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You've Been Playing Valorant's Ascent Map All Wrong

When first-person shooter Valorant launched after the closed beta, Riot added a fourth map to the mix: Ascent. According to the developers, "Ascent was one of the very first maps that we put together on Valorant and was the place where we developed and refined much of the core gameplay that you experience today."

The team put a lot of thought into Ascent's production and it has evolved with the game over the course of several years. The setting evokes medieval Italy, and sprang from the concept that a piece of the country had been "ripped out of the ground and thrown into the sky." Built to act as a baseline for future maps, Ascent offers a defense-oriented, three-lane layout often associated with tactical games. It also features a central tower, a Clean Zone, high and low regions, and plenty of points of interest. 

Because of the unique ideas layered into the map, Ascent provides some exciting gameplay. However, if you're not taking advantage of those design concepts, you might be playing Ascent all wrong.

Control Mid

Whether you play offense or defense, you need to control the middle ground. No previous Valorant maps have included a large area like this for open gameplay — and while it may seem to allow for too many angles and random pick-off shots, the opportunities presented by this space are also endless.

Such an area tends to favor skill and strategy in addition to the character abilities that work well in more constricted spaces. This allows you to be aggressive. Plus, if you control Mid, you open up both A and B Sites. Make sure to assign at least a couple players to this zone since it's a key factor to winning the game.

Certain Valorant agents possess special abilities that help you control the mid, such as Brimstone's smokes. As YouTuber Dragonmar points out, smokes cut off line of sight, forcing your enemies into places where you have the advantage. You should smoke strategic entrances to restrict their access to the midlane. Viper's poison orbs are also useful for the same purpose.

Know your doors

One of the elements Valorant players haven't seen before in a map are doors that open and shut. This new mechanic, though it seems commonplace, actually affects gameplay in a significant way. Learn what you can about the doors in Ascent: you never know when it might spell the difference between victory and disaster.

There are two metal doors — one in Site A, and one in Site B. You can toggle the doors open and closed using switches on both sides, making this an easy way to block your enemies for a bit. However, the doors are not particularly solid and can be shot at or stabbed and broken. The doors change color based on how much damage they've taken, and a red door is done for. Once they are demolished, the doors can't be reinstated until the end of a round.

The doors make an audible noise when they open, close, or get destroyed, so listen for that. Also, it takes a few seconds for a door to close completely, so your friends and opponents have a bit of time before they're blocked. The order to open or close can't be canceled, though. Be careful not to close yourself off from your allies!