With Valorant being a game where the mental battle is perhaps just as important as the physical, it's safe to say that every little detail counts.
As such, the competition arguably starts in the Collection screen, where players have nearly 500 different weapon skins to choose from, let alone variants.
DBLTAP spoke with several of the game's best players from FaZe Clan, 100 Thieves and Ghost Gaming during the VCT Stage 2: Challengers NA Playoffs to get their thoughts on a simple question: What is your favorite melee skin in Valorant? Here's what we found.
Kicking things off, one skin that's quickly won over many fans within the Valorant community since its release last month has been the Xenohunter Knife.
An offering that has been the star of the show for the overall Xenohunter Collection, the knife's brand-new animations have made it well-regarded in FaZe Quan "dicey" Tran's book.
"Right now, it would probably be the Xenohunter Knife because I just like the way it looks and the animation of it," dicey told DBLTAP. "It's just overall clean. It's not too much, it's not too little. When you take it out, it’s smooth, you know what I mean? It goes with like everything. That's why I use it the most. But other than that, I don’t know. There’s not really that many good knives that I use."
Ghost Alex "aproto" Protopapas also spoke highly of the Xenohunter Knife, mentioning that its Valorant beta details resonate with his FPS background.
"It's got to be the new knife that just came out, the Xeno," aproto said. "It reminds me a lot like Counter-Strike with the view model and it just feels really comfy."
Meanwhile, for FaZe Andrej "babybay" Francisty, his go-to melee is one that perhaps perfectly complements his aggressive, flashy style of play — the Valorant Go! Vol. 1 Knife.
"My favorite melee skin in Valorant is probably the Jett knife," babybay said. "I don't know why. For some reason when I have that on, I just play like a god. I went back to it recently and yeah, I've just been owning on it again. I really like that one. It makes me feel like a ninja."
A longtime running joke around the community has been that the skins are "pay to win." Riot Games has replied time and time again that their pricey offerings are strictly cosmetic, but it's not hard to argue there is some sort of placebo effect going on that makes certain weapons feel easier to control depending on their variant.
That's exactly what 100T Derrek Ha lobbied for in shouting out the RGX 11z Pro Blade, which the professional Initiator claims has a "20% increase knife range."
"It's gonna probably have to be the RGX Blade, blue, specifically," Derrek said. "I think the animation is clean. I think when you have it out, it doesn't take too much of your screen, which is important."
Lastly, fellow 100T player Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk gave his top-three melees in the game at the moment: the Xenohunter Knife, the Prism III Axe and the Level 1 Prime 2.0 Karambit.
"At the moment, I'm enjoying the Xenohunter. That one's pretty good so far. It's been treating me nicely in practice and I used it for the match," Asuna said after facing FaZe in the Upper Quarterfinals.
"But overall, I probably give it to either the Prism Axe or the Prime Karambit 2.0. Either or, one of those. Non-upgraded Prime Karambit, obviously. Let me make that clear. The Prism knife that I used for a while, which was like the blue-pinkish one. I forget what that one is really, but it was like a Battle Pass skin. Those three are probably my favorite. If I had to pick one though, Prime Karambit non-upgraded."
For more 2022 VCT coverage, feel free to check out:
- Valorant Pros Share Their Go-To Buys for Pistol Rounds
- Valorant Pros Settle the Vandal vs. Phantom Debate
- VCT Pros Explain What the Best Map is in Valorant
- VCT Pros Reveal What the Worst Map is in Valorant
- Coaching ‘Vibey’ 100 Thieves Valorant, Sean Gares Finds Personal Growth as Well
- Valorant Pros Explain What Players Should Improve to Climb Ranked
- VCT Pros Reveal Their Favorite Post-Launch Valorant Agents
- Sean Gares Talks Future of Valorant Esports: 'We're Still Early on in the Game's Lifespan'