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VALORANT Pros Say New Agent Iso Will Not Have a Place in the Meta – Here’s Why

Fans are excited to play VALORANT’s new agent Iso in ranked, but pro players do not seem to share the same sentiment.

VALORANT developers have blessed the player base with a new combat-based duelist. Iso, hailing from China, carries a unique set of abilities that focus on rewarding players with strong duel isolation and aim skills. Ranked demons eagerly await the day they can use Iso in the competitive queue, but VALORANT’s pros are not nearly as excited. Today, let’s examine why Iso will not have a place in the pro VALORANT meta.

What are Iso’s abilities?

Iso flashing through door

Iso’s Contingency wall takes space and protects entries, while his Undercut bolt afflicts players it hits with vulnerability. His Double Tap ability allows him to gain an extra shield from shooting energy orbs that drop when Iso kills an enemy. This shield absorbs one instance of any damage – it can deflect a Raze grenade or a deadly bullet. Iso’s ultimate, known as Kill Contract, is shot similarly to Deadlock’s and forces one enemy it captures into a 1v1 arena with Iso to battle to the death. The ultimate cancels the abilities of enemies it traps (including ultimates), and enemies killed within it also drop an energy bubble.

Which VALORANT pros have weighed in?

SEN Kaplan and FNATIC Derke have both voiced opinions on Iso’s introduction. In a lengthy chain of messages on X, Kaplan stated that “The only viable single duelists in pro play have the ability to dive out of chokes, Iso doesn’t.” Kaplan continues, “I don’t see how he would bring consistent value in a way that makes him viable unless the next balance patch hits agents we aren’t expecting to get hit.” 

Meanwhile, Derke stated in a YouTube video, “I don’t think in pro play it’s going to matter as much [...] because we have agents with other abilities that just can’t get replaced by Iso.” FNATIC Boaster also mentioned that while Iso’s abilities are strong, he’s “not sure when you use him [...] he’s like Reyna, but honestly, I think Reyna’s a bit better.”

Notably, SEN Zekken disagreed with Kaplan’s Iso take and responded in good fun to his post with “ur wrong lol,” to which Kaplan comically replied, “Shut up judge one trick.” Zekken might need one of Iso’s energy orbs to shield himself from that burn!

Is Iso Good in Valorant Meta?

Iso wall in ultimate

While Iso’s utility can accentuate a strong player’s gameplay, it lacks variety. Iso also requires significant assistance from Initiators to scale up on the space it creates as he lacks entry utility. It is also notable that while Iso’s kit relies heavily on the player using him having an aim advantage, the pro circuit has more even aim matchups and teams coordinate enough that it is challenging to isolate picks. Pro gameplay involves carefully coordinated executes instead of the isolated chain-kill competitive playstyle Iso relies upon.

Aside from his Contingency wall, Iso’s utility is generally self-serving and does not mesh well with competitive teammates. This would be fine on a lurking agent like Chamber or KAY/O but is problematic on a duelist meant to help teammates push a site. Iso does not have the flashes, information or stuns other duelists like Phoenix, Raze or Neon possess. For example, His Contingency wall can take space but can’t break crossfires or flash for teammates like Reyna’s eye. He is designed to be a menace in VALORANT ranked, but ranked and pro playstyles vastly differ so Iso’s kit will be much less valuable in the pro circuit than a more utility-heavy agent such as Raze or Jett.

Iso’s viability in pro play looks unfortunate, but don’t underestimate his power in ranked. As ranked players often have significant skill gaps in their matches, players will thrive with Iso if they maintain their crisp aim. While Iso fans may not see him in pro comps, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy his abilities and explore how to use them in the game.