Want to learn how to IGL like your favorite pro? Here’s a comprehensive Valorant in-game-leading guide for you
Are you tired of ranked teammates running around in the server like headless chickens, leading to repeated losses? Are you planning to build a team of your own and lead them in Valorant Premier or official/third-party tournaments? Whether it’s casual play or serious competition, winning is always rewarding. To succeed in a Tac FPS like Valorant, having a skilled in-game leader (IGL) can significantly impact your success. In this in-game-leading guide, we will give the ultimate tips and tricks on how to IGL in Valorant like a professional player.
How to IGL in Valorant
Within the Tactical FPS genre, the position of the in-game leader is widely regarded as one of the most challenging and selfless roles due to the substantial responsibilities that come with it. This holds true for Valorant as well.
Valorant is a game of numerous micro-decisions where you must emphasize minimizing errors while capitalizing on your opponents' slip-ups. Winning in this game requires a team with solid chemistry, effective communication, and the right priorities. All of which can be achieved through adept leadership. This is precisely where the role of the IGL comes in.
Know Your Teammates
Always keep in mind that Valorant is a team game. Maximizing your team’s potential involves leveraging each teammate effectively. Additionally, remember that every player is unique. So, to use each player to the best of their abilities, you must have a proper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
Assigning the best aimer and most naturally aggressive player to passive roles that don’t align with their strengths, like playing them as a Controller, isn’t ideal. Optimal performance comes from placing the right players in roles that suit their strengths—such as assigning the clutch masters to roles other than Duelist. So, understand your teammates and fix what roles you will all play on each map.
However, if you’re looking to IGL in Valorant ranked games where roles are randomly selected before the game, you make do with what you have and give calls accordingly. For example, ask your Controller player to play less aggressively and not give up the first blood.
Read Your Opponent
A crucial aspect of being an IGL is decoding your opponents’ strategies and playstyles. This involves observing patterns, understanding how opponents prefer to play, their agent preferences on specific sites, and potential lurking behaviors. Identifying patterns unveils weak links in the opponent’s game, allowing you to exploit these weaknesses and guide your team to victory.
Furthermore, paying attention to the opponent’s utility usage and overall economy is equally important. For instance, recognizing when the opponents are out of smoke can provide opportunities for easier site control or retakes. Keeping an eye on their economy allows you to plan strats for that specific round according to their possible weapon loadouts.
Improvise and Adapt
Always keep in mind that not everything will go according to plan. While planning round-winning strategies marks a good IGL, what sets apart a great IGL is the capability to turn a round in your favor when things spiral out of control. You, as the team captain, must always keep a level head and speak in a clear and calm manner. Effectively improvising your tactics and adapting to the opponent’s style while remaining composed are keys to staging the comebacks Valorant is known for.
The mid-round is one of the most critical times when you often need to improvise and adapt. The decisions made in the mid-round, more often than not, decide the fate of that round. For the mid-round, you cannot plan in advance, so it requires quick and efficient thinking based on the pieces of information available up to that point, like pushes, kills, utility usage, and other available cues.
Learn the Callouts
Many players underestimate this, failing to realize that it is of utmost importance. Trust me, simply shouting “He is right there!” right after you die has never helped anybody.
All Valorant maps have specific names for each region of the map, and you, as an IGL, must learn all of them so that you can give out your instructions in a precise manner without causing any confusion. Also, encourage your teammates to use proper callouts as well for the overall benefit of the team. Giving the right callouts and having map awareness is extremely important and can sway the outcome of a round in your favor.
Play a Supporting Agent
The individual with superior IGL-like abilities—strong communication, prediction skills, and map-reading—should assume the IGL role regardless of their agent choice. However, it’s advisable to opt for a supportive agent when taking on the role of the IGL. The most common role of IGLs in the competitive Valorant world is Controller due to its capacity to oversee the entire map and synchronize gameplay effectively with the team.
Work On Your Mechanics
This one is for the ones who are their team's permanent IGL and aim to participate in official/third-party tournaments. It's essential to recognize that despite the heavy responsibility of shot-calling, personal mechanical skills still require attention. While being the IGL can be draining and might limit the focus on individual aiming abilities compared to other team members, consistent aim practice remains essential. Even if you are an excellent IGL, in a game like Valorant, raw aim can take you a long way.
This year I’d say my performance has improved. However, after watching Worlds I feel like if Faker(age 27) can still have so much impact mechanically then I should try too. I’m comfortable at IGLing so there’s no harm in wanting to win more duels! I’m looking for an aim nerd to…
— FNATIC Boaster (@OfficialBoaster) November 23, 2023
Popular IGLs You Should Follow
Even with all of these tips on how to IGL in Valorant, there is always room for personal growth. Enhancing your in-game leadership skills can be achieved by studying the gameplay of the world’s top IGLs. Renowned championship-winning leaders such as Boaster, FNS, and ShahZam frequently stream on Twitch and share content on YouTube. Following their channels provides invaluable insights into mastering the art of leadership and improving your own skills as an IGL.
For more guides on Valorant, keep it locked at ESTNN.