9-3 curse in Valorant

Here is how to avoid the dreaded 9-3 curse in Valorant

By Fariha Bhatti


Jan 15, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Valorant is all about raw skills, but some superstitions are just too spot-on not to believe. The 9-3 curse is the worst fear of any Valorant player, no matter how qualified. 

Riot Games’ tactical shooter requires aim precision, game knowledge, and experience. But, all of these skills hold no account in front of a good old jinx. Valorant players firmly believe in 9-3 switch, a curse known to turn the tables despite a high round lead. Here’s what the 9-3 curse means in Valorant. 

What’s the 9-3 curse in Valorant? 

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Valorant players commonly believe that switching the round at 9-3 will result in an instant loss on the other side. It’s a mere superstition, but both casual and pro games prove that it may have some truth to it. 

You may have seen your teammates or enemies spam the “9-3 curse” in the chat upon side switch. It simply means that the chances of losing a team’s comeback are higher when they switch with three wins. Despite the high round disparity, the team might win the first pistol and ultimately the two rounds that follow. This brings the score to 9-6, and bouncing back into the game from this score line isn’t precisely a tall order. 

This jinx has been proven accurate multiple times during professional games. It became popular sometime during the Valorant Champions Tour stage three Masters event in 2021, when many times lost the series after a 9-3 switch. NaVi versus Team Liquid was one of the best examples of this jinx when NaVi bounced back into the game, allowing Liquid only one map on the attack.

This became a pattern in future games, ultimately taking the form of a renowned curse.

How to avoid the 9-3 curse in Valorant

There’s really no proper way to avoid this jinx except for starting the switch with a strong mind. If you’re starting the next round on the attacker side, push in with high confidence if you’re having a great aim day. Hold your ground if you’re on defense since Valorant map design generally supports the defenders. 

Sticking with your teammates and not minding the scoreline might help you get through the first few rounds. If you’ve won the pistol, you’ve already broken the curse. Even if you lose the first round, try to play passive and invest your money smartly. Don’t let eco-rounds destroy your morale, and wait for the full buy to tip momentum back in your favor.