The current status of the Operator in Valorant is the most debated topic in the community right now. After the introduction of Killjoy, the game seems much more mechanical. Radiant players, pros, and popular streamers have explained why the Operator makes the meta cut. However, there are various factors to consider here.
Valorant is an extremely connection-dependant game. The Operator is a hit-or-miss weapon and to know its full potential is where the connection differential plays a huge factor. It must also be noted that Valorant is a peeker-advantage game and Riot’s official response to certain complaints seems to have taken all these variables into consideration.
🗣️ "We're looking into a lot of avenues to help smooth out the experience but we do believe the Operator should be powerful"
— Valorant News (@ValorantUpdates) August 27, 2020
Thus, every scenario is dictated by the connection variance. Holding corners and choke points has transformed into a death fest. This is seen quite prevalently in the EU servers.
The Operator is the strongest defensive play weapon, holding out and stalling pushes on sites. Recently, Mixwell tweeted a response from developer Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith. It was quite clear from his statement that the Operator isn’t as overpowering as debates would have it.
Operator dictating the meta in Valorant
Valorant Game Designer (Nicholas "Nickwu" Smith) talking about the Operator. pic.twitter.com/DYP7u26WjZ
— G2 m1xwell (@Mixwell) August 27, 2020
Hiko, Shroud, and several other popular players have mentioned how the Operator cannot be countered. The best one can do is smoke-pass for a better angle. Jiggle peeking against an Operator is a novice mistake. It’s better to either swing away or peek with a teammate. However, these techniques are not as efficient either.
Lack of an option during a fast rush is one of the major reasons players fall prey to the Operator. Comparing CS: GO utilities with Valorant exposes the need for a flash grenade substitute. Phoenix’s Curveball or Omen’s Paranoia is not as strong as the flash in CS: GO.
Flashing a sniper is the best way to cut corners and proceed to the site. The fact is, the Operator isn’t too powerful; it is the agents that lack the abilities to counter it.
Countering corners and economical usage of abilities
To cut into A at Split or Bind, one needs to smoke out haven; same goes for hookah on Bind B. This exchange of abilities puts one team at a disadvantage. In higher ranking matches, teams get more economical with their use of abilities during site push and most teams tend to save them for the defense rush.
The Operator has an advantage even in close combat. The bullet penetration is too high, and thus, wall-banging with the Operator is quite common. This puts forth the question; are the developers going to nerf the gun later on? Or will they add more counter-utility and deduct bullet penetration from the Operator?