Shroud Jokes Valorant Skins Are 'Pay to Win'

Remember, Twitch chat is always right.
Remember, Twitch chat is always right. / Photo courtesy of Shroud, Riot Games

It's one of the most overused sayings in all forms of competition, but Valorant truly is a game of inches.

The free-to-play, tactical hero shooter requires players to learn the maps, master different agents and roles, but most all, be able to tap heads.

While a longtime running joke around the community has been that the skins are "pay to win," to which Riot Games has rebuffed time and time again that their pricey offerings are strictly cosmetic, it's hard to argue that there isn't some sort of placebo effect going on that makes certain weapons feel easier to control depending on their variant.

After remaining stern on the belief that certain skins in Valorant weren't pay to win, and instead, "pay to lose," it appears that the Twitch superstar Shroud has finally accepted his chat's advice.

"I've used skins without effects for a little now," Shroud said as he swapped out his Wasteland, Minima and Dot Exe skins for those from more premium collections, "and you know what? I think you guys are right. Skins are pay to win."

It has to be said, of course, that all of this isn't to be taken seriously and that Shroud is likely joking.

However, as someone who has experienced what the heavenly gift known as the Ion Sheriff is, I believe that certain skins are pay to win.

It's not the look of the gun per se, or its fancy reload animation, but the SFX and VFX that are there exclusively for skins of certain collections.

Often donned in VCT matches for instance, many players competing at the highest level often seem to opt for the Oni Phantom, Prime Vandal, Reaver Vandal, Glitchpop Frenzy and Prime Classic.

There's just something about the way a gun sounds and bullet tracers are that can make players feel like they have turned on aimbot.

At the end of the day, however, it's likely just the confidence boost that comes from emptying the wallet for some in-game swag. Look good, play good.

For more on Valorant, feel free to check out our coverage of the 3.03 patch notes.