Valorant has taken over the genre of tactical First-Person Shooters as one of the most popular active gaming titles in the world. Millions of people worldwide indulge in the game, with thousands of professional teams competing for the top spot on the world charts every year.
Players are provided with a choice of 17 agents with a unique set of abilities that they can utilize to aid them in a 5v5 tactical combat. These agents are further divided into 4 agent classes based on the nature of their abilities.
Duelists, Initiators, Controllers and Sentinels are the four different agent classes in Valorant. This article ranks the four Valorant Initiators - Sova, Skye, KAY/O, and Breach, on the basis of their adaptability to the structure of Valorant's diverse set of maps, as well as their effectiveness in different team compositions.
Every Initiator in Valorant ranked (2021)
KAY/O is the most recent inclusion in Valorant's roster of Initiators. He is equipped with a fairly straightforward toolkit. Players have access to a standard flashbang (Q) and a frag-grenade (C) for KAY/O's basic abilities. His signature ability (E) allows him to suppress enemy agents within an area, rendering their abilities ineffective.
KAY/O's ability to suppress is augmented through his ultimate, which puts the agent on equal footing with Valorant's Duelists in terms of attacking power. Patch 3.06 witnessed an upgrade for KAY/O, making the agent more suitable for Valorant's diverse maps. Although not the primary choice for an Initiator in any map, KAY/O manages to fit into the meta as a secondary Initiator.
At Valorant Champions 2021, KAY/O made an appearance in all 7 maps with Breeze (42%) and Ascent (35%) as his favorites. Overall, the agent had an 18% pick rate, and featured regularly on some of the top Valorant squads at the event.
Breach is one of two Initiators made available to players in Valorant's beta run. The agent has the unique capability to deploy his abilities through walls, a feature that has a strict impact on his playstyle and map preference. Breach has an effective flash ability (Q) along with the damage-dealing Aftershock (C) ability. His signature ability (E) sets off an earthquake, concussing anyone in the way.
Similar to his signature, Breach is capable of concussing enemies within a far bigger range with his Rolling Thunder (X). His ability to deal damage while taking cover and the nature of his utilities make him an ideal pick on certain maps. Breach has received a series of modifications in the past, most notably in patch v3.0. However, it wasn't until the introduction of Fracture that the Valorant community revitalized Breach.
During the inaugural Valorant Champions 2021 tournament, Breach experienced a 100% pick rate in the 6 matches played on Fracture. However, apart from Fracture, Haven (50%) and Split, Breach remained unpicked throughout the tournament and had an overall pick rate of 23%.
Skye was the first Initiator to be added to the Valorant Protocol after the game's official release. Her inclusion has definitely garnered positive responses from the playerbase. Skye has a versatile flash ability (E) and a team-heal ability (C). Her Trailblazer (C) can be used to obtain recon or gain entry into sites. She can also release her ultimate ability to track down up to 3 enemy agents.
Riot Games have made several changes to Skye's abilities in the past in order to encourage coordinated teamwork and to reduce her potential as a solo agent. As recently as patch v3.06, Skye received minute nerfs for her flash and ultimate. Nevertheless, Skye is a versatile agent who is capable of gaining entry into sites, holding down angles, tracking down enemies, and healing teammates.
Skye is a popular pick across all maps in Valorant. At the Valorant Champions 2021, Skye had an overall pick rate of 43%, with Bind (81%) being her best map. Despite being unpicked on Icebox, Skye appeared on every other map throughout the tournament.
Sova was introduced alongside Breach in Valorant's closed beta release in early 2020. Since then, Sova has emerged as one of the most popular agents in the game, in terms of skill and effectiveness. His recon dart (E) and owl drone (C) provide the team with valuable information, whereas his shock darts (Q) are excellent in dealing heavy damage to enemies.
Sova's ultimate works off his other abilities, and is pivotal in the agent's style of play. Due to the flexibility associated with deploying his utilities, Sova has one of the steepest learning curves for any agent in Valorant. His high skill-ceiling makes him an ideal pick in professional fixtures, whereas the nature of his abilities makes the agent applicable across various maps in Valorant.
During the Valorant Champions 2021, Sova experienced a 100% pick rate on Ascent, Breeze and Icebox. He experienced an overall pick rate of 68%, second only to Jett (82%), and the highest for an Initiator. Despite his numbers on Split (5%) and Fracture (0), Sova is a versatile agent who can utilize his set of utilities to turn the tide in his favor.
Note: The article reflects the views of the writer.