When it comes to a game like VALORANT, teamwork is a necessity. With that being said, there are also certain roles that are necessary for a team's success on the playing field. How do we define those roles though? Are there certain Agents that fit those roles better than others? In this article, we had the chance to talk with a professional player that has thousands of hours in various games. He also has experience in almost every role.
Jamie “Paradox” Hall has been playing video games for his entire life. He had his first LAN tournament before he was 18, and has played a variety of games at the highest level. Games such as CS:GO, Apex Legends, Overwatch, and more recently VALORANT have all been played and studied by Paradox. So we decided to have a chat with him and answer questions on the roles needed to be played and which Agents should be used in both ranked as well as professional play when paired with those roles.
The in-game leader is one of, if not the most important role that a team must have in order to succeed at the highest level. The job of the IGL is to create and execute different strategies that the opponent would not expect. This also means that they have to counter the enemy’s strategies as well by creating plays on the fly. In VALORANT, Paradox explained that being an IGL in VALORANT is “not like other games, you have to build strategies around the abilities of the Agents.” This means that certain strats are harder to form and execute because “you have to depend on all five players on your team, which makes this role a lot harder.” Paradox is actually the IGL for his team when it comes to tournaments, so it’s no surprise that he was so passionate about talking about this role. He said that Brimstone has the most “play creating” ability so running a Brimstone as an IGL allows Paradox to set up certain strategies better than other Agents.
The flex is another role that Paradox said has a lot more value in VALORANT. “Unlike other games, the position of a flex player is extremely important in that they can swap from character to character and still execute the specific strategies,” Paradox goes on to explain. As a flex, one person has to be able to play multiple different agents almost perfectly. The team depends on this player to be able to adapt to certain situations at breakneck speeds. Sova and Raze are a nice pair for Flex players as the different maps determine Agent picks as well.
The lurker role is a role that some players are either not familiar with at all, or oddly too familiar with. Paradox explains that “the lurker is an information gatherer, there will be some games when that player doesn’t see more than one enemy the whole match.” Agents like Cypher fit this role perfectly, as it gives them the ability to control flank routes and pick off opponents from the shadows. These players are vital when it comes to making sure they can win their gunfights as they are generally alone on one side of the map.
“The support role is the most underrated role in almost every game.” The support role is generally held by a Sage main, as it allows them to make sure a strategy goes to plan by healing and reviving teammates, as well as themselves if necessary. This player may not get the most kills, but they should never have the most deaths, as their survivability is vital in every round. Support is the role that is the truest to its name, in that the players on job is to support the whole team. “The support player is the glue that holds the team together, whereas the IGL is the one that directs where the team goes. The support makes sure that the team can go in that direction.”
“The entry is the least important role in VALORANT.” When Paradox said this, he didn’t mean that entry players weren’t important. He meant that roles like the flex position and support players are depended upon more heavily than other characters. The entry position is held by those players who like to play at a fast pace and go for those flashier highlight plays. But in doing so, these players can put the strategy at risk, so it is vital that these players are extremely comfortable in taking gunfights. One thing Paradox wanted to make loud and clear is that at the highest level of play “Jett and Phoenix are bad picks, even for the entry role. Breach is essentially a better version of Phoenix, in that his flashes are more consistent and he can do it through walls.” Breach is what Paradox suggests every entry player should be well versed in as that character provides more with his kit than other Agents.
The roles on the team are just as important as the Agents we choose. These roles determine your team’s ability to win, as the chemistry between each teammate in these roles are vital to executing strategies. Making sure one determines what role they want to play, and then studying what it takes to be in that role is what will make legendary players. As Paradox says, “take it slow, use your abilities, and bait your opponent’s abilities.”
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