Valorant Wants Nearly 30 Agents Before a Ban System
Valorant is growing more and more in need of an Agent ban system. Sure, when there were only 10 Agents (launch), it wasn’t viable to have one. It would pigeonhole people into playing roles/Agents that they weren’t prepared to run. It sounds like we shouldn’t hold our breath for one though. Valorant says they want to have about 30 Agents before they start talking about a Ban System for the game.
Perhaps Years Off, If Ever
The rationale behind it is interesting, at least. One of Valorant’s devs thinks an Agent ban system could dampen the competitive experience. Senior Game Designer, Trevor Romleski suggested that they expect teams to have specific plays and strategies, that require specific Agents. Banning those characters out would ruin those strats, and they don’t want to discourage pros from practicing.
While yes, if a pro is constantly banned from using their favorite Agent (say someone popular like Jett), they wouldn’t be able to rely on that strategy in the future. That’s why other competitive teams have a variety of strategies. It’s important to have more than one or two strategies when competing. If your opponent always knows what to expect of you, then they can easily counter.
Nicholas Wu Smith, Valorant Game Designer was asked this question during a Twitch stream. However, the clip doesn’t appear to be online anymore. His answer was:
“At what Agent do you think bans will be viable? Maybe close to 30. It also really depends on if we get as much good competition out of banning stuff versus other games. Other games ban, but is it actually better?”
Smith pointed out a pro like Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, who made their name by playing Jett. But if bans were in the game, it would be likely that TenZ would not have 100 pro games as Jett right now. Would that be disappointing? Sure, I suppose. It means we’d see less awesome highlight reels of Jett, but we’d potentially see other highlight reels of a wider variety.
Back in 2020, Trevor Romleski, Senior Game Designer spoke about this in an Ask Valorant Blog:
“We’ve considered a draft phase for agents, but the current thinking is that we would not have bans. For some more reasoning around bans: first, we expect teams to have set plays and strategies that will require very specific agents. Banning an agent would invalidate that entire strategy, and we don’t want to discourage practice.
Second, bans often remove a players’ star agent and we want players who are exceptional at certain agents to be able to play them and show off their skills with them. Finally, because VALORANT doesn’t have hard counters in the form of agents (this isn’t our design philosophy), we think the game state is healthier if we’re held accountable to ensuring no agent or agent-facilitated strategy becomes so oppressive or unsolvable that a ban is the only choice.”
There may never even be an Agent ban system for Valorant. It doesn’t sound like they’re very keen on it right now. Since we could be waiting three years, perhaps longer for 30 Agents, there’s no telling if it will ever come to pass. 30 Agents isn’t a firm figure, either, it could change, if the discussion ever comes up. It’s not something that we can look forward to right now. It sounds like it’s a pretty far-off dream. As a fairly divisive topic, for now, we can’t expect banning in Valorant anytime soon. It was discussed last year, and it didn’t seem to be a feature we can look forward to.