One of the most important things a player should think about before starting a game of Valorant is the composition of their team. Which agents truly will give you and your team your best shot?
Most Important Roles
There are some general rules that even the pros follow when it comes to building a team comp.
Overall, the teams tend to follow a system where each group has one Duelist and Sentinel, one Initiator and/or Controller, and then to finish out the team they double up on either Sentinels or Duelists. It’s a game of deciding what kind of role your team wants to bolster — attack (Duelists), defense (Sentinel), or map control (Controller/Initiator).
Arguably, the most important roles are Duelist and Sentinel. That’s because they are directly focused on your map objectives — attacking or defending points. While agents like the Controller Omen and the Initiator Sova are very popular, their focus is on interacting with the situations around you.
If your team is better at perfect headshots and winning shoot-outs, Duelists might be your best options. On the other hand, if you’re better at pulling together to push or protect points, Sentinels would likely give you the back-line support your team needs.
For example, the popular pro team Sentinels generally has two lineups: Omen, Jett, Cypher, Sage, and Raze for maps where map awareness isn’t as applicable, and Omen, Jett, Cypher, Phoenix, and Sova on others. They assess the needs of the team, the map situation, and react accordingly.
Speaking of maps, they do play a part in picking. So let’s go through what team comps are better for what maps:
Icebox and Split: Because of the verticality of these maps, map awareness and manipulation is a lot harder to control. In that case, only pick one Initiator/Controller (likely Omen), and then double up on Sentinels and Duelists.
Haven, Ascent, and Bind: These maps all have fairly direct pathing, so your choices depend more on personal team preference over what’s a better style for the map. However, in these cases, Sova is almost always picked for his ability to give his team map awareness.
There are a few top Valorant agents that are so good that pros can’t help but use them. The most common competition agents are as follows: Sage, Omen, Sova, Jett, and Raze. All of these agents excel at what they were made for — Sage is an expert healer, Omen is the best at manipulating map space, Sova is your best option for figuring out enemy positioning, Jett is the most mobile unit in the game, and Raze has unparalleled adaptability and damage. It makes sense that the best agents of each class would be pro-play darlings.
A little less common, but still popular, are Killjoy, Cypher, Reyna, and Phoenix. It’s important to note that this wider net mostly consists of Sentinels and Duelists. It really proves that, while Initiators and Controllers can be useful, they simply are not a match for the point-focused agents. (However, Omen might always be your best option in solo queue.
Other than Omen and Sova, it can be rare to see a Controller or Initiator in pro play.
In some games, the pro scene is where real innovation happens. However, the cleverest Valorant plays don’t come from agent picks. Instead, it’s a combination of well-placed, innovative ability placements and in-game tactics.
Ergo, the team comps of the top teams end up fairly similar to each other. In a collection of pro games on March 15th, every Valorant pro team playing (such as 100 Thieves and Faze Clan) had Omen and Sova masters and a heavy reliance on Duelists and Sentinels.
While you might personally love Viper or Yoru, Valorant doesn’t seem to be tuned where every agent is viable at the top. So, if you want to just have fun in normals, pick whatever your heart tells you. But if you want to climb ranks, pick like a pro.