After a couple of weeks of speculation, Riot Games has released a new Valorant map called Icebox. The developer posted a video on its official channel with some details, indicating the map will be released together with Act 3, which will launch next week.
The official reveals video showcases a map covered by snow and tundra, bringing a whole new chilling environment to the game.
Riot has seemingly answered the complaints it has received from both competitive and casual players about the game’s limited map pool. With only four maps in rotation (Ascent, Bind, Split, and Haven), worries arose that Valorant’s gameplay may become too repetitive too fast.
The map itself features a giant battleship on the side of the map and some kind of dockyard with massive shipping containers. Following in line with the other maps, it looks like Icebox will have a unique movement aspect to the map. There’s a big building with multiple floors on the other side of the map, complete with ropes that appear to act like ziplines.
With Ascent’s trap doors, Bind’s teleporters, Haven’s three bomb sites, and Split’s ropes could ziplines be Icebox’s unique trait?
Apart from Icebox, Riot has announced other important changes coming to the game with Act III. Most notably, players will now be queued with players closer to their rank. The range has been reduced from six tiers to three. Moreover, the rank progression for Immortal and beyond will be purely impacted by wins or losses and the outcome of a match.
Players will also be able to select their preferred server for the best ping possible.
All of Valorant’s Act III Competitive changes will go live on October 13th.
The map addition to Valorant comes only a few weeks after Riot announced the First Strike championship. First Strike will be the first regional tournament organized by Riot in Valorant, and looks to be the first step in inching the game’s competitive structure to that of the highly successful one implemented into League of Legends.
First Strike will take place in Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America, and Brazil. To qualify, teams will have to earn points at various events organized in their region — just like the Ignition Series. The eight teams with the most points win the right to take part in the First Strike tournament itself, which will be played between December 3 and 6.