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Are players that insta-lock duelists ruining the Valorant competitive experience?

Players sometimes choose agents immediately after a game starts (Image via Riot Games)
Players sometimes choose agents immediately after a game starts (Image via Riot Games)
Christian A.
ANALYST
Modified 02 Jan 2021, 10:02 IST
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Good team compositions in Valorant is essential to winning competitive matches, but insta-locking duelists can make it hard to create a good side.

Insta-locking, for those unaware, is when players in Valorant instantly select their agent before a match begins. By doing so, the remaining players are forced to select agents that can effectively complement the already selected agents. In many cases, players will dodge matches to avoid playing with insta-lockers.

Related: Possible Omen Shrouded Step bug making Valorant players miss shots


The problem with insta-locking in Valorant

Insta-locking is prevalent in other games also (Image via Riot Games)
Insta-locking is prevalent in other games also (Image via Riot Games)

The best way to compose a good team in Valorant is to allow teammates time to discuss which agents they’re best with. Additionally, insta-locking agents can set a bad tone before the match starts.

Insta-lockers, especially when selecting duelists, come off as selfish and uncaring about how the rest of the team performs. There is nothing wrong with selecting a duelist, but doing so immediately may piss off the rest of the team.

Reddit user u/EnteEon took to the r/Valorant forum to express his concerns, saying:

“I know many of you will hate me for that but after my 5th rank game in a row where someone insta-locks Pheonix and never go first, I have to say this...you want to watch the back of your team? Okay, take Cypher, KJ, sage, or maybe omen.”
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HIs concern is certainly valid. As a duelist, that player is obligated to seek engagements first for his/her team. Sitting back and waiting on one’s team to make a move isn’t an option for duelists. If a player wants to insta-lock, then they better be confident in their ability to entry frag for their team.

Related: Icebox in Valorant is still giving players in lower elos a difficult time

In competitive games, insta-lockers frequently try to tell the remaining players on their team who to pick. If someone is to freely select their agent before consulting with the rest of the team, then they shouldn’t try to influence the decisions of the rest of the team. The remaining players may not be comfortable with the role of controller-agent, for example. However, they may pick Omen or Brimstone so they can assist the team.

Insta-locking duelists can definitely be a tough experience for Valorant players at every rank. Nobody wants to play with someone that cares only about their solo performance.

At the end of day, winning is the most important aspect of competitive Valorant. The best way to do so is to consult with the team and provide each player with an agent they are comfortable and familiar with.

Related: Is Valorant's Average Combat Score rating demoralizing players from playing the support role?

Published 02 Jan 2021, 10:02 IST
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