Astra is bad for Valorant, according to top pro players
Players are eventually figuring out Astra's kit, and they're not sure if it's actually good for the game.
New agent Astra is a controller who has one of the most versatile kits in Valorant. Not only can she smoke off crucial points, she can also pull enemies into her crosshair. Her stars are enough of a threat to pause enemy pushes on the defender's site. On the attacker side, her post-plant setups are lethal. All in all, playing against an Astra is no easy feat. Professional Valorant players agree.
Valorant pro James "hazed" Cobb triggered a conversation among top players, tweeting out his frustration regarding the new agent. In a thread, TSM's pro player explained how Astra is sabotaging the true spirit of shooters like Valorant.
Since people are asking why:— TSM hazed (@hazedCS) April 28, 2021
1) Shes too versatile. She has too many options with no counter play other than to bait it out. She can single handedly stall for 30+ seconds.
2) She takes away the essence of an FPS. Half of Astra's round in Astral Form playing a mini game.
Controller agents are intended to block enemies' line of sight and help Sentinels lock down a bomb point. However, Astra's kit is taking the job too far. The agent can single-handedly delay pushes long enough that duels become secondary. Players rarely get a chance to utilize their aim and weaken the enemy's defences when Astra's on the opposite team.
Is Astra balanced?
The pro player said he doesn't know how exactly Astra can be balanced to be playable in a game like Valorant. But he had some suggestions. In the current patch, Astra can repeteadly use her stars and deploy them elsewhere. This ability, combined with her general map control, makes her a potent and sometimes uncontestable agent in Valorant. Hazed suggested that her stars should be available for one-time use only.
As for a solution... i dont think i have one. You COULD make her orbs permanent so you cant recall them. You COULD make them removable in a way similar to defusing the bomb or capturing an Ult Orb, but it would be silent instead and only take a second to disarm.— TSM hazed (@hazedCS) April 28, 2021
Hazed is not the only player who thinks Astra is bad for ranked. After the recent update that buffed her Gravity well, many players complained about the irritating post-plant meta. CSGO pro Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski, who's active in the Valorant community, also agreed with Hazed.
worst character ever that has 0 counter play— Jonathan Jablonowski (@EliGE) April 28, 2021
Despite her being overly powerful, fewer players use Astra in ranked games. The new agent has quickly gained a spot at the top of the pick rates in professional matches. Her kit shines the most in full lobby games, where team communication and coordination is of utmost importance. The agent may get more playtime in ranked games after the release of Breeze, a much larger map that is ideal for controllers.
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