Riot Games Reveals VALORANT's 17th Agent KAY/O: Abilities, Lore, Release Date PC 

As VALORANT'S Episode 2 Act 3 comes to an end, Riot Games reveals its newest and 17th agent of the game KAY/O, Future Earth’s resident Terminator.

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There have been a lot of speculations about the upcoming agent in VALORANT for the past month as the game's Act 3 Episode 1 nears its arrival. After several teasers, VALORANT'S 17th agent has been revealed to be an Initiator named KAY/O, the killer robot perfect for negating abilities and evening the playing field. His whole kit is centered at minimizing incoming enemy strikes and due to his unique capacity to "suppress hostile powers," he gives his teammates "the ultimate edge." Let's take a closer look at the abilities this robotic agent has to offer.

KAY/O Abilities​

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  • Ability 1 – ZERO/point: EQUIP a suppression blade. FIRE to throw. The blade sticks to the first surface it hits, winds up, and suppresses anyone in the radius of the explosion.
  • Ability 2 – FLASH/drive: EQUIP a flash grenade. FIRE to throw. The flash grenade explodes after a short fuse, blinding anyone in line of sight.
    • Right Clicking the flashbang, throws a charged flash, causing it to only have to cook for 1 second, as opposed to left click throwing a flash that cooks in 1.6 seconds.
  • Ability 3 – FRAG/ment: EQUIP an explosive fragment. FIRE to throw. The fragment sticks to the floor and explodes multiple times, dealing near lethal damage at the center with each explosion.
  • Ultimate Ability – NULL/cmd: INSTANTLY overload with polarized radianite energy that empowers KAY/O and causes large energy pulses to emit from his location. Enemies hit with these pulses are suppressed for a short duration.
    • While Overloaded, KAY/O gains Combat Stim
    • If KAY/O is killed while overloaded, he is downed and enters a destabilized state, allowing allies to stabilize his core and revive him.
His first ability, ZERO/point, introduces the suppress mechanic into the game by throwing a suppression blade making enemies unable to use their abilities. Also, his ultimate, NULL/cmd, explains the ‘downed’ mechanic that leaked a few months back allowing him to be revived if killed for a short amount of time.

KAY/O Lore​

KAY/O was the “first Agent that we started designing after the game launched,” according to Character Producer Jon Goscicki. The robotic menace is the perfect combination of past and future, with the goal of "adding something that felt familiar to classic FPS gamers, but had aspects that made it uniquely fit within Valorant." Ryan Cousart, KAY/O’s Game Designer, also stated that the agent was inspired by the iconic robot Terminator. “Given I’m not too versed in my sci-fi, I actually learned a lot about different inspirations from Terminator to I, Robot, even all the way to Chappie," Cousart said. “Outside of the opportunity goals on the roster, to make an agent that felt familiar to traditional FPS players, we kind of wanted to push for some really intuitive and almost ‘back to basics’ type of inputs,” he added.


An agent reveal trailer video for KAY/O was recently released, and VALORANT lore enthusiast Cynprel evaluated the video and noted how it alludes to a "infamous" Reyna statement about "Killjoy's Machines." KAY/O dies repeatedly at the start of the teaser, but learns how to nullify and evade opponent powers in order to live. Eventually, he triggers his ultimate, disabling his opponent's abilities and allows teammates to resurrect him for a short amount of time if he gets killed.

In the video trailer, Omen shoots KAY/O, causing him to suffer flashbacks of a destroyed planet while shooting an Odin. The flashback concludes with KAY/O battling Reyna, who looks to be a mirrored image of the agent. KAY/O may have seen a peek of the mirrored Earth and what occurs when the planet runs out of Radianite or when the world battles over it. The phrase "kill all Radiants" flashes over KAY/O's face which is precisely what he's meant to accomplish. A wrecked Kingdom structure is also shown in the flashback, showing that the strong organization was unable to avert annihilation.

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KAY/O appears to have been part of a larger strategy to eradicate Radiants, however it's unclear if the aim was absolute destruction or the elimination of specific targets. It also remains unknown if KAY/O is militant to all Radiants or simply those from the mirrored Earth. When the agent is officially released, fans will most likely learn more.

KAY/O Release Date​

Alongside the new Episode 3 Act 1 battlepass, KAY/O will be officially join the fray on June 22, 2021. It won't be long before players start grinding on this new agent. Watch out for upcoming KAY/O mains!
 

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