Deadlock isn’t cut for the competitive scene; pros say
Valorant's roster expanded with the highly anticipated release of Episode 7, welcoming a new agent to their pool. The latest addition, Deadlock, the 22nd agent, is the 5th Sentinel to join the game.
Deadlock was showcased at the grandest stage of Valorant, stealing the spotlight during the Masters Tokyo Grand Final. The Norwegian agent left a great initial impression on everybody with her introduction, including the ones involved in the pro scene. Bringing forth a unique set of utilities, Deadlock seemed capable of a playstyle previously unseen among Sentinels. Particularly, her ultimate ability sparked extensive discussions within the community.
raze has existed since beta nut much difference here
— @dr222002202 (@prabalt72984020) June 25, 2023
From that early look on her, many thought we would finally get a Sentinel who would remove Killjoy’s near monopoly on the Sentinel role of almost every team comp. Many professional players held the belief that, unlike recent agent releases, Deadlock would effortlessly prove herself a viable pick for both ranked and pro plays. Former G2 Esports IGL, Shahzeb “ShahZam” Khan was instantly impressed by her toolkit and what she brings to the table. This sentiment was echoed by other notable players like DRX MaKo, NRG Ethan, and NRG ardiis, who shared the opinion that Deadlock's kit was indeed impressive.
Deadlock’s Fall From Grace
Despite all the high opinions, Deadlock fell flat after her official release in the game. Although unique, her abilities were not as impactful as initially anticipated in most in-game scenarios. The opinions of professional players also underwent a shift shortly after her release, with many expressing a change in perspective toward Deadlock's viability and effectiveness in competitive play.
Credit: Riot Games
A multitude of reasons surfaced to shed light on why Deadlock ultimately proved to be a lackluster agent. Ethan from NRG Esports took to Twitter and provided a detailed explanation in this regard. The Masters Tokyo runner-up expressed the view that most of Deadlock's toolkits held little value in both defense and attack. While her Wall (Barrier Mesh) stood out as an exception due to its extensive duration and massive health, the rest of her utilities were only effective in highly specific and limited circumstances.
After playing deadlock for a day, here are my opinions
– crouch nade thing is useless
– trips are largely useless except for postplant
– wall lineups are decent, but very limited because of throwing range
– crouch nade thing is useless
– trips are actually…
— EG Ethan (@ethanarnold) June 30, 2023
Deadlock faced even more pointed criticism from DRX content creator LotharHS, who expressed an even harsher opinion on the new Valorant agent. Lothar emphasized that the agent has almost non-existent flank-watching ability, a crucial aspect of the Sentinel role. Additionally, he argued that the grenade utility she possessed added little value because of how easy it is to get rid of it. Even Deadlock's ultimate ability, which was initially believed to be a game-changing utility, was deemed weak by the VCT analyst.
My very first opinion on Deadlock.
Very little chance it will change.
She is turboweak
1) grenade can be turned off in 1s like a cypher camera and doesnt give you many benefits. Very weak for attacking.
2) traps are easy to dodge, very loud and also can be shot to be disabled… pic.twitter.com/ens2dojB5L
— DRX LotharHS (@LotharHS) June 27, 2023
It's not only limited to them. The biggest name in Valorant, Tenz, expressed his underwhelming experience with the agent while playing her in ranked games. Sharing his thoughts on the new agent during his gameplay, he remarked that Deadlock's usefulness was primarily limited to post-plant situations, leaving her lacking in effectiveness during the early stages of attacking rounds, where she basically becomes simply “a dude with a gun.” He then went on to criticize the mechanics of the nade (GravNet), saying it does not necessarily make the opponent easier to kill.
While numerous arguments have been presented both in favor of and against Deadlock, it remains challenging to deliver a definitive verdict before witnessing her performance firsthand in a top-tier professional tournament. Unfortunately, she will not be making her debut in the upcoming Americas LCQ, as announced by Riot Games. Fans and spectators will probably have to wait until the VCT Champions tournament to see how she fares in professional play.
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