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This is literally the first ever time since the game's release that viper has reached a 50% win rate in ranked. Before Yoru's release, she spent quite a while as the lowest win rate agent in the game. Right now her pick rate is 50.0%. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be. :)

On a side note, she is also the controller with the highest win rate right now (yes, she has a higher win rate than brim/omen/astra).



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20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

The data on most of these 3rd party sites looks very different than the data we use internally - often times due to sample sizes, incomplete sample populations (like opting in to share your stats via some collector app), or data biases (like not controlling for mirror matches). I'd take a lot of this stuff with a grain of salt for now until the ecosystem gets built out a bit more - it just takes awhile to get all the tools online and accurate.

Happy to go more into details around some of this stuff, but wanted to drop a few anecdotes from our internal environment:

  • Viper is actually 50% winrate now for the first time - that's correct!
  • Viper isn't the highest winrate Controller - Brimstone is, actually, but it's very close.
  • Viper's pickrate is a good bit lower than 50%. It's gone up since the buffs, but she's still more of a niche pick overall.
20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by UsualInitial

I think the main reason for the discrepancy is because brimstone seems to have higher win rate right now in lower elos. People who in lower elos are usually less likely to use tracker sites. Congrats on balancing viper though :)

On a side note, how do you feel about two of your newly released agents (Skye and Astra) having the lowest pick rates? Are you OK with these being super niche picks in ranked and only really seeing significant play in competitive (kind of like gragas/azir/lillia in league) ?

Brimstone's winrate is actually higher than Viper's across all MMR, with the exception of high elo (like, top 2%+), where Viper wins out. Good theory, just less focused on "Brim is better in low elos" and more like "Viper is good in the super high elos". It's also super close - I'd suspect Viper will probably overtake Brim in a patch or two as players master her kit even more.

Regarding Skye and Astra - I can give my take, but the best person to ask would be the head of the agent team, Riot MEMEMEMEME. For purely my opinion - Skye is inherently a very supportive agent who relies on teammates to extract a lot of value from her abilities, and Astra is a big-brain agent that scales on coordination, game knowledge, and creativity, so we've always expected them to be on the more niche end for agent picks - that's okay. We're always thinking about if there are ways to improve the experiences that we have on live, though, so that doesn't mean we wouldn't explore tweaking aspects of them in the future if we think it'd make them healthier or more fun to play.

edit: Edited my Brim/Viper comment above after refreshing the data from this AM

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by c_lo-

Curious what Astras win rate is right now? I’m assuming below 50? There was that post yesterday with the Korean astra plays and the guy claimed Astra is OP and would need nerfs.

Astra’s looking pretty healthy winrate-wise. Below 50%, but not too far!

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by Yash_swaraj

Can you please tell us how the Reyna nerf impacted her WR? Is sage again at the top in terms of WR? Also, have you thought of making this data publicly available?

It impacted her winrate fairly in line with our hopes - reduced her winrate in lower MMRs while keeping it fairly similar at high MMRs.

Yeah, sage is still the top agent in terms of winrate and playrate by a pretty good margin. Publicly available data is more of a comms thing than a data thing, but it’s something we’ve talked about!

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by TheyWillCowerr

Regardless of Brim's win rate % for right now, you guys don't think hes still the weakest by a long shot out of all the controllers right now? He already had a close to 0% pickrate AFTER his buff in the pro scene beside on bind which he will also according to pros now be replaced on with Viper.

Are the controllers balances done for now or will we have to wait for more data before further changes?

I don’t think he’s the weakest by a long shot. Brim could definitely use some help in pro play, but for our entire matchmaking playerbase he’s actually quite strong rn.

That’s not to say there aren’t room for improvements, but looking at the rest of the roster we probably have higher value opportunities to invest in. Brim is doing alright.

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by UsualInitial

Are you allowed to reveal whether Breach really does have the 2nd lowest win rate (behind Yoru) like Valorant buff claims it does?

Yeah this is true. Breach’s winrate is pretty low, but better than Yoru. Player surveys also have him as the most frequently selected “overpowered” agent, so it’s an interesting dichotomy.

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by roooooyal

A completely different question in the hope that I get an answer, since there was no statement on this subject for a long time.

Are you guys currently working on a better deathmatch and is there an estimated time when it will be finished?

Like litteraly every pro/top player dont like how the deathmatch is right now.

Unfortunately I don’t know anything on that front! I work on core gameplay and balance, alternate game modes are actually handled by a separate team entirely.

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by Elsiselain

Can you tell me which factors would you consider when you balance the agent? For example,as you said, Skype is the agent that relies on the teammates, which makes her difficult and inconsistent on ranked but pretty strong on actual comp. Do you aim to balance her so that she gets relatively ok pick and winrate on both comp and ranked or balance her solely on her performence on either ranked or actual comp?

We definitely consider both. Skye’s power is looking alright in matchmaking and competitive play right now, but we also consider our design goals for the character and what type of experience we want to foster. If we were to make changes to Skye, they probably wouldn’t be purely balance-driven; numerically she’s not bad.

An example of changes like that would be the Bucky changes - numerically, the Bucky actually wasn’t overpowered, believe it or not. We made the changes primarily to make the weapon’s identity more clear and understandable (left click focused instead of right click sweet spot focused).

We strive to have our agents be in a healthy spot both in matchmaking and pro play though, for sure.

20 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by TMystik

i have a question if i may ask, how does one get to work on the balance team? do you need to be high(ish) ranked like in league where you need to be in the top2% or are there currently no ways to join the team since the game is still so new?

Unfortunately there aren't any super clear paths to get onto the team right now outside of design - currently the "balance team" consists of Insights (data/strategy), Design (to analyze problems/pitch solutions/implement solutions), and Production (to account for our workload and coordinate timelines with folks on different teams). We don't have a "high skill" requirement, but since a lot of folks in this working group have been on the project for several years, most of us tend to be on the higher end of the skill spectrum; definitely not a requirement though.

AFAIK we don't have any openings right now specifically for balance, but all of our content designers also work on balance (if you make a character or make a map, you're also part of the process of balancing it) so "the balance team" may be a bit bigger than it seems on the outside.

If you're interested in general gaming/career advice feel free to DM me here or on Twitter, always happy to answer questions!

19 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by HadiElR

What do you guys think about so much hate on Breach, yet him having one of the worst win rates in the game? I always wondered what a balancing team thought of that.

It's definitely not ideal and something we talk about. We've learned a lot about the tradeoffs of utility's power and utility's frustration since launch. We've tested some things internally, but won't have anything definitive (if we ship changes at all) for a bit regardless. Definitely an opportunity for us to improve on, though!

19 days ago - /u/Altombre - Direct link

Originally posted by Shuriman_Sensei

Yeah her niche is: Sentinel but actually viable

Sage is the strongest agent in the game, though, and she's a sentinel! But yeah, these changes made Viper have a stronger defensive profile for sure.