Omen lurks. He wriggles into unexpected corners, preying on those that don't pay enough attention. He's my favourite gun wizard in Valorant, Riot's new FPS. The whole point of him is to disrupt, to confuse, to unsettle. He is a patient trickster.
Or at least, I thought he was. Other people have been playing him far more aggressively, and I am both jealous and concerned.
Let's get back to Omen, and exhibit A. I encourage you to watch all of "PK27"'s frag vid, even if it doesn't make you squeal with delight in the same way I did.
I particularly like the play at 1:03, where he teleports to a corner, then (presumably) cackles to himself for a good 5 seconds while more players shuffle into his sights. He does it again at 2:30, but this time we see him get someone else to disguise the sound of the teleport by shooting a box.
That sound is a big deal. There are many, many moments here that PK only gets away with because his opponents aren't keeping an ear out.
That's a bit galling. It's a dynamic I'm familiar with, where your success is dependent on your opponent overlooking something obvious. I'd much rather be in more control, and do or die based solely on my own ability - but snagging kills off the back of a tricksy teleport feels fantastic. There is tension here.
You can see it in this clip, too, where "Zzyx3" manages to use Omen's global teleport to disarm the Spike.
Why are those numpties trying to chase down a character with a global teleport? This must have felt brilliant, but it only worked because the attackers didn't leave at least one player on guard duty.
There's no doubt that I enjoyed Omen best back when players would fall for the same old tricks, bumbling into my sights because they didn't even consider that I might have changed positions. Nowadays, teleporting gets me killed just as often as it gets me kills.
I'm okay with that, though, because I see this as the next level of the game opening up before me. It's a more interesting one, where I have to think about what my opponents think I might do, rather than just banking on their ignorance. I might teleport into a corner as usual for a few rounds, then count on my opponents checking that corner as I pounce from a more conventional angle. I've got to establish patterns, then play with them. Nowadays, Omen is all about messing with people's heads - which is great, because I am too.
I'm also keen to start coordinating more, using my teammate's gunshots to cloak my teleports, as we just saw PK27 do. There are plenty of possibilities that keep Omen viable: he isn't flat out bad against people who are good. He's just a lot more nuanced.
Plus, I just learnt you can teleport while being teleported by the map's teleporter.
I can't wait for the day when I DON'T do a mid-teleport teleport, and my opponents' abandon the bombsite on B because they assume I have. Then I'll truly be thinking with 'porters.
In the meantime, I'll just keep pouring over Ollie's Omen guide.