Valorant Episode 3 Act 1 went live on 22nd June 2021. Riot Games invited several popular influencers, content creators and journalists to the early access for the new Agent KAY/O.
We got the opportunity to review and play KAY/O with some of the most revered members of the community. I could write endless paragraphs about the new Agent, but to capture his essence in a word, it would be "punishing".
That's right, KAY/O mains will punish you for wrong positioning, over-peeking, corner camping and relying entirely on abilities over gunplay.
If that sounds intimidating, well, it is intended to. Riot has finally added suppression to Valorant's game mechanics, and it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.
It's safe to say that a new meta is imminent, and only the ones most adaptable to change will cruise through Episode 3.
Here's our guide to master KAY/O, who is undoubtedly one of the best Agents in Valorant.
Is KAY/O good in Valorant?
Riot Games have created a War Machine for Valorant players, but it is not completely devoid of emotions.
KAY/O is from the future, and he cares a lot about his human friends in Valorant, but not so much for the Radiants.
That property alone makes him an efficient killing machine against powerful self-sufficient Duelists like Reyna or Raze. However, it's not just the abilities that KAY/O has, but how players adapt to the change.
The concept of suppression is one of the major aspects, as opponents are rendered helpless when an opposing team is pushing a spike site with KAY/O.
Is KAY/O good for beginners?
Unlike Sova's dart or Breach's flash, KAY/O can stop enemies from using their utility with Zero/Point. This allows teams to instantly take site control and set up for a post-plant situation while attacking.
While defending, KAY/O can "lockdown" cross-sections and entry points when the attackers rush in. KAY/O is one of the best Agents in Valorant, but beginners might have a hard time playing this character.
Most beginners in Valorant do not have a consistent aim, and that is something players need to have while playing KAY/O.
How To Play As KAY/O- Abilities & Skills
FRAG/MENT (C) - KAY/O equips an explosive fragment. FIRE to throw. The fragment sticks to the floor and explodes multiple times, dealing near-lethal damage at the centre with each explosion (Damage is highest at the centre of the radius).
FLASH/DRIVE (Q) - KAY/O equips a flash grenade. FIRE to throw. The flash grenade explodes after a short fuse, blinding anyone in the line of sight. Right-clicking the flashbang, throws a charged flash, causing it to only have to cook for 1 second, as opposed to left-click throwing a flash that cooks in 1.6 seconds.
ZERO/POINT (E) - KAY/O equips a suppression blade. FIRE to throw. The blade sticks to the first surface it hits winds up and suppresses anyone in the radius of the explosion.
Ultimate - NULL/CMD (X) - Instantly overload with polarized radianite energy that empowers KAY/O and causes large energy pulses to emit from his location. Enemies hit with these pulses are suppressed for a short duration.
- While overloaded, KAY/O gains combat stim.
- If KAY/O is killed while overloaded, he is downed and enters a destabilized state, allowing allies to stabilize his core and revive him.
KAY/O Best Weapons
The best weapons to select for any Agent in Valorant will depend on their role and the player's playstyle.
So if you're aggressively pushing sites for entry then these weapons will be the best choice.
In case you are hanging back and adopting a passive playstyle with KAY/O, then work your way around with the following weapons:
Master KAY/O With These Pro Tips
During the early access gameplay, we were surprised to see how suppression works in Valorant. Getting trapped in the suppression radius can be deadly if players are not crisp with their aim and crosshair placement.
For instance, I was playing Yoru in the team and I left my Gate Crash near the teleporter at B long on Bind. After entering the site, I moved towards B Elbow, and this is when the opponent KAY/O used Zero/point near the intersection from B Elbow to Attackers Spawn.
All of Yoru's abilities instantly froze up and went into suppression mode. Essentially, one cannot teleport out of a spot even if they left the Gate Crash before getting suppressed.
This is not just for Yoru, KAY/O affects every Agent in Valorant in a unique way.
Speaking from experience, KAY/O's kit is based on suppression which encourages pure FPS gunplay. So, the most important aspect to counter KAY/O mains is by improving your aim.
CS:GO fans will love KAY/O flash ability, as it allows players to create pop-flashes easily. In the right hands, KAY/O can flash enemies up close without flashing teammates, or himself.
The right-click feature for his Flash/Drive ability has become a key instrument in KAY/O's locker.
The Frag/Ment (grenade) is another versatile ability that allows players to get some free kills. Learning all the lineups for KAY/O Frag/Ment will help players in post-plant situations.
However, there is always a counter to everything, and although KAY/O is tough, he is not all-powerful.
What Is KAY/O Weakness
The game is becoming more dynamic with the changing mechanics, and players can expect that the rushes will only get faster.
With KAY/O, opponent teams can double-down on site control by closing off essential choke points.
Players who can challenge KAY/O in a gunfight without depending on their abilities will prevail in the upcoming Episode. But it's not just improving one's aim that players need to focus on.
Thus, one has to master the mental state of remaining calm and precise even without abilities.
Players who have natural one-tap skills can easily hold their ground, even if they are suppressed. Theoretically, baiting out KAY/O's utility would be ideal, but countering his ultimate will require rigorous practice.
Valorant's latest war machine turns into a tank in his ultimate. Combat Stim combined with suppression pulses forces players to engage in gunfights.
The added advantage of having KAY/O on your team is that if the opponents kill him in his ultimate state, then any teammate can re-stabilize him.
In his downed state, KAY/O has 850 HP, and opponents can choose to gun him down or bait him to get easy kills. This intriguing feature will change how teams play with or against KAY/O in Valorant Episode 3 Act 1.
KAY/O can ruin the game for certain Agents, especially Duelists. With the recent changes in the economy and ult points, KAY/O ult can counter several Agents in Valorant.
The following list focuses on how KAY/O's ultimate affects each Agent in Valorant:
- Disables Raze's ult (which now costs 8 ult points).
- Disables Sova's ult.
- Deactivates Skye's Guiding Light.
- Disables Jett's ult (knives are removed, but Jett can still glide).
- KAY/O Fragment destroys Killjoy's ult.
- Doesn't disable Viper's ult, but the Agent cannot activate her other utility once struck by KAY/O's pulses.
- Doesn't disable Yoru's ult.
- Does not disable Reyna's ult.
- Doesn't disable Phoenix's ult.
In summary, the ultimate abilities which need to be shot, i.e Raze's ult, Sova's ult, Jett's ult, can be countered by KAY/O's ultimate.