The first VALORANT Agent for 2023 has arrived. Introduced in Episode 6, Act II, Gekko (Agent 22) has been making waves in all skill levels due to his unique gameplay and is the first Agent to be released that introduces a fresh way to play a given role. In this VALORANT Gekko article, we will give our first look at this Angeleno (from Los Angeles, California) and what we have seen so far in his first week in the game.
Gekko: A Unique Initiator
The introduction of Gekko in VALORANT came as a surprise for many players in higher ranks. Immortal and Radiant players like Tarik and Average Jonas, and even analysts like Thinking Man’s Valorant has said on record that Gekko is “broken” (overpowered, has unbalanced abilities, etc.) and will probably have the same pick rate as Astra or Chamber once he becomes available in professional tournaments. However, a lot of VALORANT players also took note of how different Gekko is from the rest of the Agent pool. His kit is a hybrid of his and other Agent abilities while also introducing a fresh perspective on how to use them. Compared to Harbor, who was the last Agent to be released before Episode 6, Act II, Gekko pushed the boundaries of what an Agent should be.
A big part of this is his abilities.
Gekko’s abilities come from four different creatures (his friends) that do different functions, with one being a game-changer.
We can directly compare some of Gekko’s abilities with other Agents because his abilities were derived from them. However, it would be unfair to call Gekko a replacement for the Agents that I will mention in this section.
- Signature Ability (E): Dizzy – Fire to launch Dizzy, a creature that shoots a mist-like projectile onto the enemy, temporarily blinding them. It can be picked up and deployed again. The ability cools down for ten seconds after picking up the creature.
- Area of effect Ability (C): Mosh’s Pit – Fire to launch Mosh, which then explodes into a toxic sludge that deals burst damage within its area. 150 damage if the opponents are in the center of the pit for the whole duration, and 100 damage if the enemies are off-center. (A hybrid of Viper’s Snake Bite, KAY/O’s FRAG/MENT, and Brimstone’s Incendiary.)
- Space Creation Ability (Q): Wingman – Fire to deploy Wingman, who can clear spaces in the same manner as Raze’s Boom Bot with a similar trait as Skye’s Trailblazer as it stuns enemies within its range when it sees them. Interestingly, Wingman can plant or defuse the Spike using the alternative fire button. It can be picked up before its timer expires and deployed again after ten seconds.
- Ultimate Ability (X): Thrash – Gekko deploys Thrash, a roving creature also similar to Skye’s Trailblazer that locks down enemies within its range, similar to Killjoy’s Lockdown ultimate. It costs seven ultimate points and can be picked up and used again for use during the round. The cooldown after picking up Thrash is ten seconds. It has 200 hit points.
The first thing to notice about Gekko is that he only has one charge per utility, except for his Ultimate. This is because he can pick them up again, before its timer expires, and wait for a ten-second cooldown before using them again. The Ultimate also has this feature.
Wingman is actually the game-changer for this Agent. Planting and defusing the Spike using Wingman means for a period of time in the round, he is the sixth player. What is “broken” in this aspect is that Wingman does not fake a defuse. It will be confusing for attackers if it’s Wingman or Gekko who defuses the Spike.
Gekko’s Gameplay and Strategies
Since Gekko is an Initiator, his team relies on his ability to gather information successfully. However, his kit only has one recon ability that gives his team positive information every round due to an audio queue, Dizzy. When Dizzy’s blind hits enemies, it gives an audio queue to Gekko if someone is in the area where Dizzy was deployed. Wingman does not have this function, while Thrash requires to be charged to do its recon ability.
Mosh’s Pit is valuable in post-plant situations as attackers and to slow down attackers when defending. It deals a lot of damage and has an insane radius, slightly more than Brimstone’s Incendiary. Pair this with Fade’s Seize, Sage’s Slow Orb, Breach’s Fault Line, Skye’s Trailblazer, or even his own Thrash, and you have a very powerful utility combo. That said, finding lineups for Mosh’s Pit requires adjustments and mostly includes jumping to get some distance For example, the distance between A Site and A Main in Ascent is about 40 meters. I have to jump to get a consistent lineup that hits the ultimate orb in A Main and the surrounding area. The video provided shows how I explore lineups in Ascent. You can try finding out some lineups for every map.
As I mentioned, Wingman is the game-changing utility in VALORANT. His ability to plant or defuse the Spike makes him the team’s sixth man, while Gekko repositions to fight those who will try to interrupt his duty to attack or defend the site. Gekko’s mind game is very high, similar to Viper and Fade’s. Wingman can plant or defuse, and Gekko can position himself aggressively or stay back and watch flankers. He can even go back to spawn and catch anyone who rotates. Of course, Gekko may opt to pick Wingman up again to use again for utility bait. His options open up as soon as Wingman does his job.
Thrash will probably be one of VALORANT’s most overpowered ultimate abilities as it combines Skye’s Trailblazer and Killjoy’s Lockdown… and can be used again. The key to Thrash is to think ahead to where the enemy team might be and be creative with utility usage. Once Gekko is picked in professional tournaments, we will see how Thrash is used in the current meta.
So far, I think his best maps are Split and Ascent since all his utilities are useful for both attacking and defending. Tight spaces and short distances between Main and Site give Gekko’s utilities a lot of value. It would be interesting to see how Gekko fares on Bind when it returns to the map rotation. I also see Gekko being played as a second Initiator to either Sova or Fade, the effective recon abilities of either compliments Gekko’s.
Video Credit: A Cat Who Purrs
Gekko is a very exciting Agent to use among Initiators. I predict he will have a high pick rate as a second Initiator, especially since most maps have been executed with three Initiator team compositions. However, as a solo Initiator, I find him lacking in that department. He is definitely strong, but his utilities require tightly-knit team coordination like Astra.
Will Gekko be a solid pick? Definitely, he will have a lot of value and impact on any team composition. I am boldly predicting that he will be in the VALORANT meta soon enough.
Also Read: VALORANT Jett Agent Guide
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