Ctrl K

The Next Astra: How Chamber shaped the VCT 2022 Meta

The Next Astra: How Chamber shaped the VCT 2022 Meta

Landon Summers


VALORANT Champions 2022 Tour has already been an interesting year filled with twists and turns. We’ve seen new giants like ZETA DIVISION and LOUD rise to the occasion, and other big teams like Sentinels and M3 Champions struggle. In addition to a turbulent scene, two new agents have made a debut in VALORANT in 2022, Neon and Fade, and have already been making their rounds in many regions. However, a looming presence has been hanging over all tournaments: Chamber.

Being released in late 2021, Chamber was the first Sentinel in VALORANT to have a weapon ultimate (like Raze, Sova, and Jett) and the first agent to utilize a modified version of a purchasable weapon (Sheriff to Headhunter and Operator to Tour de Force). His Trademarks and his Rendez-vous were both interesting parts of his kit, painting him as a sniper agent, a replacement for Jett. If someone could hit their shots, and hit them often, he can act like a free bank for his team, using his easy-to-kill-with Tour de Force and giving his money to another player. However, Chamber has risen to such a high echelon of picking that, in some regions, he is seen 3 out of every 4 maps. So how does the meta compare from pre-Chamber to now? Why did he rise up so quickly? And is there an Astra-level nerf in his future?

He defines the meta

During VALORANT Champions 2021, Chamber was not allowed to be picked. It was also the last major international event before Chamber’s introduction to the VCT. So, for comparison, we will compare the comps ran at VCT 2021 Champions to the agent-picks of the each of the Stage 2 regions.


The top 5 agents at Champions were Jett (82%), Sova (68%), Astra (59%), Viper (58%), and Killjoy (43%). While Astra and Viper were their own problems, the main two agents that stuck out are Jett and Killjoy. Jett was a near must-pick on 4 maps: Ascent, Breeze, Haven and Icebox, with 50%+ pick rate on the remaining maps. Killjoy’s pickrate was so high due to her decent pick rates on Ascent and Haven, and her appearances on almost every map.

Data by rib.gg

In addition to a high pick rate, Jett also saw the highest Operator pick rate out of all the agents (24.68%). In fact, Jett players picked an Operator more often than a Phantom or a Vandal. We can actually take this a step further. On almost every map where Jett had a 90% pick rate or higher, the Operator pick rate for Jett was 24% (with the exception of Ascent with 21.29%). On almost every map where she had a smaller pick rate, her Operator pick rate was 22% or below (with the exception of Bind with 26.25%). So, we can see a semi-clear correlation between Op-ing and Jett usage, a two-way street. If a map needs an Op-ing agent, Jett will see more play because she was the best Op-ing agent at the time.

While Killjoy saw the most usage, Cypher and Sage had great map picks on a few maps. Sage was a near must-pick on Icebox (due to her wall for plants), and saw decent play on Split and Bind. Cypher was slowly rising in pick rate on Breeze and Fracture, being seen at least four times every 3 map picks. His ability to control a site regardless of the distance and his ability to cover off places like Halls on Breeze or A Door and A Rope on Fracture gave teams a sense of security when they wanted to rotate or leave. This was crucial, as a player could easily lurk down a corridor and catch an enemy off-guard. However, with a well-placed Trapwire, a defender (or even attacker) can secure this extra arm and solidify safe spaces.


In almost every single VCT region, Chamber is the most picked agent. The only region that this is not the case for is in Brazil, where he is the 3rd most picked (behind Jett and Sova). His pick rate there is 48%, the lowest out of all the regions. This should stand out: in the region where he is used the least, he is seen on one team in almost every map, regardless of the map chosen. At the Latin American Stage 2 Playoffs, he was seen in every game, on every map, and on every team. During the NA Playoffs, he was seen 73% of the time, which is roughly the equivalent of appearing on 3 out of every 4 compositions, or on both sides of one map.

Data by rib.gg

While Jett still holds the highest Operator pick rate, the circumstances have significantly changed. For starters, her Op pick rate now rests at about 17.23%, a 7.45% drop. You are more likely to see a Jett use a Vandal than an Operator. Second, her lead over all the other agents is smaller, because Chamber is close behind in Op pick rate with 17.15% (a 0.08%) difference. Put another way, out of 10,000 rounds (which is about 417 11:13 games), Jett would have picked an Operator 8 rounds more than a Chamber, a negligible difference.

Chamber has also completely suffocated the Sentinels class in VALORANT. In every region, while Chamber sits on top of the pick rates, many of the other agents are barely able to break 30%. This mainly depends on how often that agent’s map is played, like Ascent for Killjoy or Icebox for Sage. And poor Cypher has been forgotten. Since Chamber could do everything Cypher did, but better, Cypher’s niche was overtaken. 

He fulfills his duty too well

Think back to when Astra was dominating the game. Why was she so strong? The main point of contention was that she could control the pace of the game using her strong utility. This was due to her ability to smoke consistently and from anywhere on the map, but also from her ability to lockdown areas with her utility. No one wanted to enter an Astra Nebula because there might be another star lurking just out of sight, which could spell disaster for the opposite team. She did her job so well there wasn’t much of a need for any other Controller.

Now, come back to Chamber. What is the purpose of a Sentinel? They lock down an area and provide valuable support to a team, whether that be healing, effects or intel. If Controllers, Duelists, and Initiators make and take space from the enemy, it’s a Sentinel’s job to secure that area. And Chamber does that, a little too well.

One of the offenders is his Rendez-vous. Remember Jett’s pre-nerf Dash? This is its buffed older brother. He is able to teleport every 20 seconds, regardless of whether he has gotten a kill or not. Additionally, he is also able to place these teleports pre-round, and move them with a slight cooldown. In contrast, Jett got hers instantly, and it would refresh after 2 kills. The positional advantage that Updraft gave to Jett while she used an Operator, along with the certainty of escape, made facing a Jett-Op combo a tall order.

At least with Jett Dash you could force it out with utility, and put an enemy Jett into a tough position. With Rendez-vous, you get the insane positional value that Updraft offers, the escape button of a Jett Dash, and you can use it without needing a kill. It is such a strong positional tool, that we have seen teams begin to run concussive agents like Breach and Neon just to force a Chamber out of good positions. And even then, if a Chamber teleports out, they only have 20 seconds to make the most of it. Also, if simply moves out of the way, there is still a chance for him to escape.

The second culprit is the other two aspects of his kit: Tour-de-Force and Headhunter. The theory is pretty solid: locking down an area with firepower. No one wants to fight an Operator, and whenever you hear the Chamber ult line, teams tend to scout for the player and avoid that area. However, as many of you probably have already discovered, shooting enemies in the face is surprisingly effective in any stage of the game.

It is here we reach a major problem with Chamber: he isn’t a defender, he is a marksman. His gunpowder is so flexible that he doesn’t lose any power on attack. And that is by design. He is made to be a Sentinel-Duelist hybrid. While Cypher and Killjoy tend to lack power until on site, mainly sticking to watching flanks or securing off-routes that enemies could take. Chamber can both push and watch flanks (with his Trademark).

Think about it like this: in a situation like the one clipped above, would another Sentinel have the same impact? Would a Sage/Killjoy/Cypher be able to do the same with their ultimates up?

It is clear that Chamber completely warps the meta around him. If there is a great Chamber on the enemy team, then there has to be strong strategies in place, or they will be mowed down by the sheer might of the French arsenal.

We will be watching closely how Chamber’s pick rate will look like at Masters Copenhagen kicking off July 10.

Stay tuned to Run It Back for all of your VALORANT coverage, including events, interviews, and breaking news!