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Deadlock’s introduction in 2023 shook up the VALORANT meta. With a 1,200 HP wall and a paralyzing net, she is a sentinel who can deny and severely punish push attempts. Her sonic sensor adds a new element of sound consciousness to the game – players must monitor their trigger discipline and speed while moving.

In addition to her base utility, Deadlock’s ult has been frustrating players incessantly. It forces teams to play together to free teammates from its grasp. Though Deadlock appears to be viable on every map, there are a few where she stands out as a deadly pick.


Bind map overview

As the map with the most close-range angles, Bind is ideal for maximizing Deadlock’s potential. Her barrier mesh wall can deny entry to the A short choke point, causing severe difficulty for the enemy attacking team. Because Bind’s sites are crowded, Deadlock’s gravnet is a significant threat on both push and retake. As enemies scramble around barriers during gunfights, they are unlikely to avoid her Annihilation ultimate.

Fast flanks through the map’s connector are commonplace. Deadlock’s sonic sensors are ideal for detecting flankers that would otherwise catch a team off-guard.


Ascent map overview

In contrast to Bind, Ascent is a map with a wide-open middle space and a comparably roomy A-site. Despite having more long-range areas than most maps in the current rotation, Deadlock is still extremely effective here due to her crucial ability to maintain mid control. A key strategy is to completely block off the entry to tree room from catwalk with the barrier mesh, which denies essential mid space and eliminates the option of a mid-to-tree push on pistol rounds.

In addition, Deadlock’s ultimate and gravnet can be useful for retaking A if the A door is closed. It is otherwise particularly difficult to retake against players cross-firing in A hell. Defenders are forced to jump from heaven to clear this angle, destabilizing their aim and giving the enemy an audio cue to swing on. Throwing a gravnet underneath hell or behind generator prevents a retaking Deadlock from being unprepared for a duel.


Pearl map overview

Pearl’s middle area is critical to protect since an enemy with access to connector can infiltrate defender spawn. Defenses usually comprise of one player holding each mid entryway. Two others then hold one site, and only one player is left to hold the other, leaving it vulnerable. A barrier mesh can eliminate one of the connector entryways or the entry to spawn entirely, allowing players to focus their defenses on vulnerable site choke points instead.

Pearl’s B site retake is difficult without flank pressure due to possible crossfire from enemies playing in hall and link. Deadlock’s gravnet makes clearing halls significantly easier since players cannot strafe and peek unexpectedly. On A site, her Annihilation ultimate is also perfect on post-plant to pick off defusing players. Anywhere the bomb can be planted is relatively enclosed, meaning it is difficult to dodge.


Lotus map overview

Lotus is large, with three sites to defend. It contains two crucial doorways – a revolving door from B to C mound and a breakable door from A main to B. It is not an exaggeration to say that control of these two doors can change the outcome of an entire round. Because of the map’s size, rotates through them are extremely common. Deadlock can singlehandedly maintain defender control of half of the map by using barrier mesh to block the B-link doorway, even if the original door breaks. In addition, the barrier mesh can block off A main – enemies are thus only able to flood through tree, which provides an audio cue to play off of and can be easily grenaded or mollied.

Perhaps more interestingly, Deadlock’s gravnet is useful for pushing C. Due to its large radius, it is likely to catch any defender playing in bend or close to waterfall. Once the site is secured, deadlock can place sonic sensors and play off-site. If the bomb is planted correctly for C mound, Deadlock’s ult can easily catch anyone defusing and secure a clean round.


Haven map overview

Haven, also with three sites, is the map where Deadlock has the most versatility in placement. Her barrier mesh can be vital to completely deny a B push, or render a garage push impossible. Besides being capable on B and C, Deadlock can uniquely counter a split push on A through short and main. Enemies usually flood out of the two points in unison – this means that A site defenders have two waves of players to counter at once, each coming from a different side. Using a gravnet on one opening can wreck this synchronization so players can prioritize their duels and successfully keep site.

In addition, Haven’s B site is the most crowded site on any VALORANT map. After a push, most players hold crossfires onsite. A retake is only possible from one of the links, where players expose themselves to immediate crossfire, or from the wide-open middle area where they are likely to be picked off. While usually a nightmare for defenders, the close-quarters setup of B does have a benefit- it means that Deadlock’s Annihilation is almost guaranteed to catch at least one player holding site. 

Written by Gabby DeSena

This article was created as part of an internship collaboration with NACE