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Deadlock VALORANT Agent 23 Revealed: Release Date, Abilities, Lore, and More

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What’s up, Gamers! The world of VALORANT is about to be shaken up with the arrival of Deadlock, the much-anticipated Agent 23. Get ready to experience a new level of strategic gameplay as Deadlock’s unique abilities promise to redefine the battlefield. Are you prepared to embrace the change? Let’s dive into the details of this enigmatic new agent!


  • New sentinel agent Deadlock’s anticipated arrival to VALORANT is scheduled for June 27, 2023.
  • Her abilities are designed to be more reactionary and to strategically impede enemy movement, creating a deadlock-like situation in VALORANT.
  • Professional players have diverse reactions towards Deadlock as the competitive scene awaits her release date to see how the community will adapt.

Deadlock’s Arrival in VALORANT: The Anticipated Release Date

Mark your calendars, as Deadlock, the new female Sentinel Agent in VALORANT, is expected to make her grand entrance on June 27, 2023, during Episode 7 Act 1. The anticipation is palpable, as players eagerly await the opportunity to explore Deadlock’s abilities and incorporate them into their tactics.

How To Unlock Deadlock

Unlocking Deadlock can be achieved through various methods, such as completing her Agent Recruitment Event, subscribing to Xbox Game Pass (or syncing your existing Xbox Game Pass account to your Riot account), or purchasing her with VP or 8,000 Kingdom Credits.

Learn how to connect your Riot account to your Xbox Game Pass>>

Watch Deadlock’s Cinematic

The official reveal of Deadlock’s cinematic, showcasing her origin point and abilities, took place prior to the VCT Master’s Tokyo grand final. Check out the cinematic below!

Deadlock’s Abilities Explained

Credit: Riot Games

The name Deadlock is very fitting for this agent and her abilities, as deadlock means a situation where no progress can be made. As a sentinel, preventing the enemy team from making any progress is exactly what you want to do.

Deadlock’s abilities are designed to create a more reactionary sentinel than a proactive one (Cypher set-ups are very proactive). With a versatile set of abilities, including GravNet Grenade, Sonic Sensor, Barrier Mesh, and Annihilation, Deadlock is a force to be reckoned with. VALORANT developers have provided insight into Deadlock’s potential abilities, which are designed to block weapons fire and impede enemy movement, offering a fresh perspective on the battlefield and introducing the concept of a “deadlock” to describe her unique skill set.

Below, we’ll go into the specifics of Deadlock’s abilities, exploring their unique effects and strategic advantages.

GravNet Grenade (C)

The GravNet Grenade is a formidable weapon in Deadlock’s arsenal. Once activated, it impairs enemies’ movement by forcing them to crouch and move at a reduced speed. This disruption makes it difficult for enemies caught in its effect to escape, rendering them temporarily immobile.

With the ability to hurl the grenade underhand using alt fire, Deadlock can strategically deploy the GravNet Grenade to ensnare her opponents when they least expect it. This powerful tool not only disrupts the enemy’s movement but also creates opportunities for Deadlock and her allies to capitalize on the chaos.

How To Use GravNet

EQUIP (C) a GravNet grenade. FIRE (left click) to throw. ALT FIRE (right click) to lob the grenade underhand. The GravNet detonates upon landing, forcing any enemies caught within to crouch and move slowly.

This ability will be great at stalling rushes from the enemy team and throwing at areas where you know enemies are. Enemies can get out of the net but it will make a loud audio cue notifying you that they left it.

You won’t know if an enemy is caught it in, you will have to check. Deadlock is meant to act on her utility to be the most effective, she will need to peak her GravNet or coordinate with her teammates to handle enemies potentially caught in it.

How to Play Against The GravNet

This utility will be used based on the information you give the enemy Deadlock, like making noise or throwing your own utility. Don’t give info until you are ready to act. You can leave the GravNet but it will make an audio cue notifying the enemy you were in the net. Be prepared to get in a gunfight, hold your angle. There is a chance the enemy team doesn’t peak you while you are in it, so you may have the opportunity to sit tight and they won’t ever know you were there.

Sonic Sensor (Q)

The Sonic Sensor is another key component of Deadlock’s arsenal. Designed to detect enemy sounds and concuss the area, this ability provides valuable information by alerting Deadlock to any enemy contact. As it scans the battlefield for significant noises, the Sonic Sensor is triggered by the first enemy to make noise around it, stunning them and potentially other close-by teammates, further disrupting their plans.

By keeping a keen eye on the enemy’s movements and actions, the Sonic Sensor gives Deadlock and her team the upper hand in anticipating and countering their opponents’ strategies. With the help of sensor monitors, they can efficiently track and respond to any changes on the battlefield.

How to Use Sonic Sensor

EQUIP (Q) a Sonic Sensor. FIRE (left click) to deploy. The sensor monitors an area for enemies making sounds. It concusses that area if footsteps, weapons fire, or significant noise are detected.

This ability could be used as a flank watch capability like other sentinels do with trips and traps, but it gives the enemy opportunity to pass it if they remain silent, so it would be a weak way to use this. It could be more powerful to place it to watch site/bomb placement so it would stun enemies planting, or enemies defusing. Players will have to come up with unique placements for this ability to ideally catch enemies when they are going to make noise to make the most use effective of it.

How to Play Against The Sonic Sensor

Don’t make noise where you think this is placed, or try shooting it. If you see Deadlock place it, it is visible momentarily, but otherwise, it is invisible to enemies. If you see it, you could shoot it before it spots you. Additionally, it does make a sound if you are near it (sort of like a Cypher trip), destroy it if you hear it. If it spots you before you see it, shoot it before it stuns you. If your teammate trips one, help them out by shooting it. Most utility can go past this, including Skye‘s dog. The only utility that triggers it is Yoru’s clone and Gekko‘s Wingman if he is planting or defusing. Using Wingman on the bomb is a great counter to this utility as it will save a teammate from getting stunned in order to bait that out.

Barrier Mesh (E)

Deadlock’s Barrier Mesh is her signature ability, meaning it will regenerate or recharge after a cooldown period to be able to be used multiple times during rounds. It is a game-changing ability that creates impenetrable barriers to block character movement and agent abilities. The disc generates barriers through the Barrier Mesh disc, which can be strategically placed to restrict access to certain areas or create choke points, making it a versatile tool on the battlefield.

Not only can the Barrier Mesh protect allies from weapons fire, but it can also trap enemies caught in its path, forcing them to reconsider their strategies. The potential uses of Barrier Mesh are vast, further solidifying Deadlock’s status as a formidable agent in VALORANT.

How to Use Barrier Mesh

EQUIP (E) a Barrier Mesh disc. FIRE (left click) to throw forward. Upon landing, the disc generates barriers from the origin point that block character movement.

Players could use this to stall areas and create opportunities to fight their enemies.

How to Play Against The Barrier Mesh

Gunfight where you can, but you won’t be able to throw utility through it. Shoot one of the outside circle points to break that point’s barrier wall. You can also shoot the center origin point but it takes more than an entire phantom clip to destroy, where the outside origin points are still a lot of bullets, it is not a whole clip.

Annihilation (x)

Out of all the abilities in Deadlock’s arsenal, her ultimate ability, Annihilation, is a game-changer. This ult has the potential to completely shift the tide of a round, demanding quick reactions from both teams to avoid falling into a disadvantageous position.

When Annihilation is activated, a pulse of nanowires is unleashed, capturing the first enemy it comes into contact with. The captured target is then pulled along a designated nanowire path, and if they reach the end without being freed, they will meet their demise.

It’s important to note that the nanowire cocoon is destructible, meaning that teammates of the captured agent have the opportunity to rescue them. This creates a high-stakes situation where the defenders can easily eliminate lurking enemies or disrupt the attacking team’s plans by targeting their spike carrier or planter.

Furthermore, the Annihilation ultimate puts pressure on defenders to expose themselves in order to save their teammates, presenting an advantage for the attacking side. This ability adds a layer of strategic complexity to the gameplay, forcing both teams to make split-second decisions that can heavily impact the outcome of the round.

How to Use Annihilation

At the time of its release in-game, the ultimate will require 7 ult points. EQUIP (X) a Nanowire Accelerator. FIRE (left click) to unleash a pulse of nanowires that captures the first enemy contacted. The cocooned enemy is pulled along a nanowire path and will die if they reach the end, unless they are freed. The nanowire cocoon is destructible but has a ton of health. You can bounce the ultimate off of one wall to get your target or directly shoot it at your target.

How to Play Against Annihilation Strategically

SHOOT IT! At the time of its release in-game, the cocoon has 600 HP and takes exactly 7 seconds to complete (no matter how long of a distance the cocoon has to travel)… at 24-28 bullets from a Classic depending on distance, 16-20 bullets from a Phantom, and 16 bullets from a Vandal. If she has her ultimate be prepared to help your teammates out by shooting it to get them free, or if you’re last alive against that try killing her before messing with the spike so she can’t “annihilate” you.

Use utility to slow it down! For example, you can use Sage‘s wall to slow down the pull of the cocoon (think of how Skye’s ultimate slowly breaks through Sage’s wall).

Use Phoenix‘s ult to bait it out. If a Phoenix ult is caught by Annihilation, he will just return to his body no matter what – whether his ult times out, or whether his ult gets killed by Annihilation.

Watch The Official Deadlock Gameplay Reveal Video

The Story Behind Deadlock: Character Background and Lore

Deadlock’s backstory is shrouded in mystery, but from agent teasers, we know she is a Kingdom scientist, a member of Atlas, a faction in opposition to Alpha, and in a group called Ståljeger, which translates to Steel Hunter.

This group was showcased in Episode 7’s cinematic titled Unmade. Her presence on the battlefield seeks to detect and impede any enemy contact, making her a valuable asset in the fight against Alpha. Originating from Norway, her personal story involves a lost arm and family, giving her character depth and motivation.

In the cinematic, Ståljeger was dispatched to an undisclosed facility that had been mysteriously shut down due to an unknown incident. Upon entering, they discovered a bear affected by radianite, which had turned it into a lethal threat targeting each member of Deadlock’s team. While battling the mutated bear, Deadlock sacrificed her arm in exchange for survival. Just before collapsing, she managed to send a distress signal to Kingdom, requesting a rescue operation.

Sova and Cypher collaborated to rescue the injured Deadlock, venturing into the enigmatic facility. Riot Games officially unveiled this operation while teasing the new Agent prior to releasing the Unmade cinematic.

Once they located Deadlock, Sova brought her back to the main base. During her recovery, Killjoy fitted her with a new mechanical prosthetic arm. This arm incorporates a nanowire accelerator, enabling Deadlock to ensnare and eliminate her enemies.

Given the linguistic similarities between Norwegians and Germans, it’s conceivable that Killjoy and Deadlock have developed a close friendship. Additionally, the new Agent demonstrated quick instincts when she detected the presence of Gekko’s Wingman. This may be linked to the moment the radianite-affected bear bit her, infusing her veins with radianite.

From her comment in the cinematic about Wingman, “You don’t know what they’re capable of.” and what we know of Wingman being stolen property from K-SEC, it’s possible the bear featured was a K-SEC experiment gone wrong (or too well if it was being made to be a weapon).

Deadlock presents herself as a self-reliant and dedicated individual. As a hunter like Sova, it’s possible that they may form an alliance in the game’s lore in the future.

Reactions to Deadlock: Pro Players’ Thoughts and Predictions

Professional players at VCT Masters Tokyo have shared their thoughts on Deadlock, and the reactions have been varied. Some players express excitement for the new agent, while others have requested that her ultimate be adjusted to better counter weapons fire. One thing is certain – Deadlock has piqued the interest of the competitive scene.

Pro players predict that Deadlock has the potential to counter agents like Killjoy and Cypher, thanks to her disruptive abilities. As we approach her release date, it remains to be seen how the community will adapt to her presence and utilize her abilities for strategic advantage.

Watch pro players react to the new agent, Deadlock:

Designing Deadlock: Insights from VALORANT Developers

VALORANT developers had a clear vision when designing Deadlock: to create a tactical VALORANT agent with active utility that would appeal to players who enjoy strategic gameplay based on opponents’ information. According to VALORANT game designer Alexander Mistakidis, the intention was to craft an agent for players who desired to secure areas and impede or ensnare adversaries.

Check out the designers and developers discussing Deadlock’s design and her abilities:

The inspiration for Deadlock’s abilities came from Blitzcrankin League of Legends. This influence is evident in her GravNet Grenade, Sonic Sensor, and Barrier Mesh, which collectively offer a fresh approach to map control and enemy disruption.

Unlock Deadlock & Shake Up The Battlefield!

Deadlock’s arrival in VALORANT is set to shake up the meta, offering fresh strategies and gameplay possibilities. Her unique abilities, from the disruptive GravNet Grenade to the strategic Barrier Mesh, are bound to challenge players and reshape the battlefield. As we eagerly await her release on June 27, 2023, one thing is certain: Deadlock is poised to make a lasting impact on the world of VALORANT.

Let us know what you think about this new agent in the comments below! Is she overpowered? Weak? How do you think she’ll change the meta?

GLHF, Agents!

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