It’s been three years since the launch of Valorant. Since then, several characters have been part of the core meta. In the past, we’ve looked at how the game’s meta was heavily sentinel-based due to the likes of characters such as Killjoy and Chamber. However, that time has passed, and it now seems like Skye is currently driving the meta forward. Let’s take a look at why that’s the case in the current Valorant Ecosystem.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an initiator character be a focal point of the meta. Before the launch of Fade in Valorant, the most picked agent in the game was Sova. Due to having multiple abilities that assist in gaining map control, as well as having useful utility for the post plant, he was an agent used on all maps. With the launch of Fade and the nerfs to her abilities, her pick rate has gone down and since then, we have seen Skye slowly rise the ranks, but she’s had her fair share of nerfs in recent patches.
Skye had the highest pick rate during VCT Masters Tokyo
If we have a look at the pick rates of agents during Masters Tokyo, we can see the most used agents in a tournament. These are the agents at the event who were the most popular and powerful. During VCT Masters Tokyo Skye was leading the charts with a 59% pick rate overall, according to VLR.gg. The only map where she had a 0% pick rate was Ascent, while her highest pick rate was on Split. Due to the structure of Split having quite the emphasis on mid-control, Skye having a 100% pick rate here makes sense.
Using her flashes, she can guide them to a certain part of the map and reveal if an enemy is present. Her Trailblazer can be used to provide information for corners for the length of its duration too. Due to these abilities, Skye can immediately get quite a lot of map control and information. On a map like Bind she can immediately get information about B lobby using her flash. Skye’s Ultimate ability (Seekers) can also be used to get the exact location of 3 players on the opposing team at a given phase of play.
Does Skye have one of the best ability kits in the game?
A major reason why Skye is currently one of Valorant’s most picked agents is her unique ability kit. She’s one of the two agents who can provide healing for her teammates and her flashes also have a short 40-second cooldown after usage. That means that in any given round, she can use 4 flashes in total. Ideally, Skye can use both her flashes at the start of the round to gain map control and then preserve the others for the post-plant or a late site take.
Her trailblazer also provides her with an ability that can be used to clear various corners. A good example of this is on the map on Bind where she can use Trailblazer to clear tight parts of the map, such as showers and hookah, and gain map control. Her Trailblazer can be shot and killed as it has only 100 HP, but in doing so, opponents reveal their presence on the map.
Looking at her ability kit you can see the different kinds of playstyles that can be suited for a character like hers. A player on Skye could be the supporting initiator and play to support the duelist on the team to enter on-site.
Another playstyle that has a lot of upside is as a sole lurker. She can provide a fake presence while the rest of the team is planning to take a site on the other side. She could also try to catch out players in rotation by using her flashes to isolate duels. This versatility helps make her a popular pick in the current meta.
Will Skye Be Nerfed In The Upcoming Patches
Looking at Riot’s past balance patches, the answer is a resounding yes. We’ve seen this happen in the past with the likes of Chamber, Viper, and recently with Killjoy. Each time we see the meta becoming heavily dependent on a certain agent, we can expect to see that agent nerfed within the next few patches. Likely, we’ll see a nerf on her Trailblazer, either with the duration or even the view distance.
Only time will tell if Skye will be dominating the scene during VCT Champions in the next few weeks, but it’s unlikely that any nerfs will come into play before Champions.