Ever since Valorant was released, players have been putting forward suggestions before the Devs one of which includes introducing an Agent ban feature. Riot finally responded to the request saying that it is currently focusing on taking the total Agent count to 30 before adding such a system.
Valorant had a total of 10 Agents when it was first released in June 2020. Although players only had these 10 Agents initially, we did see an addition of five more Agents later on. Despite this addition and several updates, the title still seems like a far cry from an Agent pick/ban feature.
Moreover, Valorant Game Designer Nicholas Wu Smith was asked “At what Agent do you think bans will be viable?”. To which he replied “Maybe close to 30”. This means that the Devs still need to add 15 more agents to their pool. So it will take about 3 to 4 more years for the players to see a pick/ban system. On top of that, Smith further went on by 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?”
Cons of Pick-Ban System
Similarly, Smith used “TenZ” Ngo to further elaborate his point about how this feature could affect the game. He said, “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?”. TenZ has earned his name among the most talented players in the game by specializing in the agent Jett.
The reason why Smith used “TenZ” as an example is that the player’s 63% picks are always the agent Jett. Hence, adding a ban feature means the player might have to pick another agent in the battle. This might end up affecting the overall performance of TenZ. Despite this, players have been rooting for this ban feature way before Riot made this announcement.
Meanwhile, Riot Ziegler, the game’s Director hinted at the ban feature back in November by saying “In the future, we may think about it”. He said that the final decision on the ban will be taken after carefully analyzing its pros and cons.
Likewise, another Senior Game Designer Trevor Romleski also expressed his concerns over the ban feature. He explained that limiting players to play with a specific agent could disturb their game strategy and performance. All things considered, Smith later clarified on Twitter that the “30 Agents” idea is his personal opinion and it doesn’t reflect the team’s decision.
Unfortunately, we can’t say for sure if the ban feature will make its way to the title. Since Riot seems to be primarily focusing on increasing its Agent count for now. However, if the players keep on demanding, we might see the ban feature soon.