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The Real Reason Valorant Is Dropping Its Oldest Map

"Valorant" is making a big move in the live-service game scene. The game has gained a ton of popularity since its release and fans have grown to love the maps and Agents in the game. Riot is making the decision to cut one of the original maps from the game. As reported by PCGamer, the upcoming update, Episode 5, Act 2, is launching soon and is adding a new map, Pearl. With the addition of Pearl, Riot has decided that seven maps is still the sweet spot, so it is cutting Split.

Split was one of the three original "Valorant" maps and it has long been considered unbalanced, favoring defenders due to its layout. It had received some balance updates over time, but now it is getting sent to the vault for the foreseeable future. Design lead Joe Lansford told PCGamer that "Learning a new map can be one of the toughest parts of a [tactical] shooter. Going from 'learned' to 'mastered' is even harder. Doing that on a whole bunch of maps is a steep learning curve. Not to mention all the combinations of agents and utility." This isn't the first time something like this has happened, with "Valorant" losing the Replicants game mode temporarily. Lansford explained more about this decision in an interview.

Riot and professional Valorant players agreed on a seven map pool

Lansford addressed the fact that the general population might not consider Split the best option for removal. The fanbase has a general dislike for Fracture and Breeze as well, but those maps are newer than Split, PCGamer noted. Lansford said "We expect some of you to wish we chose another map, but we promise we are not picking on Split. 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)."

While some mistakes have resulted in Riot pulling Agents in the past, those changes were always temporary. If Riot is set on having only seven maps in the "Valorant," that likely means Split isn't coming back and more maps will get vaulted in the future. While fans are still processing the news, the main consensus seems to be that fans don't understand why the map is also being removed from unranked. The competitive playlist having a set map pool makes sense, but there is no reason the more casual playlist can't have more maps in rotation, fans concluded.