In Valorant, an agent pick-ban system has been a contentious point of discussion among the players, especially those interested in the Valorant pro scene.
Game designer Nicholas Wu Smith, who works on weapon balance and agents, recently responded to a question regarding this topic. He said that an agent pick-ban system could be considered in Valorant once there are roughly 30 agents in-game.
The game came out of closed beta and got its worldwide release in June 2020 with ten agents. Since then, five more agents have been released, with Astra being the latest.
If Smith’s estimation of 30 agents is considered a ballpark figure, then Valorant players will have to wait a few years before the agent pick-ban system becomes a reality.
Valorant agent pick-ban system is in the cards, but not soon
The topic of an agent pick-ban system being presented to the Valorant devs is not new. Game director Joe Ziegler talked about this in November of last year in an interview with G2 Esports’ star, Oscar “Mixwell” Cañellas Colocho.
Ziegler stated that a pick-ban system could be a possibility in the future once the then-roster of 14 agents grows. He also mentioned:
“It really depends on how much it (the agent pick-ban system) adds to the game versus subtracts from the game.”
But Nicholas Wu Smith’s comment today on the subject gave players a ballpark figure of 30, and he also kept the conversation open-ended, saying:
“It also really depends on if we get as much good competition out of banning stuff versus other games. Other games ban, but is it actually better?”
Smith alluded to a particular example to make his point. He mentioned Tyson’ TenZ’ Ngo’s Jett performances as well:
“Is it better to see TenZ on Jett more often, or is it better that we never see that because it always gets banned against that team?”
In the future, it would be interesting to observe how the agent pick-ban system impacts the pro meta and how the Valorant team tackles the new system when it is finally implemented.
But that is still in the distant future since currently, an agent pick-ban system is not among Riot Games’ priorities, as made clear from the dev’s comments.