Chamber, Valorant’s newest defensive agent, looks like a monster. I am terrified of this fancy French man and his very pretty guns.
Riot Games’ free-to-play shooter Valorant has four main character archetypes: Duelists (your specialized murderers), Controllers (your smoke and area denial characters), Initiators (your flashers, stunners, and info gatherers), and Sentinels (your defensive experts). Chamber is a Sentinel, which means it’s his job to lock down sites on defense, while on offense, he sets up a defensive web around the spike, the game’s primary objective, once it has been planted. The game’s other Sentinels do this by slowing the enemy down enough that their team has time to rotate from one bomb site to the other before the solo Sentinel can be swarmed. Of the current Sentinels, Sage has a wall and area denying slow orb, Killjoy has her many robots and mollies, and Cypher has his cages, cameras, and tripwires. Chamber, on the other hand, is just great at murder.
His abilities are really interesting for a Sentinel, because on first blush they don’t appear all that defensive. His signature ability is an instant—but very loud—teleport called Rendezvous. Rendezvous allows Chamber to reposition during a fight, giving him a new sightline on the enemy, or plucking him out of danger altogether.
His second ability, Headhunter, is just a really good gun. For 100 credits per shot (this is incredibly expensive, unless you’re really good at shooting), Chamber can fire a scoped hand cannon that will instantly kill a fully armored enemy with a headshot from any range. This makes Headhunter a total upgrade over the Sheriff, the game’s signature hand cannon and gun upon which it is obviously based—the only downside being its cost.
Finally, he has access to Trademark, a very powerful area denial tool. He can place down mines (in the form of credit cards) which, when an enemy crosses their line of sight, release a powerful slow field and alert Chamber to their location.
His ultimate ability, Tour de Force, is also just a gun...but what a gun it is. Chamber’s sniper rifle is unreal. If it hits your opponent, they will die. Unlike the Operator, Valorant’s other instant-kill sniper, this includes leg shots. Additionally, killing an enemy with this tremendously pretty weapon will spawn one of those aforementioned slow fields, which makes approaching the nightmare man even more dangerous. It also sounds...incredible.
Valorant is currently afflicted by the Jett Op Meta. Jett was one of Valorant’s first duelists, and she has defined much of the game’s competitive landscape. She has an ability called Tailwind, which lets her rapidly dash away virtually whenever she wants—this includes after firing an Operator. The Op is a one-shot weapon, so if you land a body shot, you will kill. The downsides being it’s incredibly low fire rate and unscoped inaccuracy. Missing an Op shot will, usually, leave you very vulnerable. This is not the case for Jett, who can fire an Op and then immediately dash away to safety. Dealing with a good, Op-wielding Jett is a nightmare, one which the game’s meta has become built around.
Jett is so much better at using an Op than any other character in the game, that she may as well be the only agent who can use it. Jett is a duelist, which means her job is to secure sick kills in scrappy fights. Right now, she does not have to do that on defense. Instead, she has just become every team’s dedicated Op’er. This makes team compositions in both the pro and ranked scenes very stale.
Chamber may dethrone her. He, unlike Jett, seems deliberately built with the Op almost exclusively in mind. His teleports give him the same “free” shot that Jett has access to, and they’re on a cooldown which makes his ability to fire and disappear significantly more consistent. His sidearm draws much faster than the traditional Sheriff, allowing him to quickly pivot from sniper to sharpshooter. And Trademark makes securing Op kills easier by revealing enemy positions and making them much slower targets. Even his wonderfully pretentious, cringe-inducing one-shot aesthetic seems like he’s designed to be an Op’er’s remarkably irritating dream.
In addition to the Jett changes that are likely coming in Valorant’s next major patch, Chamber’s mere presence should shake up ranked team compositions significantly. Like most characters, the professional scene will probably be slow to adopt him, but in the coming months we may finally see the end, or at least a destabilization, of the dreaded Jett Op Meta.