Did VALORANT nerf Chamber too much? Declining pick and win rates show worrying trajectory

A look at one Frenchman's fall from grace.

There hasn’t been an agent in VALORANT quite as polarizing as Chamber. When the French sentinel came into the game in late 2021, he introduced an entirely new ideawhat if an agent’s abilities were more weapons, not external utilities?

Chamber redefined Riot’s first-person shooter for a while. His weapons and mechanics were just too strong to pass up, leading to him being the star of the show throughout all ranks and in professional play, but recently his pick rate has been dropping hard.

After the Chamber-filled VCT season came to a close last year, with players like yay and BuZz making names for themselves on the agent, Riot started hitting Chamber with nerfsand it hit him hard. Looking back several months after Chamber received his last nerf in December 2022, where is the agent now? The answer is a bit worrying for players who still consider themselves Chamber one-tricks.

Chamber’s pick rate has plummeted in all levels of VALORANT. He is barely seen in lower ranks on the competitive ladder and has only been picked twice across every map played in the three VCT leagues so far. In most competitive ranks, Chamber also now sits at a similar win rate to Yoru, an agent who has basically never been considered a meta pick.

These statistics paint a worrying picture, especially when we look back at Chamber’s highest heights last year. So how did the agent fall so far from grace? What is next for the French gunman?

Image via Riot Games

Aside from the major nerfs Chamber has received, which has players wondering if Riot maybe went too far, the latest competitive map pools have also not favored the agent’s playstyle. Breeze was always Chamber’s playground, with its long sightlines and angles to hold. Bind was also a prime space to utilize Chamber, with spaces that almost seemed built for him to stand his ground.

But now, maps like Lotus and Haven have shifted the meta towards closer engagements. New agents like Harbor and Gekko have also re-focused VALORANT towards utility usage, making it easier to counter Chamber’s strong weapons by cutting off sightlines and placing obstacles.

The map pool has begun to shift back, with Bind now back in rotation after a few adjustments, but Chamber is still not strong enough compared to Gekko and Harbor to make a re-appearance.

One of the biggest problems with Chamber has always been his failure to actually fit the role of a sentinel. Though he holds this label in the game, most players actually play him like a secondary or non-entry duelist. His teleport gave him a similar escape as Jett, so many former Jett players simply switched over to Chamber upon his release.

By taking away the instant and long-range aspects of Chamber’s teleporternot to mention also changing Jett’s dashthis emphasis on escapability has been quietly fading out. Chamber’s teleporter is alright, but no better than Yoru’s. If Riot truly wanted to push Chamber more towards a sentinel role, why would it nerf the one ability that actually makes him a sentinel?

Players used to complain that Chamber’s trap was too overpowered because it didn’t have a range. In contrast to Killjoy, whose abilities will “shut down” once she gets too far away from them, Chamber’s trap used to work regardless of where he was on the map. After much feedback, Riot added the same range that Killjoy has. Now, the trap feels useless. It’s much better to use Killjoy or Cypher at this point as your sentinel in any team composition.

So, what are his strong points now?

Every agent in VALORANT has a unique reason why they come in and out of the meta. But with where Chamber is now, it almost feels like Riot took everything away that made him worth playing. His teleporter isn’t better than any other agent’s, his trap is worse than every other sentinel, and though his Headhunter is still stronger than a Sherriff, there is little argument remaining that the Tour de Force is better than an Operator.

All of these changes beg the question: did Chamber get nerfed too much?

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