Riot Games has confirmed that the upcoming Episode 3 in Valorant will introduce a new Agent called KAY/O. He will be classified as an Initiator and will have suppression abilities in-game.
The official date for KAY/O release is scheduled on June 22nd, 2021, which is when Episode 3, Act 1 will commence in Valorant.
Developers at Riot revealed all the information fans want to know about the KAY/O creation. They answered some of the questions the community had about the inspiration, ideation and creative process behind this new Agent.
The entire concept of suppression is quite new in Valorant, which is why the devs at Riot decided to share some insight for players.
What inspired Valorant devs to create KAY/O?
While answering some of the questions, Valorant's Character Producer John Goscicki, revealed more about the flashbang abilities of KAY/O. He said,
I think at one point the pitch deck for KAY/O just had a gif of flashbangs being thrown in other FPS games. The funny thing here is that traditional flash/grenades are actually some of the most complex abilities in terms of how long it takes to lab them properly, and that can have variable results. We have all been playing with them for so long though. It's such a comfortable ability, it’s like, give me a bag of flamin hot cheetos, some green tea, and a flash bang... this is how I have been fraggin for 17 years.
At the same time, Valorant's Game Designer Ryan Cousart revealed how KAY/O is inspired by classing FPS shooters and will bridge the gap between pure gunplay and utility usage in Valorant.
I think a lot of games I’ve grown up playing tend to utilize militaristic grenades and utility in ways that you kind of get comfortable with. The inspirational thing about these grenades is that they have this Newtonian physics to them that is easy to intuit, making it easy to access and master different outputs in these tactical or militaristic shooters.
He also revealed that KAY/O is inspired by classic Sci-fi movies. He added,
Given I’m not too versed in my sci-fi, I actually learned a lot about different inspirations from Terminator to I, Robot, even all the way to Chappie. I have yet to see Terminator 2, but hopefully by the time KAY/O goes live I’d have given it a go so I don’t face waves of embarrassment.
Furthermore, the developers revealed how KAY/O fits into the narrative of Radiants, and Agents using tech powered by Radianite. The idea behind a Radiant killer adds to Valorant's rich narrative.
Ryan Cousart said,
We knew we wanted grenades but as soon as the concepts started coming in and the stories started getting written, we all started to see a really inspiring throughline that shaped the signature and ultimate ability. I remember going into the paper kit validation with Max (Orcane) and had this beautiful story and dream for this character and when I got to the “Radiant Killer” part of it, I vividly remember him going “STOP. That right there, Radiant Killer, I don’t care about anything else let’s make that.” The day after I presented this idea of his design without even knowing that Joe Kileen, the narrative lead on KAY/O, had just written a blurb and pitched the exact same thing before I had joined. All the work we had done to collaborate had paid off and we locked down KAY/O’s core design and bio.