Since the start of the VCT EMEA League, the hype hasn’t died down one bit. With upset results in each corner, the league has been quite the watch. While the champions of VCT Lock//In are on top of the table winning each of their games in the league, new tactics have been tried and tested in this tournament. Some have stuck and resulted in many teams adapting the same while others have backfired and resulted in a team’s loss.
There’s one major difference between the 3 VCT leagues: the position of Omen in the pick rate. In the Pacific and EMEA, the character is in the top 3 picks, but currently in the Americas League, he’s ranked 5th.
Omen is one of the characters who has been a part of Valorant since the start. During the game’s first year, he was the most picked controller in the game. However, since the launch of Viper and Astra, he slipped into the lower pick rates. So what has changed in the current meta? Let's have a look.
Omen and Ascent Goes Hand In Hand
Looking at his pick rate, one can see that Omen is currently the highest picked character on the map Ascent. There are multiple reasons for this and one of the unique factors is elevation. Omen is the only controller with the ability to blind his opponents. Having the ability to send paranoia through a wall is one of his major plus points. It isn’t even necessary for him to be in the line of sight of the opponent, allowing him to support his teammates while they push into A main or B main.
Being a controller, he also has two clouds of smoke in his kit. These regenerate for a total of 4 clouds of smoke in a round. If, on Ascent, his team decides to push into the middle of the map, he can smoke mid-bottom, effectively blocking the view from market and plaza. Later in the round, he’ll also be able to provide smoke in cubby, to block the rotation through the plaza. His teleportation allows one to move into any spot on the site and maybe even catch an opponent off guard.
Before we get into the defensive side of the map, Omen’s ultimate is currently one of the most broken in the game. (Having the ability to go from one side of the map to another is insane.) The amount of map control Omen can take, with ease, is also criminally underrated.
Due to this, Omen can fake a B main push by baiting one smoke and a teleport, and a recon dart by Sova. Next thing you know, the Spike is being planted at A near generator due to the rotation at hand.
On defense, Omen's smokes provide a huge impact. Having so many one-way smokes allows his teammates to gain intel using off-angles. Plus, having the ability to block the Mid link at the start of the map is quite crucial. If your opponents are stacked onto B main, this play would provide them with no information. Then, while they’re trying to rotate they end up caught off guard by a defender who has lurked up Mid.
Omen as a Supporting / Secondary Controller
With maps like Haven and Lotus being a part of the current map pool, faking a presence at one site is more common. Due to these each being a 3-plant site map, they’re some of the largest in the game. Making picks with the ability to teleport instantly from one part of the map to another is overpowered. While the niche would be to use Neon due to her ability, there is a lack of support there.
Omen has fitted quite comfortably into the secondary controller role on these maps. While Viper can focus on being able to split parts of the map with her toxic wall, Omen can provide one-way smokes or general smokes to block the line of sight. His one way can be used to get picks and immediately go back into safety and his paranoia can be used to gain map control and apply a lot of pressure immediately.
Blinding players at a choke point is a key strategy that works well with Omen. A good example of this is on B's site of the map on Lotus. While the spike is being planted, Omen can smoke B main and send in his paranoia from B upper. As such covering a majority of the plant site. This in turn helps his teammates to clear the other side of the site, before pushing into getting kills and the defuse.
Omen’s pick rate has increased exponentially this year as more and more players are able to understand the verticality and potential the character has. One thing is for sure: it will be tough to get him out of the meta.