The Valorant closed beta has allowed people to get their hands on a lot of new agents, and players already have some very strong opinions.
One of those new agents is Raze, whose ability kit revolves around dealing damage. Boom Bot allows Raze to deploy a small robot that travels in a straight line, locks onto an enemy and explode. This often acts as a distraction, making the opposing team focus on Boom Bot to avoid the incoming damage.
Blast Pack has Raze throw an explosive that sticks to surfaces. When detonated, it damages and moves anything that was hit. She can also use the explosives to propel herself in any direction, even allowing her to double jump with a second charge, similar to Junkrat’s Concussion Mine in Overwatch.
Then there is Pain Shells, which gives Raze up to two charges of cluster grenades. When they explode, they leave a trail of smaller sub-munitions for an aftereffect. They can be thrown quite far too, which makes them even handier when paired with allies’ abilities.
But then there is Showstopper. This is the ability that has made Raze controversial in the closed beta. Showstopper is a rocket launcher that deals tons of damage to a surrounding area. This ability is used to easily rack up kills, even on enemies who haven’t turned a corner or exposed themselves yet.
Last week, the NRG and Friends Valorant Tournament became the first competitive tournament for the new FPS. Hosted by Mizkif, the live broadcast tournament had a prize pool of $2,000, making the competitors take the game a bit more seriously than past showcases.
Lucas “Mendo” Håkansson of Team Mendo and Timmy “iiTzTimmy” An of Team Aceu were the top two scorers of the tournament. They had a combined 65 kills between them across 23 rounds. And they had both been using Raze.
Team Mendo’s comms revealed their sentiments on Raze. One teammate said that she was “insane” and he even hoped there would be a patch to nerf her. Another said she should have been banned before the tournament since she was so unbalanced.
“The amount of rounds I changed with one grenade is just stupid,” one player said.
Team Mendo wasn’t alone in their sentiments on Raze’s seemingly OP kit. Well known Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer Jaryd “summit1g” Lazar wasn’t able to hold back his thoughts on Raze any further.
“Trying my best not to salt everywhere on Valorant,” summit1g tweeted. “Not sure how a rocket character even made it into beta or as a character design at all. Every single ability [can kill someone]. So much for mostly utility type use.”
A lot of CSGO players in the Valorant community have echoed these thoughts. In a game so similar to Counter-Strike, it has frustrated many players that there’s an agent who has so much extra firepower. Other agents’ kits seem to be a combination of mobility, stealth, distruption and damage boosts. Raze is pure damage.
A Riot developer responded to summit1g’s concern on Twitter, noting that they are currently “looking across the board at all the agents” to see how they’re all fitting into the game.
Former professional CSGO player Michael “shroud” Grzesiek told his followers that people were overreacting to Raze’s kit. Instead of asking for her to be taken out of the game completely, Shroud suggested that she only needed “a couple tweaks” to be ready for the game’s summer release.
Shroud noted that Raze’s lack of utility was a bit unusual, since most of the other agents had that focus.
“The fact that her whole skill set is damage is strange. Every other character has one damage ability,” shroud observed.
But that wasn’t a reason to call her OP, he continued.
“She doesn’t need to get deleted. She just needs to get slightly changed,” shroud said.
He suggested that Riot nerf the damage deal by Paint Shells or just shrink the area of effect. That would make her a bit more balanced, Shroud discussed. Even so, he felt Raze was being targeted unfairly just because she is more flashy than other characters, like Cypher, who outplay opponents with much less exciting tactics.
It’s too early in the closed beta to know if Riot will make any changes to Raze’s kit, but it seems the majority of the closed beta’s participants are not happy with her abilities, even pros that won with her.