Riot Games is removing one of Valorant’s more popular maps next week from some of the FPS game’s most popular modes.
The developer has revealed in a blog post (opens in new tab) that Split will be rotated out of competitive and unranked playlists “for now” as they want to keep their map pool at seven. While we’ve been sitting at that number for a while now, the incoming Pearl map will take us to eight, which is why Riot Games is acting early.
“We expect some of you to wish we chose another map, but we promise we are not picking on Split,” level designer Joe Lansford says. “We 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,” Lansford continues, “we’re pretty sure it will be back sometime in the future though. Maybe even with some tweaks?”
Split is exiting competitive and unrated queues on June 22 when patch 5.0 launches, so you have until then to enjoy it. Pearl isn’t due to join ranked mode until July 16 with patch 5.01, though, so Valorant is running with a temporary six-map pool until then. Split will still be playable in Spike Rush, custom games, and other game modes, so it’s not exiting the game entirely.
Meanwhile, Pearl is a Portuguese-themed map set on Omega Earth, which is a first for the game. The map is designed around three lanes and is surrounded by water, though you won’t have any map-specific mechanics to deal with.
The new map is being added to Valorant on June 22, though you’ll have to play a Pearl-only queue to try it out. Riot Games explains that the limited-time mode will only be sticking around for two weeks and is designed to give players a chance to get used to the new map.
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