Valorant - Pearl Map

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Split Is Being Removed From Valorant’s Unrated and Competitive Map Pool

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
Riot Games will restrict the number of available maps in Competitive and Unrated to seven maps moving forward.
Split will not be a part of the seven maps that will be available and it will be replaced by Pearl.
Once patch 5.0 goes live on 22nd June, Split will be removed but it will continue to be played until the Last Chance Qualifiers in esports.

Riot Games has been aggressively pushing out maps since the game’s release to ensure professional teams have two map bans in a best-of-five series. With Pearl being added as the newest map in Valorant, there are effectively eight Valorant maps. Riot Games wants to restrict the map pool to seven, and the map that will be moving out of the competitive and unrated playlists is Split.

How will the Valorant map rotations work?

Split will exit the map rotation from competitive and unrated queues from Patch 5.0 (22nd June) and there is no set date for the map to return. Until Pearl enters the competitive queue (Patch 5.0.1 on 12th July), there will be a temporary six map pool.

Split will exit the map rotation at esports events after the Last Chance Qualifiers in August 2022. The map will continue to be available in custom games, Spike Rush and other game modes. Joe “Pearl Hogbash” Lansford, who is Riot Games’ design lead from the Valorant maps team, revealed in a blog post that the change is a “good balance of variety and mastery for new and returning players.”

Why is Split being removed?

Lansford revealed that the maps team “looked at a bunch of different factors when making this decision. Player sentiment, time since release, past and future planned updates, what the map brings in terms of strategic variance, as well as where Pearl fits into all of it (to name a few). When we plugged all those numbers into the magic algorithm machine, we landed on Split. We’re pretty sure it will be back sometime in the future though.”

A lot of players dislike Split and it is unsurprising that the map is being removed from the pool. It is also one of the oldest maps in Valorant and it being removed over Icebox or other polarizing maps seems fair.

Why is Riot Games implementing a seven-map pool?

Riot Games feels that learning new maps can be one of the toughest aspects of a tactical shooter and having a fixed number of maps in the pool can help players not feel overwhelmed with new maps coming out every few months.

For players who love watching esports matches on Split, we will get another two months of esports events that shall feature Split including the Valorant Champions Tour Last Chance Qualifiers which conclude in August. The world championship (Valorant Champions) which will take place later this year will have the new map Pearl in the competitive pool and it will be a breath of fresh air to watch pro teams compete on a brand-new map.

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.