Meet Deadlock, Valorant Agent # 23: Skills, Abilities, Tiers

Plus game dev talk on how they envisioned Deadlock!
Plus game dev talk on how they envisioned Deadlock!

Riot Games has announced its newest Valorant Agent, Deadlock, in time for the culmination of the VCT Masters Tournament in Tokyo, Japan this weekend.

Dubbed as Agent number 23, Norwegian operative Deadlock is VALORANT’s newest Sentinel who deploys an array of cutting-edge nanowires to secure the battlefield from even the most lethal assault. No one escapes her vigilant watch, nor survives her unyielding ferocity.

“Our gameplay goal for Deadlock was to create an Agent for players who wanted to hold their ground actively with their utility, as opposed to needing to set up their utility in advance,” said Alexander Mistakidis, Game Designer for VALORANT. “Our hope is that this appeals to players that value being able to nimbly audible their plays and strategy based on information about their opponents.”

When designing Deadlock, RIOT Games developers thought of the new agent as who you can use reactively rather than passively during gameplay. “A lot of what Deadlock is doing is lying in wait for people to come to you, and reacting to the situation at hand. There was an improvisational nature to it all, of someone that is honed in their craft, and knows what tool to use depending on what comes at them,” said John Goscicki, Agent Lead. “This resonated with tropes of someone surviving against extreme/otherworldly odds, getting out alive with just what they were able to work with. Deadlock is bringing her skills, and tools to the game, it’s up to you to use them correctly to stall every enemy push 🙂

Her abilities include the following when you press the respective keys during gameplay:

GravNet (C)

EQUIP a GravNet grenade. FIRE to throw. ALT FIRE to lob the grenade underhand. The GravNet detonates upon landing, forcing any enemies caught within to crouch and move slowly.

Sonic Sensor (Q)

EQUIP a Sonic Sensor. FIRE to deploy. The sensor monitors an area for enemies making sounds. It concusses that area if footsteps, weapons fire, or significant noise are detected.

Barrier Mesh (E)

EQUIP a Barrier Mesh disc. FIRE to throw forward. Upon landing, the disc generates barriers from the origin point that block character movement.

Annihilation (X)

EQUIP a Nanowire Accelerator. FIRE unleashes a pulse of nanowires that captures the first enemy contacted. The cocooned enemy is pulled along a nanowire path and will die if they reach the end unless they are freed. The nanowire cocoon is destructible.

Designing Deadlock is also a challenge for the design and development team, as they had to map out how to properly execute her abilities. “As a player who loves playing hook characters like Blitzcrank in any game, I took it as a personal challenge to explore ways to bring the thrill of a hook ability while also ensuring that it was tactical. It was a tough problem to crack that encouraged skepticism, as we didn’t want the hook to overpower gunplay or the fundamentals of the game. This was an adventure that took many iterations and attempts to build confidence. From ultra bouncy hooks with arcing gravity to some that dragged through walls, or even locked players in prisons that had to be opened from the outside. My hope is that the Annihilation ability we landed with offers the high-skill outplay opportunities to Deadlock players while still being engaging for everyone involved,” said Mistakidis.

Unlockable agent tiers for Deadlock include the following:

Tier 1: Cyber Oak, Spray
Tier 2: VALORANT Deadlock, Player Card
Tier 3: Wired, Title
Tier 4: Crossed Wires, Spray
Tier 5: Kingdom Credits
Tier 6: Nanowire Cartridge, Gun Buddy
Tier 7: Deadlock Spray, Spray
Tier 8: Ståljeger, Title
Tier 9: Into the Vault, Player Card
Tier 10: Resolution, Gun Skin (Classic)

The upcoming act to VALORANT, Episode 7 Act I, also introduces an all-new Battle Pass and the Neo Frontier Skinline. Inspired by futuristic shapes and design, the Battle Pass will feature items such as the Composite Phantom and Blush Operator. Other items in the Battle Pass include the Smoke Maze spray and Pancake Pile-Up. VALORANT Episode 7 Act I begins on June 27, 2023. You can download the game here.

Carl Lamiel
Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].