Valorant is removing Split from the map pool

by Pierre Bell

The map should hopefully return sometime in future, but there's no telling when.

The loading screen for Valorant map, Split, is shown.

Valorant revealed a lot of fresh information about what to expect from the upcoming Act 1 of Episode 5, which kicks off on June 22. Not only did they reveal a new underwater map, PEARL, but they also announced some changes to the map pool were being made, and this includes the removal of Split.

In this video, myself and Dorrani discuss our first impressions of new Valorant map, PEARL.

Via the PlayValorant blog, design lead for the maps team, Joe "Pearl Hogbash" Lansford, explained the decision.

After the introduction of Fracture last year, it appears the Valorant team were very excited to finally have seven maps in rotation. Having seven maps would allow tournament best-of-5's to be able to select two map bans and then play out their tourney without repeating any maps.

The introduction of PEARL means that the map pool now consists of eight different maps. After working with their esports team, surveying players, and working alongside other professional organisations, Lansford shared that the team have decided to keep a seven map pool, and Split will be the first to be rotated out.

A small area of the underwater Valorant map, PEARL, can be seen. This is the mid plaza area of the new Valorant map, Split.

What's the thought process behind this? Why do we need seven maps? Well, Lansford delves into the lucky number seven, "learning a new map can be one of the toughest parts of a tac shooter. Going from “learned” to “mastered” is even harder."

"The team thinks seven is a nice sweet spot that offers both variety and mastery. You don’t have to spend all your time learning new angles, lineups, and strategies. New players will have an easier onboarding experience. And pro teams get to have deeper, more exciting playbooks. Win, win, win," Lansford continues.

While Split will be removed from Unrated and Competitive queues as of the launch of Episode 5 on June 22, this isn't the complete end of Split. The map will still appear in alternate game modes such as Spike Rush, and can be played in Customs.

The decision to remove Split comes after analysing a bunch of different factors. Lansford lists that "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," are just a handful of reasons as to why Split has been the first map to be rotated out of the pool.

Finally, Lansford does share that they're sure the map will return in future. No doubt, in place of another map, but at least this isn't the complete end of Split.