Neon, VALORANT’s newest agent, will not be available for professionals to play in the VALORANT Champions Tour open qualifiers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa region Monday, according to an announcement on the league’s Twitter. Neon will be playable once the VCT league begins Feb. 11.
Neon will not be enabled for the VCT qualifiers but will be enabled for the start of Challengers Stage 1.
— VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA (@valesports_emea) January 10, 2022
The new agent releases Tuesday as the new act for VALORANT begins. Chamber, the agent released before Neon, is playable. He has already made appearances in third-party VALORANT tournaments and in the EMEA open qualifiers.
Riot Games has a history of letting teams get acquainted with new characters, and working out bugs and kinks, before letting them loose in pro play. In their MOBA title, League of Legends, pro players normally have to wait two weeks after a champion’s initial release before they are legal to play in a professional league or tournament. A recent example in both games is their respective world championships.
At the League of Legends World Championship 2021, Vex, the newest champion at the time was disabled from play. Fans only got to see the new champion in pro play after the season had concluded. At VALORANT Champions, Chamber was disabled and was not able to be picked at the tournament.
What Neon could look like in the VCT
Based off of early opinions, Neo may be a viable pick in professional play. She has a large concussion grenade that can stun multiple enemies and her abilities give her a massive advantage on defense for rotations and flanks. It remains to be seen how she will fit into the professional meta, either as a flex, main Duelist or a map specific pick. While she is quick on her feet, the agent may not be a direct replacement for Jett. Most team’s pick for their main duelist, but she does have specific strengths that could slot into different team compositions if needed.