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Keeping up with Killjoy: weekly Valorant recap

Another week, another list of stories in the Valorant world.

The biggest news of the week includes a new patch, new game mode, and some updates to the VCT Masters 2 lineup. Let’s get into it.

Patch 2.09: Viper nerf & new mode

The biggest in-game news of the week revolved around patch 2.09. Along with bringing some new skins to the game, Riot added a new game mode and adjusted Viper’s over-tuned Toxin passive.

The new mode, Replication, forces your entire team to play as one agent in a Spike Rush-style format. It’s certainly fun and a welcome break from sweaty competitive play but probably won’t go any farther than a novelty mode that Riot remove at some point.

Viper was the only agent to receive a significant balance update this patch. Now, instead of receiving 50 decay damage when walking through her smoke, you only take 30 damage – still punishing, but not as overpowered as it certainly was before the update.

Riot Games

All Masters 2 teams are in!

This week saw Brazil and Latin American lock in their finalists for VCT Masters 2 in Iceland. Now, all ten teams are ready to battle it out on the biggest Valorant stage to date.

In Brazil, Team Vikings and Sharks Exports both made it to the Grand Finals, ensuring their spots in Iceland. The LATAM region only gets one spot, which went to KRÜ Esports, who edged out the victory over Infinity in the Grand Finals.

You can take a look at all of the qualified teams here.

Roster shakeups

For the rest of the teams who didn’t make the Masters, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

We’ve seen a lot of roster shuffles over the past week in every region, from TSM and Team Vitality parting ways with coaches to Team Liquid officially releasing ec1s, who was benched earlier in the year.

These won’t be the last roster changes we see ahead of Stage 3, so make sure to stay tuned for more Valorant Esports news.


Another week has passed as Episode 2 Act 3 winds to a close. Here are some of the bigger stories from this week in Valorant.

Potential price changes in Episode 3

One of the bigger pieces of information was actually an accidental release relating to a skin bundle showcase.

Before the most recent Origins bundle hit the item shop, the developers recorded a video with a YouTuber, showing off the new skins. In the video, we got a glimpse of the buy menu, where things looked a whole lot different.

A lot of guns got price reductions and increases, which signify meta shifts and potential upcoming balance changes. For instance, the Frenzy actually got cheaper. We can only assume that this means a nerf to the gun is coming in Episode 3.

You can take a look at all of the changes in the tweet below. Of course, this was a developer build so all of these prices are subject to change before they hit the live servers.

New agent teaser

Episode 3 is rapidly approaching, and Riot have begun teasing the new agent that will accompany the new episode and chapter.

What did this teaser reveal? Well, not much. It’s a robot. That’s about all we know.

Killjoy probably had a hand in making the new agent, judging by the fact that she recently hacked all of the official Valorant accounts on Twitter. Apart from that, we’ll probably have to wait until a few days before Episode 3 before more news comes out.


Esports news

Professional Valorant teams are shuffling their roster ahead of the next competitive season, with signings both big and small.

There wasn’t a ton of standout esports news this week, but here’s a list of some of the bigger stories you may have missed.

We’ll be back next week with another recap for you. Until then, keep bashing your head against the ranked ladder, trying to rank up before the new episode but only losing games in a never-ending cycle of misery.


In the words of the great xQc, “I hate this game. I love it. I love that I hate it. I like it. I don’t like it.”

This is the last week in Valorant Episode 2 Act 3, which means a new act is on the horizon. As such, most of the news from the week surrounds the upcoming release.

Let’s take a look at what we learned and what we can expect when Episode 3 goes live.

New Agent: KAY/O

The biggest game-related information has to be the announcement of the new agent: KAY/O. KAY/O is a robot and appears to have some connection to Killjoy – based on his symbol and coloring.

The cinematic announcement for KAY/O gave us a ton of information on his kit. It looks like he’ll be a dualist/Initiator. He’s got flashes, a mollie, and appears to be able to locate enemy agents – similar to Cypher.

We’re not 100% sure about that last part, as the cinematic reveal wasn’t a full showcase. You can take a look for yourself, below.

Episode 3 Battle Pass preview

As usual, the Battle Pass preview for Act 3 has been released ahead of the season to generate hype. We have some pretty great skins coming to the game, including the best knife we’ve seen in a while.

You can take a look at all of the Battle Pass tiers in the HITSCAN video, below. This will probably be a cop for me. The Operate, Sheriff, Bucky, knife, and Frenzy look pretty dope.

Karma Give Back skin bundle

As another Act ends, Riot hosts another Karma Give-Back bundle where they allow the community to vote on skins they want to see return to the game.

The results are in, and Reaver got huge numbers. It looks like the Prime Vandal might already be in a lot of collections, so players opted for the Reaver Vandal and Sherriff, along with the Ion Operator and more.

Riot Games

This week in Valorant, we saw the first week of EU VCT qualifiers, some major roster shake-ups, and a CS:GO star announcing his switch to Valroant.

Here are all of the biggest stories from the week.

EU Open Qualifiers

The first week of the EU open qualifiers took place this week, which is the biggest storyline in Valorant right now.

Most of the early-week matches went about how you would expect. Big-name teams like NiP, OG, and G2 ran the table against lesser opponents before meeting one another in the mid-rounds.

The biggest shock might be the 2-0 victory G2 had over FNATIC. We’re writing this before the Friday games kick off, so there may be even more surprises to come.

You can watch the games on official Valorant channels along with the casters’ channels, like RyanCentral, MitchMan, Hypoc, and Lothar.

NBK switches to Valorant

One of the biggest Valorant esports stories of the week – outside of the EU Qualifiers, was Nathan “NBK” Schmitt’s announcement that he was switching to Valorant.

The seasoned CSGO star is looking to take his talents to a new title. He currently plays for OG, but isn’t on the Valorant roster just yet.

NBK will probably need some time to practice and learn Valorant a bit deeper, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be among the top names in the game by Masters 4.

Major roster shake-ups

As EU teams fight for their place in the finals, other regions are finalizing their rosters for VCT Challengers.

Some of the roster move highlights of the week include:

  • Lakia leaves NUTURN for Vision Strikers
  • NUTURN replaces Lakia with 10X
  • c4Lypso leaves Rise Nation
  • Immortals sign truo
  • FaZe loans Marved to Envy and signs BabjyJ
  • TSM adds Bang
  • Noble debuts Valorant roster

Riot Games

This week, Valorant headlines were dominated by the VCT Stage 3 Challengers 1 tournament in both EU and NA.

We’ll give you a brief recap of both along with the patch that went live, focusing on fixing some key issues with the game.

Riot Games

Acend win EU Challengers 1

EU might be the most competitive region in all of Valorant, with several teams battling for supremacy.

FNATIC, who seemed like the best team in EU during their Masters 2 run, was knocked-out relatively early in the tournament.

Team Liquid, the other Masters representative from EU, fell to FPX in the same round as FNATIC.

Acend ended up winning the tournament without losing a match, facing G2 in the finals.

The final four of Acend, G2, Guild, and FPX have booked their ticket to the EMEA playoff for Masters 3.

Riot Games

Sentinels stay on top of NA

NA was a different story. Any NA Valorant fan could’ve predicted the top four teams and the winner.

Sentinels ran the table yet again, but suffered a loss to XSET in the Upper Bracket Semifinals. They unsurprisingly worked their way through the Lower Bracket and avenged their loss in the Grand Finals.

100 Thieves, XSET, Sentinels, and Team Envy have now qualified for the NA playoffs but Sentinels remain the team to beat.

Small 3.01 patch

We got a patch this week, but it didn’t bring any balance changes to the game.

This was probably because of the ongoing VCT, which would be affected by any buffs or nerfs Riot brought to Valorant.

Instead, we saw some agent bug fixes, social bug fixes, and a fix to the account leveling system that was introduced at the start of Act 3. You can take a look at the full list of patch notes here.

We could see some balance changes ahead of Challengers 2, but that might not be until next week.

Riot Games

With no game update during the VCT off-season, we didn’t have too much to cover this week in Valorant.

Still, we saw some pro teams make roster moves and Riot release Year-One stats for their players.

Let’s take a look at the biggest stories of the week.

Pro team changes

The biggest news of the week came from the pro scene, as teams shuffle their rosters ahead of Stage 3 Challengers 2.

Most of the top-level teams in NA and EU stayed the same, but some of the mid-level teams made adjustments.

Here are the biggest roster moves/esports stories from this week in Valorant:

Riot Games

Year One stats

Another small piece of news from the week is the release of Valorant’s Year One stats.

Players who opt into receiving emails from Riot Games should have received one with an image of their stats from the first year of Valorant.

If you didn’t receive your email, you can look at a guide here.

In short, you need to log into your Riot account and make sure that you allow them to contact you. This is the most common issue for players looking to receive their Year One stats.

This week saw some of the top teams emerge from NA and EU VCT qualifiers, new strategies emerge, and more.

Let’s take a look at everything you may have missed.

EU Stage 3 Challengers 2 lineup

The stage is set in EU, with the top four teams in the closed qualifiers joining Liquid and FNATIC in the main event.

Europe is an intensely competitive region, with both of the Masters 2 representatives still vying to a chance to make it to the finals, where G2, Acend, Guild, and FPX await.

You can take a look at the full bracket below, but the participating teams are:

  • Team BDS
  • Team Liquid
  • Team Vitality
  • Rix.GG Thunder
  • Giants Gaming
  • Alliance


NA Stage 3 Challengers 2 lineup

With Envy, 100T, XSET, and Sentinels already advancing to the next round, it’s up to the rest of the field to show that they belong at the top of the heap.

NA doesn’t tend to be as competitive as EU, with the top teams often miles ahead of the rest of the field.

Still, we have the likes of FaZe Clan, TSM, and KCP competing for a chance to join the finals.

Our favorites to win the event will be Version1, who played in the last main event with a stand-in, and KCP, who went much further than expected in Challengers 1.

The teams competing in the main event are:

  • Gen.G
  • TSM
  • Version1
  • T1
  • KCP
  • Luminosity
  • Rise
  • FaZe Clan


A new Bulldog/Stinger meta

Valorant streamer and caster, LotharHS, revealed a powerful trick for Bulldog and Stinger users.

Players can quick-scope with these weapons to reduce the recoil and control their shots.

With these weapons being some of the cheaper in the game, it stands to reason that players who see this new trick will abuse it at every turn.

Last week’s Valorant news was dominated by esports, with the Stage 3 Challengers 2 of the VCT taking place in each region.

We saw Liquid come out on top in EU and TSM beat FaZe in the finals for NA. Here’s everything you missed last week.

EU Challengers 2 recap

EU continues to be one of the more competitive regions in Valorant, with the top teams seeming to shuffle with each event.

FNATIC, the EMEA team that made it the furthest in Masters 2, is now out of the running and won’t even be competing in the EMEA playoffs – let alone Masters 3.

Liquid, the other Masters 2 EMEA team, won the event with a 3-1 series against Vodafone Giants, who also secured a spot in the EMEA playoffs.

The full EMEA playoff bracket is below, courtesy of

NA Challengers 2 recap

Challengers 2 in NA was comprised of teams that appear to be a step below the ones that qualified for NA playoffs in Challengers 1.

TSM and FaZe Clan, two teams that have been underperforming when you consider their standards, made it to the Grand Finals.

TSM looked like the better team for almost all of their 3-1 series win.

Both teams make it to the NA playoffs, though, with notable misses including Version1 and Gen.G.

Night Market returns

The biggest piece of in-game news is probably the return of the Night Market, as balance changes have been put on the back burner while VCT rages on.

It’s a good time to snag a weapon skin if you’re looking for one.

Some players are luckier than others, though. I didn’t get a single knife, Vandal, or Phantom skin in the Night Market on either of my two accounts.

Riot Games

NA Challengers 2 recap

This week was pretty slow in terms of news, mostly due to the fact that the team took some time off.

We didn’t get a patch this week, and the pro scene took a week off to prepare for the playoffs, which start on August 11 and 12 for NA and EMEA.

We did have some roster shuffling and preparation for the playoffs, however. Let’s take a look at what you may have missed.

Riot Games

Challengers 3 playoffs incoming

The biggest news of the week is something that hasn’t even happened yet: Masters 3 Playoffs.

NA will begin on the 11 and EMEA on the 12. The top three teams from NA and top four from EMEA will make it to the Masters 3 LAN event in Berlin.

Here are the initial brackets for NA and EMEA:



Roster news

With several top teams already out of Masters 3, we have qutie a bit of movement in all of the major regions.

Some of the highlights from this week’s pro news includes:

  • FPX recruiting a Chinese roster
  • Team Envy  signs yay
  • LoWkii leaves Vitality
  • JcStani leaves Andbox
  • TSM to form an academy roster

Riot Games

Valorant Mobile clone

Riot have said that they’re working on a version of Valorant for mobile, but another company already beat them to the punch.

Project M was in the news this week. The game looks nearly identical to Valorant – abilities and all.

We see bomb plants, a Sage wall, Brimstone smokes, and characters that look an aqful lot like Viper and Omen.

This game probably won’t do too much to the market, but the beta is out now if you want to try it.

This week, we saw an extension of the current Valorant Act and some big plays in the professional scene as Masters 3 draws closer.

Here’s everything you may have missed.

Riot Games

NA Masters 3 teams set

The biggest news from the week comes on the professional side of things, with the NA and EMEA playoffs.

In NA, the teams have been decided. Sentinels, the Masters 2 champions, won the playoffs, facing 100 Thieves in the championship game.

Joining 100T and Sentinels will be Envy, making their first appearance at a LAN event with a greatly improved roster.


EMEA Challengers 3 Playoffs continue

In the EMEA playoffs, things are a lot more spread out than they were in NA. 

The EMEA playoffs will take two weeks to finish when it’s all said and done, but we already have two Masters 3 teams confirmed.

Acend and SuperMassive Blaze booked their tickets to Berlin for Masters 3, as Gambit, forZe, Liquid, Guild, G2, and Giants continue to fight for the last two spots.


Episode 3, Act 2 delayed

In Valorant game news, we have Act 2 of Episode 3 delayed two weeks due to “some constraints.” 

Act 2 is now set to begin on September 8, with exact times to be announced when the update draws nearer.

With Masters 3 on the horizon, the biggest news from the week revolves around professional play.

We had the EMEA Playoffs conclude, the Masters 3 format revealed, and some shuffling with teams that missed the cut.

Let’s get into it.

Riot Games

EMEA Challengers 3 Playoffs Conclude

The biggest news in Valorant was the conclusion of the EMEA Challengers 3 playoffs, which also means we have our four EMEA teams that will move on to Masters 3 in Berlin.

Gambit won the playoff bracket, but will be joined by SuperMassive Blaze, Acend, and G2 in Masters.

This means that both EMEA Masters 2 teams, Team Liquid and FNATIC, won’t be a part of Masters 3, although both should still be in the running for the big end-of-year event.

Masters Berlin Format Revealed

The format for Masters 3 will be a bit different than previous Valorant tournaments. 

There are more teams this time, so Riot have opted for a Group Stage to kick things off, rather than a double-elimination bracket.

After the Group Stage, players will move onto the finals, where they’ll only have one life before being sent home.

As usual, normal matches will be best-of-three and the finals will be best-of-five.

Roster Shuffling

Of course, more teams missed Masters 3 than made it.

The teams that missed the cut are still practicing strats and fixing holes in their rosters with the hopes of qualifying for the next major tournament.

Some of the more high-profile roster moves from the week include:

  • NiP bench CREA
  • Giants Gaming sign Davidp and Ambi
  • TSM reveal a new Valorant Academy roster
  • Version1 COO commit to big offseason signings after recent misses
  • truo leaves Immortals
  • 10x leaves NUTURN

Riot Games

With pro teams preparing for Masters 3 in Berlin, we have some in-game news to catch up on.

This week, we saw some patch notes for the new season leaked, the new Battle Pass, and some additional skins that should hit the shop in the beginning of the season.

Let’s get into it.


Valorant X Zedd skin bundle

Most recently, we saw an official announcement of the Valorant X Zedd skin bundle – the first crossover skin set in Valorant.

This set looks amazing, with what might be the most complicated finisher in the game. It’s a must cop for me.

We don’t know the price of the bundle yet, but it will probably be up there with the knife. We’ve also yet to see any Gun Buddies or Player Cards associated with the bundle.

Leaked patch notes

Act 2 will release tomorrow, and we saw some patch notes associated with the new update.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see too much in the way of agent updates. Raze got another nerf and Breech got a slight buff. His utility now destroys Tripwires, Alarm Bots, etc.

Even more notable was the lack of attention to agents like Jett, Yoru, and KAY/O. KAY/O could use some tuning, Yoru has been in line for a buff since he came out, and Jett continues to be the most powerful dualist in the lineup.

Riot Games


Leaks are never 100%, but one thing about Act 2 is: the new map.

Fracture is the most complicated map in Valorant, and will take some getting used to for the foreseeable future.

Several creators were able to get their hands on the new map early. We’ll be able to queue for it with a dedicated playlist when Act 2 goes live.

Another week, more Valorant news.

We saw some VCT Masters action, a new season, a new map, and more.

Here’s everything you missed from the week in Valorant.

Riot Games

Masters 3 Group Stage

The Group Stage for Masters 3 chugs along, with some early qualifiers like 100 Thieves already making it through.

So far, most of the matchups have been predictable, with the exception of the Acend vs Vision Strikers game that’s ongoing at the time of writing.

Most of the EMEA and NA teams have gotten through the other regions, with NA beating EMEA thus far.

At the time of writing, Envy and 100 Thieves are the only teams qualified for the next round, with Vision Strikers, Gambit, Acend, and Sentinels looking to join them soon.

Riot Games

New Episode Released

We also saw a new episode go live this week, which included a new map: Fracture.

The patch notes didn’t change too much for the meta. Raze got another nerf and Jett remained unchanged – both surprising adjustments.

Apart from that, the only significant change leveled the playing field between some utility. Now, all AOE abilities now destroy KJ and Cypher utility.

Riot Games

New Episode Released

A new Episode means new cosmetics have been added to Valorant.

More interesting, however, was the Valorant X Zedd Spectrum skin bundle – Valorant’s first official crossover skins.

This will almost certainly be the first in a long line of skins for Valorant. I expect to see them collaborate with streamers, pro teams, and other celebrity fans in the future.

This was a big week for the EU region of Valorant, as they claim their first LAN Masters event and dethrone Sentinels.

We also have a new patch to go over, so let’s jump right into what you missed.

Gambit win Masters 3

The Masters 3 Playoffs began and ended last week, with the top teams in the world battling for prize money, the trophy, and positioning at the end-of-year Champions tournament.

After three days of a single-elimination bracket, Gambit swept Envy 3-0 to take home the victory. Surprisingly, there were only two games in the whole event that weren’t sweeps, including Sentinels’ 0-2 loss to Envy in the first round.

Vision Strikers, the Korean hopefuls, fell short to the eventual champs, but took a map off of them and showed that they belong on the big stage. I can’t wait to see how all of these teams bounce back in Champion’s.

Jett finally gets a nerf

In the 3.06 patch, KAY/O got a much-needed buff while Skye got a slight nerf after her previous buff that allowed her to flash herself into a site.

The most interesting balance changes came for Jett, which players have been requesting for a long time.

Jett now only has two smokes instead of three and her Bladestorm right-click got a huge hit. Not only was the damage multiplier changed (more of a balance than a nerf), but here right-click no longer recharges her ultimate.

This is huge news for Jett mains, but not enough to pull her out of the meta – especially at the highly-accurate professional level.

Jett is still the best Opper in Valorant, and that hasn’t changed at all. Now, her ultimate is a bit less noob-friendly and she doesn’t have as many smokes. This might not be the last nerf we see Jett receive.

Riot Games

Changes to wall-bang plant spots

Also included in the patch were changes to default plant spots on Haven, Fracture, Icebox, Bind, and Ascent.

Icebox’s B, Fracture’s B, and Haven’s C got their default spots changed while Ascent and Bind saw their alternative plant spots adjusted.

I don’t know whether or not I like this change. I think I do, but only time will tell.

The most significant change is, in my opinion, B default on Icebox. This could have ripple effects on the professional meta, where teams may opt to move away from Sage – who traditionally prevented the wall-bang at this location.

Riot Games

This week in Valorant, we saw some professional teams make moves ahead of Last Chance Qualifiers, a new balance patch, and more.

Let’s take a look at what’s new.

Jett nerfed in new patch

Last week, we saw a new patch come to Valorant that slightly nerfed Skye, nerfed Jett, and added blockers to some of the popular plant spots to prevent wall-bangs.

The map changes might be the most significant changes overall, but the Jett nerf got the most attention for two reasons.

First, Jett’s right-click ultimate ability has been nearly removed. The damage is down bad and it doesn’t reset the knives anymore, making it almost useless.

The second point is that Jett’s pick rate likely won’t be affected by this update, since she’s still the primary Operator agent in the game. In my opinion, the only Jett nerf that will hit her 100% pick rate is an Operator buff.

Riot Games

Roster changes ahead of LCQ

With Last-chance qualifiers around the corner, some of the top teams in each region are trying to maximize their chance to qualify for the end-of-year Champions competition.

It’s still early, but teams have already been shifting rosters ahead of the event. Some of the major roster updates include:

  • 100 Thieves reportedly removing steel from VALORANT roster
  • Team Liquid sign Nivera
  • FaZe Clan sign JDM as head coach
  • WeDid benched from NRG
  • Immortals part ways with Kehmicals
  • BBL Esports announce Vlad and Root as Coach and GM

100 Thieves

Cosmetic leaks

A smaller piece of information comes from a leak via @ValorLeaks on Twitter.

According to him, we should be getting skin upgrades that include kill counters in the future – similar to existing skins in CS:GO.

We don’t yet know if this will only apply to upcoming skins or if Riot will add it to existing ones.

With VCT Last Chance Qualifiers on the horizon, we had a quiet week of Valorant news that included some teasers, team moves, and more.

Here’s everything you missed from the past week in Valorant.

New Sentinel incoming!

The biggest news of the week was the official teaser and announcement of the next agent coming to Valorant. 

We don’t have too much information about who the new Agent will be, but we know that they’ll fill the role of a Sentinel – something Valorant players have been requesting for a while.

Will this break the KJ meta? We’ll have to wait and see. The new agent probably won’t come out until the next Episode.

Riot Games

100 Thieves replace Steel

In a surprising turn, we saw one of the top contenders in Last Chance, 100 Thieves, make a big move ahead of the tournament. Fans were stunned to hear that the org benched/dropped their in-game leader, Steel.

In replacement, b0i will be getting the start going forward.

Apart from some small comments by people like Nadeshot – who only said the team needed a change – we don’t really know what happened there. With 100 Thieves being in a good position and so close to Last Chance Qualifiers, we can only assume that there’s something going on behind the scenes.

We may or may not learn more on this one, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Riot Games

Fracture disabled in VCT Last Chance

Although the news to disable Fracture in VCT Game Changers made headlines, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Every new agent and map have been excluded from the following competitive event, but some players were surprised because Fracture has been out for a while, but it isn’t too much of a big deal.

We’ll see our first professional action on Fracture at the end-of-year Champions tournament.

Riot Games

Jimmy Russo is a writer and editor for covering a variety of games and topics. He specializes in first-person shooters including Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Valorant, while also covering livestreaming news on Twitch and other aspects of the gaming industry.