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Riot Games Developers Settle the Phantom vs Vandal Debate

Abhimannu Das
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Riot Games developers revealed in a Q&A session that they prefer the Vandal to the Phantom in Valorant.
One of the devs pointed out that the Phantom is easier to use which is one of the most important reasons behind the gun's popularity to this date.
In this year’s world championship event the Vandal was the most popular weapon in the event with 8,070 picks at the start of rounds.

The Phantom vs Vandal debate continues within the Valorant community and has been going on for over two years since the game’s release. A lot of players have still not come to a definite conclusion. While the Vandal has historically experienced higher pick rates, the debates on social platforms continue to rage on. Riot Games developers shared their opinion on the matter in a recent Q&A session and the Vandal came out as the clear winner.

Riot Games developers chime in on the debate

In a recent blog post where five several key Riot Games developers shared insights on the game, three of them picked the Vandal over the Phantom. Andy Ho, Senior Director of Game Product Management, refused to choose one and felt that both weapons have their strengths. Joe Lee, Director of Game Product Management was the only one from the Q&A session who sided with the Phantom and called the weapon “goated.”

Arnar Gylfason, Director of Game Production stated what a lot of players refuse to accept. He said, “My brain says Vandal but my spray pattern behavior says Phantom.” The easier spray pattern is the biggest reason why the Phantom is so popular for the average player. At the highest level of play, pro players are capable of controlling the spray pattern of the Vandal but for a lot of players, the Phantom can deliver more consistent results depending on recoil control skills.

In this year’s world championship event the Vandal was the most popular weapon in the event with 8,070 picks at the start of rounds. In comparison, the Phantom had only 3,255 picks. The community often debates which weapon is better in the rifle class and it looks like the Vandal is the clear winner in competitive esports. But it might not be as one-sided within the casual community as a lot of players love the Phantom.

Last year, the stats were similar as both weapons had almost identical pick rates at the 2021 world championship which was surprising. But this year, the trend has remained consistent throughout international events and it might finally be time to accept that the Vandal is the better weapon.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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