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Riot confirms Valorant's next agent

Fans of Riot Games' tactical shooter Valorant have been wondering when the next playable character would be added to the game. After a few odd leaks and plenty of speculation, Riot Games has officially confirmed that the next Agent joining the fun is Killjoy. The arrival of Killjoy was confirmed in a new trailer posted to the official Valorant YouTube channel.

The trailer, like much of Valorant's marketing, is super exciting and upbeat, showing the new Agent in action and giving us a sense of her personality. We also get to see some of Killjoy's special abilities in the trailer, many of which she seems to be able to use from the safety of cover. She also appears to have a whole adorable crew of friendly droids that assist her in battle.

According to the description on the video, "The latest Agent is a genius inventor that brings the chill of the Berlin nightlife and deploys her killer tech for some potent defensive impact. Outsmart your opponents or lock down an area for a stress-free Spike plant."

And just what are Killjoy's special abilities? Well, we actually already know a good bit about that, thanks to an accidental info leak from Riot Games. Earlier this week, Riot Games published and then deleted a page with a breakdown of all of Killjoy's abilities. While that page is no longer available, GameRant's Peter Grimm had a rundown of what Killjoy brings to the table. To put it lightly, it sounds like Killjoy could be one of Valorant's absolute strongest Agents yet.

According to the original post from Riot Games, Killjoy will have an ability called Alarmbot, which is a drone that seeks out enemies in the field of play and attacks them. Not only that, but the Alarmbot drone is particularly devastating since it makes enemies "vulnerable to double damage from all sources."

Next up is the ability called Turret, which is quite easily the most self-explanatory of the bunch. With this attack, Killjoy deploys a stationary turret that fires upon enemies in a 180-degree spread.

It's when we get into Killjoy's signature ability and ultimate ability that things start to get particularly interesting. Her signature is the Nanoswarm, "a grenade that unleashes a swarm of nanobots on nearby enemies." That already sounds pretty deadly, but her ultimate maneuver is of course even more formidable. This ability is called Lockdown, and it does just that: it traps enemies for up to 8 seconds. While that doesn't seem like a ton of time, it's more than enough for an absurd amount of damage to be dealt to the victim by Killjoy or other competing players. 

Even though there's a trailer out for Killjoy, it doesn't appear as though Riot has reposted that original announcement page. However, it wouldn't come as much of a surprise to see it back up and running in the near future. After all, the Killjoy is out of the bag.

Responses to the character leak and subsequent reveal have been rather mixed. As with any new addition to a game like Valorant, there are concerns about balancing issues that may occur if a character is overpowered. One fan expressed a distaste for turret-using characters, while another was excited to see how many of Killjoy's abilities seemed to help the character stay on the defensive. As one fan pointed out, Killjoy's turret doesn't seem to be an ability with a high damage rate, meaning that it's basically designed to help stall enemies while Killjoy retreats. In other words, it seems like Killjoy's abilities may have more tactical advantages than are obvious at first glance.

In addition to new characters, Riot Games has been working on plenty of quality of life improvements to the game. The company has offered substantial bounties to anyone who can successfully hack Valorant's anti-cheat software, ensuring that Riot keeps players as protected as possible. Also, Riot is working on implementing a new "surrender button" feature. This would allow a team to decide together to end a match that may be unbalanced or has been compromised by a player leaving the game. 

Valorant is not the only popular shooter poised to reveal a new character. Apex Legends has also been teasing the arrival of another Legend in an upcoming season. Not only that, but Apex Legends seems to be bringing back Ash, a major antagonist from the Titanfall franchise as a playable character. In other words, it's an exciting time to be into battle royale games and tactical shooters.

It should be interesting to see how well players take to Killjoy when she joins the Valorant roster on August 4.