Riot Games is disabling one of their new agents after another turret bug. Killjoy has been removed from play until the developers can fix the bug that allows players to place turrets underneath the map.
Killjoy was added to the game in ACT 2 and since her release, she has become an important part of the game’s competitive meta. She is a sentinel type agent, and her deployable turrets allow her to defend sites from opponents. Her abilities; nano-swarm, turrets, and alarm bots can help defend sites and even after a significant nerf in patch 1.11 that made it so that she would have to be in range of her deployed abilities in order for them to work she has still seen a lot of competitive play.
Anyone playing as Killjoy could use the exploit to place turrets underneath the map and use them to protect bombsites without any enemies being aware of them. Information about the bug spread quickly online and within a few hours of its discovery it gained traction on Reddit and Twitter.
It turns out that the exploit can only be used in a specific spot on the Haven map. Before Killjoy was disabled, you could place a turret underground in the Garage Area allowing the team to zone their opponents out. A counterplay to the exploit was soon discovered but rather than allow the exploit and counterplay to continue, Riot simply disabled the agent.
This is not the first exploit for Killjoy that has been uncovered by Valorant players. In October of this year, a similar exploit was discovered on the Icebox map. Going back a few months to August, and another version of the same bug was present in Split. It looks like there is an underlying issue with the character. The fix for the bug will not come from changes to the maps but instead from a fundamental change to the agent.
This will be a significant amount of work for the company and they have not announced a date or even a timeline for the agent’s return. Valorant posted on Twitter:
“You might have heard about Killjoy’s newest ability – placing turrets under the map. Believe it or not, this update was not intended. We’ll be disabling Killjoy until we can patch this exploit.”
This unfortunate move means that Killjoy may not be available for the upcoming Valorant First Strike Finals. It is not likely that Killjoy will be out of commission for long enough to affect the upcoming 2021 Valorant Champions Tour.
If it is not fixed by December 3rd, the start of the First Strike Finals, teams may have to change their strategies going into the tournament. Teams that rely on the agent’s defensive capabilities may be left out in the cold and may significantly affect esports betting odds for Valorant.
The effect on play
These bugs have already had a significant impact on competitive play. Guild Esports were handed a forfeit loss after using an “illegal boost” with Killjoy’s turret in a match against G2. This was the first time in the short history of Valorant esports that a team has received a major disqualification from an official event. This strike was seen as a controversial move by some because of the vague rule set. However, exploits, like the one found in Haven, are certainly wrong to use and if more are discovered and abused in competitive play there could be a significant drop off in support and trust for the Valorant esports scene.