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Published: July 3, 2023

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • Riot plans to significantly nerf the agent’s utilities in an upcoming patch
  • This will likely negatively impact Viper’s already low pick rate in casual matches
  • However, it seems the changes are more catered to professional players

Many players think the upcoming Viper changes would impact her pick rate, but there seems to be a huge dissonance between the casual and professional frequency of play.

Players Discuss Viper Nerfs

Game patches can sometimes add features or change things in a way players are not happy about, and VALORANT is no exception to that rule. Developer Riot Games has often received criticism for decisions that are not quite liked by the player base, and the game’s latest patch, which will nerf Viper, is such a case.

The company is planning to change up the agent’s arsenal of utility, with his fuel regeneration being put under the microscope. Riot plans to increase the time for a full recovery from 20 to 30 seconds and the amount she regenerates will be reduced from 5.5% to 3.3%.

The community has not taken this news well, with many complaining under a Reddit post discussing the situation. A vast majority of the fans feel like these changes are unnecessary, with the original poster asking the question “Who asked for this?” regarding the changes.

Many fans say that this change would make it so smokes are even rarer in matchmaking games. Others are saying that the controller class would now be even harder to play. Whatever the case may be, it’s almost certain that there will be a decline in Viper mains after the new patch launches.

Viper is already not a very popular agent, being picked just 14% of the time in recent matches, according to stats tracker Valorbuff. For comparison, Brimstone and Omen have been by far the most picked controllers, the former being picked 28% of the time, while the latter – a whopping 39.4% of the games.

However, when we look at the changes from the perspective of professional VALORANT play, we might see why Riot has decided to go down such a path with Vipoer. Throughout the Champions Tour 2023: EMEA League, Viper was picked 47% of the time, trailing slightly behind Omen, who once again tops the pick rates. 

“Bro 90% of nerfs and buffs cater to pro play. Look at the pick rates and meta and you’ll realize why she got nerfed even more,” one commenter eloquently wrote. Another responded that since pros often are the ones who discover meta strategies and casual players copy them, then Viper would have soon also dominated the casual matches as well.

Differing opinions aside, only time will tell if Riot’s decision to nerf the agent will pan out well.

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