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Is the 9-3 curse real? Valorant devs finally weigh in

By Fariha Bhatti


Dec 21, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Not all community-made concepts are rooted in myths. The infamous 9-3 curse has happened so often that it seems too much of a coincidence. A Valorant developer has finally weighed in. 

Riot Games’ tactical shooter requires aim precision, game knowledge, and experience. But these skills hold no account in front of a good old jinx. Valorant players firmly believe in a 9-3 switch, a curse known to turn the tables despite a high round lead. This Valorant phrase is as old as the game itself, but pragmatic players had doubts. Now, Riot has finally acknowledged the curse. 

In a new blog, Valorant developers have weighed in on the subject, dissecting the curse with hard facts and stats. 

Is the 9-3 curse real in Valorant? 

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According to Valorant developers, coming back from the 3-9 scoreline is much easier than 7-5 or 10-2, meaning something weird happens at the cursed scoreline. 

Digging deep into stats, Riot found that chances of a win for the team with a round advantage at 3-9 are higher. But, compared to other scorelines, the losing team is likelier to make a comeback. Technically, winning at 5-7 should be easier, but losing teams climbed to an OT at 3-9 more than they did at 5-7. This disorder suggests that while the 9-3 curse might not always work, something is undoubtedly odd about it. 

“9-3 leads shouldn’t actually be too uncommon between evenly matched teams. We might have cases of leading teams seeing a skill diff that actually isn’t there and getting a little too comfortable while trailing teams are taking advantage of both an economic and mental reset — with a little help from the myth of the ‘curse,'” Valorant researcher Ash “Riot Kona” Garrett said

Trying to make sense of the curse, Riot found that P.E.B. rounds have much to do with comebacks. How you fare in pistol, eco, and bonus contributes a ton to the said curse. For example, if you switch on the 3-9 score and win the first pistol, you are already set for the next two rounds, bringing the scoreline to 6-9. From here, you’ll have an economic boost. 

So, Valorant developers believe that while the 9-3 curse may not be rooted in facts, it’s not precisely a myth.