It’s been a big year for Valorant, with new content coming every few months and the pro scene starting to take shape.
We still have years ahead of us to enjoy Valorant, but we’d be amiss not to review the first full calendar year of Valorant content.
Ahead, we’ll take a look at all of the agents, maps, and limited-time modes added to Valorant in 2021 and crown our favorite in each category.
When it comes to agents added this year, it’s hard to argue that Astra isn’t the most useful.
Astra was brought to the competitive meta as soon as she was eligible, and you’ll see most pro teams use one on almost every map.
Astra’s kit is the most versatile in the game by design. She truly fills a unique roll and has been the biggest addition to the roster this year.
Chaber is Valorant’s latest agent and we haven’t been able to see him at work in pro matches.
Still, Chamber’s duelist/sentinel roll is completely unique.
Other classes have had similar hybrid characters, but Chamber is the first sentinel to consistently out-duel his opponents.
Chamber may or may not make it into the pro meta, but he’s at least worth a look over the next two.
KAY/O was a relatively underwhelming addition to Valorant - especially considering the buffs to his initiator counterparts.
Although KAY/O can be useful in several situations, he isn’t the best at anything.
He doesn’t have the best flashes, the best molly, or the best information gathering.
KAY/O was initially thought to be overpowered, but has since fallen down the rankings of useful agents.
Yoru is the favorite of a lot of big-brain duelists, but it’s hard to find players who consistently use him and find success.
You can certainly pop off as Yoru, but most people will roll their eyes if you pick him in a competitive pre-game.
Hopefully, Riot give Yoru a boost and bring him more into the meta in 2022.
Breeze is my favorite among the newer maps that Riot have added to Valorant.
Unlike Icebox and Fracture, I never dreaded playing Breeze in comp when it was brand knew.
The wide-open layout of Breeze was the first of its kind, and it’s been a joy to watch how pro teams handle the massive middle of the map.
Before Fracture, Breeze was the most interesting map in the lineup. It’s still a favorite of me and many other players.
Fracture is the most unique Valorant map by a long shot, and it’s awesome to see Riot bringing original ideas to the table.
Although I don’t think Fracture is as fun to play as Breeze, it will be very interesting to see it played more often at a high level as pro teams get more comfortable with it.
Escalation is the best mode Valorant has ever added.
The team-based gun game-style mode is a perfect way to warm up if you’re sick of the deathmatch grind.
New players can get a feel for all of the weapons without being stuck playing Spike Rush again and again.
As far as casual, one-off modes, Escalation takes the cake.
Replication, while fun for a few matches, gets old quickly.
It’s fun to play as a team full of Brimstones, Sages, Skyes, etc. After a game or two, though, you’re ready to get back into the base game.
Riot get an A for effort on this one, but it doesn’t stand the test of time. I don’t ever mind seeing this one rotate out of the game modes.