Gekko Valorant’s ethnicity — The character’s Hispanic roots

Gekko Valorant

VALORANT recently released a new agent, Gekko, the sixth Initiator in the game after Fade, KAY/0, Skye, Breach, and Sova. Gekko’s abilities are linked to his four buddies: Dizzy, Wingman, Mosh Pit, and Thrash. Joe Killeen, Gekko’s Narrative Writer, said the extra characters made Gekko complicated to design. He said (per Dexerto):

“Deciding what to call Gekko’s abilities was a unique challenge compared to past Agents. Each ability was also one of Gekko’s buddies, characters unto themselves.” 

Keen-eyed gamers picked up elements of Gekko’s story in the trailer, including his nationality. More on Gekko’s ethnicity below. 

Gekko grew up in East Los Angeles and has Hispanic roots

Gekko is Hispanic and American. The character likely draws Mexican roots from his mother, who we hear speaking Spanish in Gekko’s reveal trailer. 

Killeen told that the developers wanted to create a character who grew up influenced by different cultures. He explained:

“We set out to realize a first generation character, someone whose upbringing has been shaped by the blending of two different worlds: the cultural heritage of their parents, and the influences of their hometown. That experience is one felt globally.”

The developers felt Los Angeles, a multiethnic city, was the best place to base Gekko. They grounded him in East Los Angeles, where many Hispanic Americans live: over 95% of the population in East Los Angeles is Hispanic. Killeen described the extensive research they undertook when creating Killeen’s background:

“Speaking with folks who are first-gen, outings into East LA, Mexican-American focus group research interviews, consulting with members from Riot’s Mexico office, collaborating with Gekko’s East-LA voice actor, and embedding developers with ties to that life experience on the team working to bring Gekko to life.”

VALORANT picked Alejandro Antonio Ruiz, a Mexican American voice actor, to voice Gekko, increasing the character’s authenticity. “My name is Alejandro Antonio Ruiz and @riotgames just gave me permission to officially announce that I’m the English and Spanish voice of Agent 22,” Ruiz tweeted.