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Duelists like Jett, Phoenix and Reyna are common choices for a VALORANT player’s first agent. Despite their flashy abilities and high-speed playstyles, the duelist role can be hard to master. It requires aim and individual mechanics, team coordination, space control and careful timing. Let’s examine the most skilled pro for each duelist who makes their kit look easy.

Jett: Aspas

When it comes to an insta-lock Jett, you never know what you’ll get– but if you are lucky enough to have someone like Aspas on your team, you can expect a serious win. Currently signed to LOUD, Aspas knows Jett’s util and playstyle like the back of his hand. Alongside Tenz and yay, he is one of the first names to come to mind when Valorant players think ‘Jett main.’ Countless fans enjoy Aspas’s flashy and high-intensity plays, but few consider the precision and confidence necessary to execute them.

While Aspas still Jett’s fast-paced kit to his advantage, his playstyle also caters to the needs of his team. One of Aspas’ unique strengths is that he knows his limits. He rarely overaggresses. However, Aspas engages when needed with confidence that he will demolish his opponent with a crisp headtap. He is also a strong example of a Jett comfortable using snipers. Aspas excels at operator and marshal use.

Reyna: ScreaM

Reyna’s kit allows her to easily secure chain kills and aggressively frag. However, many Reynas utilize these abilities selfishly – it is all too common to see them dropping 30 kills a game but staying stuck in silver. Natural aim and confidence are simply not enough to excel on this agent. Reyna mains need to observe careful movement mechanics and respect timing and space.

Previously playing for Team Liquid and currently representing Karmine Corp, ScreaM is the essential Reyna main to watch. Originally hailing from the CS:GO competitive sphere, ScreaM had a ridiculously high headshot ratio that translates to VALORANT. ScreaM’s aim and precise dismisses are beautiful to watch. 

Many Reyna mains inspire fear through aggression and aim, but ScreaM is also coordinated and calculating with his plays. He utilizes Reyna’s abilities to maneuver around opponents while his impressive presence of mind and trigger discipline secure chain kills.

Raze: Alfajer

Raze has remained a relatively consistent pick in VALORANT’s pro scene. Her satchel movement, grenades and boombot make her incredibly fun to play. A skilled Raze main can deal damage, take space and gather information with one kit. Many who choose to main Raze reflect the agent’s vibrant personality and enthusiasm, but skill and practice are a requirement for a Raze main to satchel into high ranks.

FNATIC’s Alfajer is best known for his recent Sentinel plays but is also an incredibly talented Raze player. The awareness and decision-making skills that allow Alfajer to switch seamlessly between Sentinel and Duelist make his Raze gameplay a joy to watch. Besides his satisfying Showstopper 3ks and 4ks, Alfajer is especially adept at correctly using utility. 

He maximizes the effectiveness of his grenades and ultimates by saving them until he has information on enemy locations. Alfajer’s strengths were a great contributor to FNATIC’s brilliant win in VCT 2023: Masters Tokyo.

Phoenix: Subroza

Though Phoenix was a star of the early VALORANT competitive scene, his use as a duelist has dwindled. Many teams choose Jett or Raze instead. Phoenix also gets a bad rap as a teammate since many low-rank Phoenixes will flash teammates left and right, accidentally die while pulling out a molly or outright damage their team. 

However, Cloud 9 successfully utilized Phoenix on Pearl in a 2023 VCT: LOCK//IN game against Paper Rex, proving that although his kit is situational, he is still viable in high-level play. As agents circulate in and out of the meta, Phoenix may have his time to shine again — and perhaps no one is better at playing Phoenix than Subroza.

Subroza — currently an inactive member of TSM — has been playing Phoenix since VALORANT launched three years ago. His plays are far from the average Phoenix one might encounter in ranked. Subroza has perfected using his Phoenix utility responsibly. He is conscious of the timing and placement of his flashes and uses his molly and wall in versatile ways. 

Mollies and walls are not simply for healing — Subroza can use them as stopper utility, information denial and a method to gain space. He is also adept at safely using Phoenix’s ultimate. While Phoenix has cycled through the VALORANT meta, Subroza’s consistent practice on the agent and incomparable experience make him the essential Phoenix expert.

Neon: Victor

Neon forever changed movement in VALORANT — her High Gear ability means that players must be more conscious of strafing and flicks in duels. In addition, Neon’s ult demands that she utilize advanced tracking to keep her Overdrive beam on opponents. Followers of the VALORANT pro circuit have seen comps using Neon from teams like Paper Rex and OpTic.

NRG’s Victor (formerly “food”) has taken to Neon’s kit like a fish to water since she was introduced. He excels at entries. Neon’s movement lets him slide into unexpected angles and secure initial kills. Victor is an example of why having awareness and quick reactions while playing Neon are vital — he looks around to gain information as he slides and quickly flicks onto the opponent’s head after stabilizing. 

He is essential to taking first blood and opening up space for his teammates to secure a site. It can be argued that Victor singlehandedly inspired Neon use in the meta through his exemplary plays.

Yoru: f0rsaken

Yoru has more outplay potential than almost any VALORANT agent. His Gatecrash teleports, flashes and clones allow Yoru mains to mess with the enemy team’s minds. Similarly to Phoenix, Yoru’s abilities can cause serious trouble for the team in the wrong hands. But when coordinated and used correctly, they also have the potential to carry the game.

Paper Rex’s f0rsaken is among the best Yorus of pro VALORANT. He excels at Yoru mind games, especially using Yoru’s Dimensional Drift and Gatecrash. In true Yoru fashion, f0rsaken will Dimensional Drift right into an opponent and secure a cheeky shorty kill. He exhibits creativity and quick thinking by combining unique flashes with beautifully executed teleports. Yoru is one of the trickiest agents to play, but f0rsaken makes it look easy! 

Beyond his skill with Yoru’s kit, his individual mechanics and team play are on point. Paper Rex’s unique coordination is what enables players like f0rsaken to utilize otherwise difficult agents and play them to the advantage of the team.

Duelists and their abilities bring creativity and variety to VALORANT. Skilled duelists ultimately develop a unique playstyle, ranging from aggressive and movement-heavy to careful and deliberate. While every pro plays differently, those who take the time to learn and maximize an agent’s potential are simply a cut above the rest. 

Written by Gabrielle DeSena

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