With three new Agents set to arrive in Valorant in 2023, the meta will undoubtedly shift.
Fans will be pleased to hear that Riot Games’ first-person shooter, Valorant, is about to get a new set of Agents this 2023. John Goscicki, the character producer for Valorant, stated that besides getting new Agents, they’d also be expanding the roles. 2022 has been quite a year for the title. The game garnered 720,000 to 890,000 concurrent players on October 2022. With an average of 13 million monthly active players using their Valorant accounts, it is one of the most popular FPS games. Hopefully, the addition of the upcoming Agents will boost that number even further.
The Roles of the Agents
John Goscicki teased fans that they will release three Agents—two of which will be an initiator and a sentinel. As for the third Agent, he teased that Riot wouldn’t reveal its role until later this year. The third agent may still be early in development, so Riot cannot pinpoint the class it’ll fit in for now. When this announcement came, some players speculated that we could see a new Agent class added to Valorant. But then again, those are just guesses.
Goscicki states that not every class will have the same number of Agents. With more characters and Valorant skins added to the game, it’s impossible to have a perfect one-on-one balance across all the roles. Although maintaining that balance in game styles and roles is crucial to even the playing field, the process becomes more challenging as they add a lot more Agents in the game.
Thankfully, Goscicki’s team now feels like they have a better hold on how and when to introduce new Agents while maintaining the shooter. If you have any experience playing character-based games besides Valorant, then you know that not it’s not easy to thread that line of balance constantly.
Agent 22 is Finally Making An Appearance
While Riot seems to keep things under lock and key regarding the three upcoming Agents, the company announced that Agent 22 would soon join the fight. It hasn’t been long since the release of Harbor in Episode 5, but players ultimately found the water-wielding Agent underwhelming despite being a breath of fresh air.
A subtle teaser was released in the latest State of the Agents update. In the update, the upcoming Agent’s foot was seen, indicating that Agent 22 might have a companion by their side. This could mean that we would see a new type of mechanic or ability we’ve never seen before in Valorant.
Not much is known about Agent 22, but according to ValorLeaks—a prominent leaker for Valorant—a new Agent codenamed ‘SmokeDancer’ is developing. Codenames usually aren’t much to go off, but it nevertheless suggests that the next Agent to be released in Valorant will have an ability that could counter smokes or abilities that block a player’s line of sight. Based on what Goscicki said in the State of the Agents video, Agent 22 will have new ways to get to locations to plant spikes and check corners.
There’s no release date for Agent 22 since Riot Games hasn’t confirmed anything yet regarding that, but if we look at their typical release schedule for Valorant, Agent 22 should appear sometime in Episode 6 Act 3. Episode 6 Act 3 is expected to kick off around April 2023. While it does sound like that time is still far away, keep in mind that the developers could release Agent 22 sooner should they be ahead of schedule. In any case, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly and without delays.
The Growth of Valorant So Far
Valorant launched with ten Agents, then released Reyna as the first additional character to join the fight. Since then, another set of ten Agents has been added to the game. Adding new casts of characters keeps Valorant fresh and exciting, and it’ll be interesting to see how Agent 22 will shake things up, as well as the other upcoming Agents for 2023.
Riot Games will release Agent 22 to selected journalists, content creators, and streamers before making it available on PBE servers. Once they’ve gotten feedback from the testers, Riot will release Agent 22 globally for everyone to play with their Valorant accounts.