The third stage of the VALORANT Champions Tour will show off the biggest change to the game on a pro level yet following the implementation of the latest patch, 3.0. The patch launched on June 21 and focused more on gunplay than ability reliance, with an overall price increase of abilities for almost all agents and a price reduction for several of weapons. Additionally, run-and-gun mechanics are going to be a little less accurate moving forward.
Even after the changes, there are certain agents who are going to have far more impact than others. Here are just a few of the agents you should be watching when VCT Stage Three begins at the start of July.
Even with KAY/O taking a seat on the bench for the first NA Challengers event, he’s going to have an impact on the third stage when he arrives for Challengers Two. KAY/O is both a supplement and a deterrent to the post-plant meta. His FRAG/MENT grenade deals a great amount of damage and has a wide radius and duration, making it ideal for Spike plant or defuse denials. His knife and ultimate abilities can completely derail an opponent’s post-plant if used in a timely manner.
With the time teams have been afforded to practice with KAY/O, some fun grenade and knife lineups are surely in the works for Challengers Two.
The full potential of Astra’s abilities has yet to be unlocked or realized by North America. Version1 have gotten off to a strong start implementing her into the controller role, and their usage of her was a big part of their stunning win over Team Liquid in Reykjavík. While controllers like Omen, Viper, and Brimstone can do other things, no one has reach across an entire map quite like Astra.
Other abilities have gotten a nerf or at the very least a price increase with the release of Patch 3.0, and Astra was hit too. Cooldowns for both Nova Pulse and Gravity Well were doubled, as well as her ability to Recall stars. She also starts with one less granted star, but the cost of each star has dropped by 50 credits. Even with longer cooldowns, her ability to use utility across the map is a huge benefit to any team that knows how to use her.
With the increase in ability prices for Jett, her full kit has become one of the most expensive ones in the game at 800 credits. Despite the increase, Jett is still going to leave a lasting impact on the third stage of NA VCT play. Her ability to use movement to rush enemies and escape trades is a game-changer, and being so productive at getting kills makes the added ultimate cost less daunting.
The popular Jett-Operator combo will still be prevalent as the price drop of the Op neatly cancels out the increased cost of abilities. Look for star players like TenZ and WARDELL to still turn the tide of rounds with their time-tested combo.
Aside from these three, expect agents like Sage, Sova, Cypher, and Killjoy to remain popular picks throughout the stage.