Professional Valorant players have frequently ranted about the poor ranked experience, but Michael “shroud” Grzesiek thinks Kay/O’s kit is designed to fix things to some degree.
The War Machine Kay/O dropped with a bang with his sleek, holographic dagger and flashbangs reminiscent of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Popular streamer shroud is already a massive fan of the new Initiator, and he believes that Kay/O will change ranked forever.
“Nobody knows how to fucking play ranked. But I think they [developers] are trying to change that with this character. I really feel like this character is more for ranked than anything else.” shroud said.
The Valorant streamer compared Kay/O with Astra, who still hasn’t seen much playtime in ranked games due to a steep learning curve.
Astra requires teamwork, coordination, and heavy strategy to really put her stars to use. Conversely, Kay/O is already a hit among players who are shifting from CSGO and want a basic, no-nonsense toolkit. Shroud also agreed that Kay/O’s CSGO-style flashes would make him a top pick of players who don’t want to use a lot of “brain.”
“Flashes are my favorite part, they’re insane. That’s like Counter-Strike, the Skye flashes. I feel like that’s what he’s going to be used for the most,” he said.
Shroud also emphasized that Kay/O will replace Astra in ranked games. This is because the celestial agent wasn’t already seen much in ranked matches, leaving a massive void for casual players. Kay/O will “fill that role” with his kit that is easy to use, counters other agents, and forces them to bring out their weapons.
Currently, other flashers in Valorant have relatively limited ways to blindside enemies. Skye’s hawk is predictable, Breach and Pheonix’s flashes have a limited range. Only Yoru’s flash comes close to CSGO’s flashbangs, but even that falls short due to its short range. However, Kay/O brings in classic ‘nades that can detonate in the air and blindside enemies trying to dry peak. His Flash/Drive is also much safer for teammates compared with other agents.
The goal with Kay/O seems to be Riot Games making gunplay more important, compared with the ability-focused meta that has been seen to this point in Valorant. With Patch 3.0’s weapon changes and Kay/O’s dagger that suppresses powers, it’s evident that he’ll force players into playing a more CSGO-like style. This should fix the ranked experience to some degree as players can be more proficient with individual skills.