Few things are dividing the Valorant community at the moment than the state of the Operator - with some claiming that the one-shot kill bolt action sniper, in it's current state, is too powerful, while others feel the gun rewards those with the aim and temperament to use it.
The debate has reached into the upper echelons of the game, with the "double OP meta", running two operators when they are available becoming a common sight in high-level games. It's a part of the game that Michael "shroud" Grzieak takes issue with, explaining that unlike in CS:GO where anyone can carry the flash, mollys and smoke grenades that can help negate the strength of the Operator (or AWP in Counter-Strike's case), in Valorant only a few Agents have these abilities at their disposal.
Possible nerfs have included an increase in price, making them a rarer commodity, or in Cloud9's Tyson "TenZ" Ngo's opinion the Operator and Marshall should make a sound that could alert opponents when they are being zoomed in.
Valorant's developers aren't unaware of the debate within the community and on 27th August, tackled the matter head-on in their "Ask Valorant" blog.
Ask VALORANT, and we shall respond! This week we’re answering whether the Operator is OP, what’s up with footsteps, and why we’re choosing timed rollouts vs all at once. Click to read all about it: https://t.co/qELyxBSSVNpic.twitter.com/dH3TrhokuO— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) August 27, 2020
Nicholas "Nickwu" Smith, Valorant's Game Designer, says while they understand some of the grievances a section of the player base has with the Operator, that on a fundamental level they don't believe it is "too OP".
"We think the Operator isn't 'too OP' but do believe that the feeling sometimes comes from a lack of personal agency against the weapon (for Agents that don't have tools to break line of sight for themselves), coupled with an overwhelming amount of team coordination to effectively counter an Operator."
Valorant devs have made clear they have no plans to change the Operator at the moment. (Picture: Riot Games)
Nickwu goes on to explain that in earlier versions of the game the Operator wasn't as powerful as it now it, "especially in holding defensive angles." However, this made the gameplay descend into "who could rush faster."
And while the developers don't rule changes to the Operator in the future, Nickwu defends the current strength of the weapon making the case for it "forcing" teams to consider the enemies Operator, where they are based and what strategies need to be used to tackle them.
"We do believe the Operator should be powerful and should encourage a team to thoughtfully enter a space where it might be in play," he explained.
For those that do want a change though, the door isn't shut completely, "no changes now doesn't mean no changes ever."
So for those that find the Operator they bane of their Valorant lives, there is hope for you yet.