The latest and greatest in agent compositions from the WePlay! Tournament.

20:00, 18 Jul 2020

As teams get to grips with their own styles and the meta of VALORANT progresses through the first few months of its release, the most recent week of pro games has shown us quite the variety of agent comps.

There’s been a lot of fresh and exciting new strategy afoot, and the biggest shakeup story of the week has definitely been with fish123. Soulcas, their entry fragger/duelist player has moved over to the Sova pretty much full-time, which is fairly common and not out of the ordinary - the line between initiators and duelists is thin, and even in North American VALORANT where a default composition reigned supreme for a good few weeks, we’ve seen plenty of Jett/Raze/Reyna players oscillate between those agents and Sova, as part of a situational flex - type role. Scream, whose rifling skills are absolutely legendary, has moved past his brief stint on Reyna to spend a lot of time on Breach. Ec1s moves onto the Omen - but also the Op, taking over from L1NK, who wielded the sniper for them in previous events after the loss of Ardiis. Kryptix is the only one who remains on his previous role of Cypher, a mainstay for almost every team since beta.

This composition is just as macro strategy and team-focused as their previous showings from before ScreaM was on the team, but on Breach he has really levelled up, adding to his severe fragging power some gorgeous set plays and micro team plays, reminiscent of the kind of play that really pushed T1 to the upper echelon of VALORANT teams early on.

Fish are a little inconsistent, but on their many great maps, ScreaM in the new roster has managed to be so comfortable with his team, always in the right place at the right time at the drop of a hat. This is greatly facilitated by his agent selection of Breach. Scream has been seen stunning, flashing, and ulting for his teammates rather than himself, shockingly often for a player with such incredible raw mechanical prowess of his own, playing a much more active supportive role. The Omen oping from ec1s is a weird one, but a few teams have done that recently - LuckeRRR, for example, Ops for NiP on Sage, of all characters, which is a doozy we haven’t really seen since some TenZ performances of ancient history (a few weeks ago). 

And yet, on Saturday, mere minutes before this article goes live, having made it into the playoffs and lost a map to NiP, the only team to beat them in the initial rounds, fish123 have thrown it all out the window and gone back to what appears at first glance to be comfort picks. This is the Old New - Scream is back on his favoured role from beta, playing Sage, soulcas is back on Raze, ec1s sticks it out on Omen, L1NK takes the Sova and Kryptix… well, he’s still Cypher. It is unclear what prompted this comp shift - after playing the exact same 5 brand spanking new practiced and well-oiled agents, one map down in what could be the last game of their event against the only team to beat them, fish123 take the risk and it pays off, winning them Bind.

Agent Picks from WePlay! VALORANT

Going into the final map, Ascent, fish123 go back to their practised strategy, hoping perhaps that their regained confidence from the comfort pick win will net them the series and their revenge. However, after being up 11-6, they lose an absolutely brutal 6 rounds in a row, with a series of unfortunate misplays from even their most dependable players like ScreaM, and just barely manage to win a round again on NiP’s match point, sending the game into the first overtime. With some hero plays from rhyme and an increasingly tilted-looking ScreaM, we go into a third overtime.

This overtime ends with rhyme and L1NK dropping a staggering four and three kills apiece in a nailbiter, but rhyme fails to grab the ace and ScreaM just barely manages to clean him up in time to send it into quadruple overtime (15-15). Soulcas clutches this one 1v2 on the new old Sova, with an absolutely gorgeous shock dart onto the defusing player and a simultaneous headshot onto the other remaining player. Ec1s hits an absolutely chunky paranoia as NiP attempt to push into tree, and cleans up three before going down, but his hard work pays off, and the round ends quickly, giving fish123 the most incredible win of the week so far, back on their practised standard comp.

This match is definitely going to be an instant classic for the early history of pro VALORANT, but - what was that Bind comp all about? Will we see it in the finals? Well, Ec1s confirmed after the series that the comp from Bind is, in fact, their new, updated, set comp for the map, and wasn't a last-minute adaptation as it appeared to be. It is interesting since they never changed comp for any other map, and Bind was the one map we hadn't seen from them before.

The fish123 standard comp is also being used by NiP, PartyParrots and NeedMoreDM, and is by far the most common comp used in this tournament. For the outliers - we have the teams that still run Jett, especially for the players like mixwell, making the most of their insane mechanical ceilings, and also some Phoenix play that has received some discussion from analysts - talking about how it is only recently that people have come to appreciate and maximise the potential of his flashes by using them not around corners, but through smokes, masking the preparation time, and preventing enemy players from doing a quick 180 to dodge the flash during its relatively lengthy cast time.

The other huge benefit of Phoenix is flashing for your team - again, a micro play that can work at any time, benefiting teams that have a slick and easy synergy that can make big things happen from a moment-to-moment basis. The proof of this is in the pudding - G2, an absolute monster team, have a Phoenix in patitek that absolutely pounds, both on the back of his own mechanical skill and aggressive style, but also in tandem with his equally impressive team. The choice to go for a Phoenix in the face of all the Breach play we’ve seen simply must be backed up by this aggressive, fragging style in contrast to Breach’s controlling style of play, and patitek brings it. In contrast, however, in a relatively scattered and unsure team, Forze, COFFEE struggles to make anything happen on the agent all tournament long. 

With all this in mind and fish123’s last-minute comp swap, we will have to wait and see if the teams will bring volatility and innovation (or regression) on the last day of the WePlay! VALORANT Invitational on July 19 on Twitch.

Images via Riot Games

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