Understanding Killjoy's high win, low pick rates

By Stephanie RoehlerApril 15, 2021
Ever since Killjoy’s release, she’s been a strong agent. Her defensive capabilities are simply unparalleled. She may not heal like Sage, the top Valorant Sentinel, but when it comes to locking down a point? Killjoy is the champion. Her turrets, nanotech, and bots are just too effective.
However, Killjoy’s pick rate in casual and competitive is lower than 35%. So, she’s the agent with the highest win rates, but she’s 8th in pick rates. How does that happen?
Killjoy's competitive stats for previous 30 days as of April 15.
Killjoy's competitive stats for previous 30 days as of April 15.

The Stats

Killjoy’s has the highest win rate in Valorant at 51%. However, her casual pick rate is 34.7% and her competitive is 25.7%. In Radiant it’s even worse, with a similar win rate but only a 9% pick rate.
(She’s still in the top 7 agents, though, but that speaks to a deeper problem with agent variety in the pro scene.)
Her hacker skills make her one of the top Sentinels in the game (though Sentinels, in general, are just strong). Any pro team that wants to double up on sentinels in their team comp often picks Killjoy or Cypher (for similar point lockdown/sentry purposes). But somehow that simply hasn’t helped her popularity translate into more casual gameplay.
Part of the secret to her low pick rate might lie in more of her stats: Killjoy has a 12% first blood rate, the lowest in the game, and a lukewarm 0.97 KDA.

The Why

There are a handful of reasons that Killjoy’s pick rate to win rate ratio doesn’t quite match up. For one, she’s still technically a “new” agent, at least compared to the core group of agents that everyone started with. With Valorant’s team comp variety impressively low, it’s not surprising Killjoy gets left behind.
Killjoy’s greatness also relies on her ability to set up amazing point defense, not exactly offensive pushes. While the person playing her can still be a great shot and use their abilities in offensive ways, she is still above and beyond a defensive agent.
However, the largest factor pushing her low pick rate is a two-pronged answer about cooperation and why people play games. One, Killjoy does her best work with an organized team, and two, she just isn’t as fun as other agents.
When it comes to teamwork, Killjoy does need her team to be doing well and doing their jobs to survive. While she is a point-keeping queen, the rest of her team has to be good enough to use her tools to their advantage and wipe the other team. If she’s stranded with all 5 enemies breaking in, even the strongest Killjoy kill-box is going to fall.
Then, one of the biggest drawbacks in casual play lies in her first blood rate. The hard truth is that, to most casual or lower competitive tier players, Killjoy isn’t as “fun”. Her abilities aren’t as flashy, they aren’t made to pull off awesome-looking kills, and she isn’t made to be on the front lines.
So, the people who do play Killjoy, either like playing defense or play her to win. Everyone else doesn’t play her because they’d rather play Jett or Raze.
Without a coordinated team and more pizazz to her, Killjoy gets the short end of the stick when it comes to popularity and it shows.
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