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VALORANT Pros Weigh In On Neon

VALORANT’s newest agent, Neon, is quickly hitting live servers after her trailer was released on January 5th. With her abilities being revealed recently, social media has been ignited into a debate over her viability and if she is even balanced in some circles. To settle the score, we look to the professional players and their critiques to settle the score; is Neon overpowered or will she sit outside the metagame ahead of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022?

Team Liquid’s duelist Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom had some strong words to say about VALORANT’s lightning-quick agent. While testing her abilities, ScreaM drew immediate comparisons from Neon’s Fast Lane to Pheonix’s Wall of Fire. However, it was Relay Bolt that truly captured him. “Oh, it’s a nade–that stuns!” 

And after discovering that the projectile could bounce he exclaimed “[…] oh my god bro, it’s so good!” High Gear was another ability that got him excited. “I feel like it’s like Raze [or] it’s like Yoru, bro!” While he seemed skittish on the small delay Neon has exiting her dash, he thought the ability was extremely interesting. “Bro, it’s going to be so fun to play, man!” When it came to her ultimate, ScreaM was pretty enthralled. “This is the most broken ultimate ever!” 

Outside of generally enjoying rolling around at the speed of sound, Sentinels’ Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan had some comments on the newest VALORANT agent on a recent live stream. “Neon doesn’t feel that OP I’m not gonna lie,” he said. However, his opinion may have changed by the end of his stream as his comments quickly turn from apathetic to enthusiastic and quite entertained. “Neon’s ult is so much fun. I just ran around like Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Bro, I’m running around the map! This is insane! I just needed to get the hang of it” were both mentioned after ShahZaM spent more time learning and testing out Neon. 

100 Thieves Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk explained that Neon wasn’t that strong and didn’t seem to have the staying power to make a difference at high levels, citing that other agents, namely Jett and Reyna had overturned kits. “This agent gives me vibes of like; if you want a Raze on your team–but your teammate can’t play Raze that well. It’s just another heavy utility duelist, but it doesn’t replace Jett at all and it’ll be more the flex, second [duelist],” he said. 

Asuna did comment on the awkwardness of using alt-fire for her slide during sprinting ability, High Gear. However, he did point out some key positives. “The only thing that could be kinda crazy about this agent is how fast you can rotate” and “I think sliding on top of walls is really strong, that’s the one thing I’ve noticed with this agent. I don’t know why, it feels a lot better.”

However, not everyone is ready to board the Neon hype train. Even other pros from outside of VALORANT are commenting on their newest agent, namely former Evil Geniuses Counter-Strike star, Tarik “tarik” Celik. After establishing a hypothetical scenario where Neon is attacking through Bind’s B-Site, he explains how her kit just does not do enough to warrant viability. 

Images via Riot Games

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