What is 9-3 curse in Valorant?

Have you ever experienced winning the first half of the game at 9-3, but your opponents staged a comeback and won? You have experienced the 9-3 curse.
What is 9-3 curse in Valorant?

Like any other game, Valorant players have created some memes and beliefs since Riot Games released the game in June 2020. Among many memes and theories Valorant players made, one of the most famous, or infamous, is the 9-3 curse that even casters, streamers, and the Valorant community believe.

So, is the 9-3 curse real in Valorant matches? If so, how can you ensure it doesn't happen to you?

What is the 9-3 curse?

Riot Games first-person shooter requires aim precision, game knowledge, and experience but the 9-3 curse can still turn the table and can happen to everyone.

The 9-3 curse happens when a match ends its first half in 9-3, and the losing team suddenly comes back stronger on the opposite side of the map and wins the game. Although players and casters alike don't precisely know how the 9-3 curse happens, there's still a piece of pretty solid evidence that it is a possibility.

The 9-3 curse in Valorant became popular when many professional teams lost games in the Valorant Champions Tour 2021. During the playoffs of the VCT EMEA Stage 3 Challengers, Team Liquid was leading at the half at 9-3 against Navi. However, Navi won 10 rounds in the second half while Team Liquid only won one round as they suffered a defeat.

The 9-3 curse is not only applicable to European and Middle East teams. During the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 3 Masters event in Berlin, two teams experienced the 9-3 curse, Paper Rex and Gambit Esports, during the group stage.

In the final matchup between Acent and Gambit at the 2021 Valorant Champions Tour, Gambit snatched the first game in the best-of-five series even though they were the losing team in the first half of the game, 3-9.

Why is the 9-3 curse happening?

Although there is no solid evidence that finishing the first half at 9-3 is a curse, it still happens occasionally.

Here are some possible reasons why the 9-3 curse is happening:

  • In the first half of the game, Valorant players tend to push the map when they are on the attacking side and hold the site when they are on the defending side.

  • If you're good at attacking a site, there's a high chance to end the half at 9-3. However, there is a high possibility that if you get used to pushing your enemies, the enemy team will win every single round, causing the 9-3 curse.

  • Or, the enemy team got their groove in the next round, just in time to make a comeback.

Just always remember that the first round and the first half of the match are as important as the second half. After all, you can win the game by winning 13 rounds, not just nine rounds.

Is the 9-3 curse real or not?

Although there are instances that the team leading in the first round, 9-3, can still lose at the end of the game, it is just a possibility and nothing more. To support our claim, look at the 2022 Valorant Master 3 - Copenhagen statistics. At the VCT Copenhagen, from the group stages to the grand finals, there were 16 games where the half ended in 9-3, but the winning team went on to win the match 16 times, so the 9-3 curse did not happen at all.

This means that the 9-3 curse is not accurate. It is just a possibility that can happen.

How to avoid the 9-3 curse?

Although the 9-3 curse is nothing but a theory created by Valorant players, you still should not relax even though you are leading the game. If you want to prevent the curse in Valorant, here are some tips:

  • Be critical of yourself and analyze the playstyle of your teammates and the enemy team, especially if you are solo queueing.

  • Use your agent’s abilities whether on the defending or the attacking side to help your team win.

  • Lastly, practice both attacking and defending sides and be consistent in using your agent.

We hope you don’t experience the 9-3 curse. Good luck!

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