Valorant devs discuss plans for agent ban system

Fariha Bhatti • April 7, 03:24

An agent ban system is not coming to Valorant anytime soon, a developer has revealed.

Since the game’s release in 2020, Valorant players have anticipated the addition of a ban feature similar to that of League of Legends. The game was initially released with only 10 characters, but now the roster keeps expanding with new patches. The addition of 15th agent Astra had some fans thinking that a ban feature should soon follow, but Valorant Game Designer Nicholas Wu Smith has other news. 

The developer has clarified that ban update isn’t on the cards for now. Players can freely pick their desired agents for the next two to three years as the ban system won’t come before the game hits the 30 agent mark. 

“Maybe close to 30,” Nick Wu said when queried about the agent ban time frame.

Valorant currently has 15 agents and has been out for nearly a year now. Riot Games has been releasing a new hero every now and then, but the game still has a long way to go until it hits 30 agents. While Wu has stated that the possibility of a ban system coming soon is unlikely, nothing is set in stone yet. The developer may add the feature if it becomes imperative to bolster competitive play. 

Why doesn’t Valorant have agent bans? 

Nick Wu further elaborated that developers are weighing whether an agent ban feature is really required or not. Nick Wu said that Valorant is a highly aggressive game, and a ban feature will only be incorporated if it adds to the game’s competitive value. 

“It also really depends on if we get as much good competition out of banning stuff versus other games,” he added. “Other games ban, but is it actually better?”  

The developer used Tyson “TenZ” Ngo’s skills with Jett as an example. He stressed that star players who specialize in particular agents wouldn’t be able to perform as well if enemies ban their signature agents. Earlier Senior Game Designer Trevor Romleski made the same argument. 

“We expect teams to have set plays and strategies that will require very specific Agents. Banning an Agent would invalidate that entire strategy. We want players who are exceptional at certain Agents to be able to play them and show off their skills with them,” he said

Unlike other FPS games, strategies in Valorant are built around agents and banning a team’s key player would squeeze some of the fun out of competitive matches. Either way, players won’t be getting to ban enemies’ most potent agents anytime soon.

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