May 30, 2020
ESPN Esports Staff
As the VALORANT launch edges closer, it’s easy to get excited about the future of the game. What kind of maps will be released? What will gun balancing look like? And probably most important:
What kind of cool agents will Riot come up with?
So, we went ahead and got started on that. Like kids coming up with their own superheroes, we think these agents would be cool in the game.
Sana — support-style agent
First skill: Dual Orb — Can either heal allies or damage enemies.
Second skill: Lifeline — Drain health from an enemy to heal yourself.
(Editor’s note: Brian wrote this BEFORE the reveal of Reyna, who appears to have similar abilities — I think he’s psychic.)
Signature ability: Summon — A teammate can call out for help, which quickens Sana’s pace to reach the teammate faster.
Ultimate: Sacrifice — Heals all allies in an area around Sana, but disables you from doing anything else for the time being.
This character was inspired by Overwatch’s Zenyatta, which I’ve been playing quite a bit lately. Her name is based on the Spanish word for healing as she’s an agent who hails from Mexico. Like Sage, Sana can throw out orbs that heal teammates, but unlike Sage, these same orbs can be used to damage enemies. Sana must make calculated decisions about whether to use the limited number of orbs she has for healing or damage. She can’t use the orbs to heal herself. For that she can throw out a lifeline when she is near an enemy that temporarily disables and draws health away from that agent and turns it into health for her.
Sana is always ready to help out a teammate, which is why her fellow agents can summon her to their aid and her pace will quicken in order to reach them. As for her ultimate ability, Sana can unleash a powerful energy field that will heal all allies who are within a certain proximity to her. The catch is she can’t do anything else while the energy field is activated. She sacrifices herself for the good of her teammates even though it makes her more vulnerable to being killed.
— Brian Bencomo
Syke — Duelist
First skill: Self-smoke — Syke deploys a smoke on his belt with a small radius that lasts four seconds. This smoke follows him where he moves.
Second Skill: Doppelganger — Syke can summon a copy of himself to move in a direction he chooses; the doppelganger cannot shoot or perform any other movement actions other than moving in the direction Skye dictated.
Signature ability: Grappling hook — After a brief windup, Skye shoots out a grappling hook that can latch onto surfaces, allowing him to reach high spots or locations quickly. If it hits an enemy, Skye and the opponent are pulled toward one another and meet in the middle. During the travel time, both Skye and the other player can fire their weapons or activate skills, and Skye can cancel the grapple movement at any time.
Ultimate: Phase — Syke distorts himself, becoming immune to all damage for two seconds, but also disallowing him to use any skill or weapon. Five total copies of Syke appear — one in front of the original, one in back, one to the left, and one to the right. During this time, Syke can decide to change his location to one of those four copies. If he does nothing, the ultimate ends and he remains where he was.
The whole idea behind Syke is to create second-guessing and misdirection in order to put the opponent on their heels. Is that the real Syke? Do I reveal my location shooting at that doppelganger? Which direction will he phase to during his ultimate?
The abilities are meant to allow for a wide range of synergistic possibilities, with many starting or ending with a self-smoke. Starting with a self-smoke, the possibilities of dropping a doppelganger or shooting out a grappling hook allow for misdirection or safer escapes, entrances or both. The ultimate, Phase, can buy a precious few seconds, and dropping a smoke right before it creates even more confusion.
— Darin Kwilinski
Captain Bridget — support-style agent
First skill: Armor Pack — Captain Bridget heals her allies and gives them overcharged armor — up to 100 total armor.
Second skill: Grenade Launcher — Captain Bridget launches a grenade from an underslung grenade launcher. The grenade does enough damage to one-hit-kill anyone within a pretty generous radius.
Signature ability: Pavise Shield — Captain Bridget holds a large shield in front of her. The shield has 500 hit points and regenerates if put away. Friendly players can fire through the shield. Captain Bridget can also right-click to stun enemies close by.
Ultimate: AC-130 — Take to the skies and rain down death upon your enemies in a futuristic gunship.
I picked these skills specifically because I
despise other players wouldn’t want to see anything like them in this game. They’re a cavalcade of difficult-to-counter abilities that either delete an opponent in one hit or give the player and their teammates way more hit points than they could get normally. Right now, the overwhelming majority of abilities in VALORANT involve utility or limited mobility, and damage skills (like Raze’s grenades or Sova’s Shock Dart) are either highly telegraphed or situational. Healing abilities are so far limited to either personal heals or a single character (Sage) with a lengthy cooldown. Anyone who played against launch Brigitte in Overwatch or got blown up by a killstreak in Call of Duty knows that abilities like those are, ah, not super fun to play against. I very much doubt Riot Games is considering going in those directions, but just in case: Please don’t.
— Joe DeMartino
Brimana — Controller
First skill: Biotic Beacon — Launch a disk that applies a small area of effect healing for you and teammates or prevents enemies within it from healing.
Second skill: Incendiary — Fire an incendiary grenade that creates a lingering fire zone that damages players within the zone.
Signature ability: Sky Smoke — Pull up a map to place smoke clouds that block vision on areas near you.
Ultimate: Orbital Strike — Pull up a map and fire a large laser that does high area-of-effect damage to enemies caught in it.
This one is a minor adjustment to fix the least useful ability in Brimstone’s arsenal and address the nuisance that is Sage’s and Phoenix’s healing abilities.
Stim Beacon is both underused and way too situational compared with the other abilities available to VALORANT agents. This change turns his rate-of-fire buff into either a small (and slow) area-of-effect heal for teammates — we’re talking max 25 points of health over a few seconds — or, more importantly, allows him to stunt opponents’ healing abilities for several seconds and make characters unable to heal. The renaming is a nod to Ana from Overwatch, whose Biotic Grenade was the inspiration for the new ability.
Any game with the option for heroes to heal also needs an anti-heal ability. Brimana can provide that, along with the stifling moveset that Brimstone already brings to the table.
— Sean Morrison
Heist — support and defensive-style
First skill: Shoot Steal — Steal one unused ability from an enemy team’s agent 30 seconds into the round.
Second skill: Damage Disarm — Throw a curveball like Phoenix, except it shuts down the weapons of everyone who is “blinded” by it for 3-4 seconds.
Signature Ability: Time Theft — Has the ability to add or subtract time from the clock, depending on the situation (whatever a fair amount would be … say, five seconds?)
Ultimate: Mind Morph — Take control of an enemy agent in within your eyesight for 5-7 seconds and then that agent can shoot its teammates and eliminate them. If the controlled agent dies, it’s eliminated from the game. The agent being controlled can’t kill itself, however.
Heist is the sneakiest video game character out there, and not just in VALORANT — thievery and the thrill of the take is his No. 1 concern. He is self-aware, sarcastic and disarms with wit as much as he can disarm any lock. Personality-wise think Captain Jack Sparrow meets Deadpool. Look-wise, think the Hamburglar meets Carmen Sandiego. Gameplay-wise think Loba from Apex Legends meets Echo from Overwatch. You will enjoy listening to his voice lines as much as straight up stealing your opponents’ guns and ults.
— Arda Ocal
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