range. The drop in pick rate could be attributed to Cypher seeing a lot more play near the beginning of Stage 3, but teams seem to value Killjoy more now. Cypher is back down to practically pre-Patch 3.0 levels in pro play.
With her utility locking down tight chokeholds, Killjoy is phenomenal on most maps. Her Swarm Grandes are too effective at delaying whatever is necessary for the situation. Her Lockdown is still one of the strongest ultimates in the game and it forces teams into tough decisions.
While she is experiencing an uptick in play, it will be interesting to see if teams play her at Berlin as much as they have the rest of Stage 3. Many teams are running around with Astra-Viper, Skye-Sova, and double-Duelist comps that sometimes don’t leave room for a Sentinel. Other teams prefer Sage for her wall and slow orbs, which can cover a chokepoint without her needing to be in range. I also think we will see less Killjoy-Sage as teams play more Skye, which will take demand away from the double-Sentinel comp and put more emphasis on double-Initiator. However, there is no understating just how valuable her utility can be with the right placement.
Top 3: KRÜ Esports Roberto “Mazino” Rivas (337), G2 Esports’ Óscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho (245), Paper Rex’s Benedict “Benkai” Tan (225)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Viper
40% international pick rate – little to no change
Viper has been holding strong in Stage 3. The introduction of Breeze only increased the need to get a good Viper player, as simply banning Breeze or Icebox is not enough to ensure you can avoid those maps. Viper’s Toxic Screen is the few non-ultimate wall abilities in the game, which makes her mandatory to cover multiple angles. What one character would need 2 smokes to cover, Viper can simply angle her wall and cover them all.
It also helps that both her smokes are on a resource meter, allowing her to maintain a presence long into the round. Her mollies are great for delaying pushes and post-plant situations and there is no underestimating just how strong Viper’s Pit is. Attempting to push through the B choke on Breeze with the toxic gas clogging the way is something no team wants to do.
Viper’s main smoke strength is in her wall, so closer maps make her single Poison Orb a bit lack-luster. This means she will be tied to the pick rates of Breeze and Icebox. The more they are picked, the more she is picked. So, while she will never hit Jett levels of power, one thing is for sure: if Riot does not introduce another Controller with a wall, she will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
Top 3: Vision Strikers’ MaKo (277), KRÜ Esports Mazino (254), Paper Rex’s Benkai (253)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Sage
39% international pick rate – down 8%
The Bastion of China is holding somewhat steady this patch, with high 40% pick rates overall. While teams seemed to want Killjoy during the Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs, don’t expect Sage to dip below 40% at Berlin. Her kit is integral to many comps due to the immediate space it can create. Unlike Killjoy and Cypher, who need time, Sage’s walls and slow orbs create instantaneous room for teams to move around the map. Her Heal Orb and Resurrection are also easy pieces of utility to use for consistent value on any team. In a game like VALORANT, a heal can be the threshold between winning a 1v1 and losing the clutch.
While she is very strong overall, she does compete with Killjoy for the Sentinel spot on teams. Killjoy provides more intel and damage while Sage’s utility is more about area of control through physical hazards. So, for teams that worry about lurkers or want that extra intel, they tend to go with Killjoy. However, if teams want her wall, or they are playing on Icebox or Split, Sage is more frequent. The dynamic between the two will rest on the teams and which maps they decide to use.
Top 3: ZETA DIVISION’s Shogo “takej” Takemori (344), G2 Esports’ Cista “keloqz” Wassim (237), Paper Rex’s Khalish “d4vd1” Rusyaidee (223)
Probable Masters Berlin agent: Raze
34% international pick rate – up 6%
Raze got hit pretty hard in Patch 3.0, but her pick rate never really wavered. While she is definitely more expensive, her core mechanics did not change. She still thrives in closed spaces, like Bind or Split, where her explosives are more controlled.
The wider the space, the wider her explosive spread is, so she does not like maps like Breeze or Icebox. However, many teams seem open to play on Bind and Split. There is no doubt VALORANT’s explosives expert will show up in Berlin.
Top 3: Vision Strikers’ Goon “Rb” Sang-min (324), KRÜ Esports’ Angelo “keznit” Mori (296), Acend’s Patryk “Starxo” Kopczyński (289)
About the Author
Attending university on my Master's in Mathematics, working as an on-campus tutor and writing about what I enjoy. For Upcomer, I mainly write about Valorant and esports, combining my love of Math and video games! I also love food, Pokémon and League!