Split returns to VALORANT competitive map rotation

written by xrq January 9, 2023 at 12:35pm
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As a part of the sneak peeks being released in the run up to the first update of 2023, patch 6.0, VALORANT developers have revealed to players that a fan favourite map will be returning to the Rated and Unrated modes. On January 10, we will see Split make its return alongside the beginning of Episode 6. Split will be making its return alongside the just-revealed Lotus map, featuring three-bombsites and other new features. The VALORANT team have taken to Twitter to reveal previews of the changes being made to the map, gathering over 1 million views within the first 4 hours of the post going live.

Split returns to VALORANT with a slight makeover

Both the A and B sites have been altered and changes in mid, while not hugely significant compared to the changes to the sites, are part of the rework.

Beginning with the changes to A Site, Rafters has had a portion of its platform area cut off, changing the dynamic of both attack and defense by weakening the functionality that the area had, forcing players to fight on the ground in that position rather than on the elevated surface. Additionally, A site will be seeing changes with the attacker-sided Box spot. It is no longer possible to gain line of sight onto A Site from the top of the box, as its width has been reduced. This again forces the attackers to play a more ground-based attack as the opportunity for height variability is lessened.

Moving across the map, Mid Bottom saw one change: the removal of a small ledge by the stairs. This change may appear to not alter anything about the way the map is played, however it removes the ability to perform a ‘crouch-jump’ movement which if performed correctly allowed players to jump on top of the box on the right side of the image. The removal of this is unlikely to have vast effects on the game as the spot was viable in very niche situations. However, there has been backlash regarding this change. One person who was very vocal about this particular change is the VALORANT caster and analyst Ballatw (@Ballatw on Twitch).

“You can’t do the skill jump anymore? Why?” and goes on to ask, “Why do game devs do this? They continuously remove things that make your skill obvious.” This opinion suggests that this is an unhealthy change for the map as it reduces the skill ceiling for mid play to a certain extent. However, in general it is unlikely to greatly alter the way the map is played as Ballatw also questioned the alterations in the clip above, asking, “This is all they changed?”

Unlike Mid, B Site has seen some changes that appear to be more impactful. A trash can and some trash beside it were removed from behind the box on B Tower that once allowed players to stand on top of the box. Again, like A Site, opportunities for height variability are being reduced. Below B Tower on Site, the raised Cubby has been horizontally expanded, now providing much more space for players to control on both attack and defense. The area now is expanded to a length that appears to align with the central pillar of B Site.

Overall, the changes to the map are not vastly game-changing, but they hopefully will result in greater balance upon the map’s long-awaited return. The reoccurring pattern appears to be a reduction in chances to play unpredictable heights, which causes crosshair placement and map knowledge to be even more important when on this map in Competitive Play as height is now more easily anticipated, allowing the optimal playstyle to be more formulaic on what was once one of the more erratically played maps.

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