VALORANT Competitive Map Pool: An Analysis

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Modified  29 May, 17:39
Reading time  ~14  mins

VALORANT came out to the public spotlight in June of 2020, featuring 3 unique maps for Agents to battle it out on. Since then, we’ve seen the release of 5 additional maps, and many, many changes on them. In this article, we hope to take a look at the current VALORANT map pool, and its state in the competitive circuit.

Setting the foundation

We shall take a look at how each map has been played in 3 major VALORANT esport regions: Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. We shall look into the history of the map and its defining characteristics and features. We hope to look at their play-rates, plus their prospects in terms of Attack/Defense. As well as looking at must picks and the most popular comps on each map.

We considered a grand total of 3278 games for our study, over the span of a month. The stats were all recorded on March 16.

As the stats were taken right after the Controller update of March, 2022, we are yet to see some of the implications of the update. We haven’t had enough games on the new patch to establish some of the patterns in the data. Agent compositions are at risk of change, with more games being played on the new patch and with players figuring out how to approach the maps with the updated controllers.

*All stats are taken from www.rib.gg and used with permission.

The Map Pool

VALORANT currently features 7 maps in the map pool:

  • Ascent
  • Bind
  • Breeze
  • Haven
  • Icebox
  • Split
  • Fracture

Each of the following maps provides something completely unique to the VALORANT map pool and only furthers the possibilities players can undertake with in the permutations of the game.

Lets say, on Fracture we have possibly the most unorthodox map layout in tactical FPS history. And yet it plays out most interestingly, whilst also providing a unique way to play the game and a new perspective, on VALORANT in general.

On that note, take a look at Breeze. Prior to Breeze’s addition in the map pool, Viper wasn’t used as prominently as she is today. The unique layout of the bombsites, forced players into the Viper pick, along with extremely strong buffs, and since that moment on players have learnt that Viper is a great pick to use in other maps aswell.

VALORANT maps so far, have been more than just maps. They’re not just differently coloured boxes scattered in different settings where two set of teams shoot each other, they’ve inherently much grander in the setting. They’re king makers, game changers and one of the most unique things about VALORANT yet.

Ascent

Ascent is a three-laned map known to heavily resemble a classic “counter-strike” map. Ascent has toggle-able door switches which can open and close doors on both A and B sites. It features a prominent middle lane, leading into both sites via Mid-Market and A-short.

  • Ascent has been largely unchanged since release, making it one of the more stable maps in the current map pool. The map has had two updates to it, out of which both were largely minor changes that barely affected how the map was played.
  • Ascent is one of the most played maps in the game. Out of all the matches we considered; Ascent was 19.4% of all of them. Only Haven has been played more, and by the smallest margin.
  • Ascent is quite a defender-sided map, with defenders winning 52.9% of all rounds played. The Attack side is quite difficult to play, due to easy fights the Defenders can take at A-main and B-main both with little utility, and with the ability to fight all of mid consistently with a good OP user in the team.

The most popular composition on Ascent is:

This composition has been played in 33.8% of all Ascent games in the last month. With a double initiator combo, this composition allows the most flexibility and adaptability of most compositions. It gives the attackers plenty of information and initiating ability, and also provides avenues of defense by utilising the aggression that the initiators comboed with the Jett can help facilitate.

Bind

Bind is a two-bombsite map, known to not feature a prominent middle lane in the map. It has two teleporters that allow for very fast rotations, and mind games to be played. It has two bombsites, and both bomb sites have two avenues of approach to them.

  • Bind again, like the other classic maps has not seen much change to it. In recent updates, they’ve changed penetration of some of the boxes on site, and changed A-short slightly with the addition of a bench and haystack.
  • Bind is the fourth most played map at 14.1% of 3278 maps played.
  • Bind in its current state is one of the most balanced out maps, with a 50.1% attack win rate as compared to 49.9% defence win rate.

The most popular composition on Bind is:

Bind, like Ascent currently favours double initiator comps, with usually an addition of a Viper in place of a traditional sentinel. This comp has been seen to be played 10.5% of all times Bind has been played. This comp does not feature Jett, with Raze replacing it as the superior duelist on Bind. However, many compositions have been seen to be viable on Bind.

Breeze

Breeze is a two bomb-site wide open map set for long range gun fights. Breeze has been an interesting map addition to the map pool, causing teams to experiment with many relatively newer things on the map. It features a one way drop, and a switch that can close or open a door similar to the one in Ascent.

  • Breeze has seen significant changes since release. They have changed up the dimensions of A-site, changed up how to approach A-site from A main completely, narrowing down the entrances and allowing defenders to play close 50-50 angles.

    They have also completely reworked B-site allowing the defenders ample opportunity to play different angles, and have some sort of cover on site. They also added a box on the B-default to afford more protection to the bomb planter on the Attacking side.
  • Breeze is one of the lowest played maps at an 11.5% play rate out of the total 3278 maps considered. More and more teams have been picking up every week since release, and a lot of teams have stopped insta-banning it in vetoes after the recent changes.
  • Breeze was at one point of the most heavily Attack-sided maps. At release, it felt suffocating to play this map as a Defender and the quality of play wasn’t as good relatively. However, in recent times, Breeze has seen a 51.5% Attack side win rate, which all things considered isnt horrible. The map has been balanced fairly with the changes and now feels much more intuitive to play.

The most popular composition on Breeze is:

This composition has been played 27.7% of all times Breeze has been played. It provides significant playmaking initiation in the Skye flashes, and information with both the Sova and Skye. Chamber can either solo lock-down B site, or make it significantly easier to Hold A without being sandwiched. Viper serves as the controller and pseudo sentinel on the defending site.

Most compositions on Breeze follow the same pattern of Viper as the solo-controller, with two initiators, usually a Sova supplemented by either a Kayo or a Skye. The one duelist at the moment is Jett, but as teams learn to play Neon we could see change. The sentinel here is Chamber, but a significant number of teams do pick Cypher over him.

Haven

Haven is a three bomb-site map with a diverse set of bomb sites. The attackers have 4 contact spots with the defenders; in Garage, Middle, A-Lobby, and C-long.

  • Haven, again like the classic maps, has not seen much change. It has remained pretty much the same with the exception of a few changes in the wall penetration for a few boxes.
  • Haven is the most played VALORANT map in recent times. It has a pick rate of 20.3% which is roughly one in every 5 games of professional VALORANT played. Considering we have 7 maps to begin with, that's a lot of times Haven is played.
  • Haven is a heavily Attack-sided map with Attackers having a 52.6% win rate over all rounds considered. This is one of the higher numbers, falling behind only Split’s defensive win rate.

The most popular composition on Haven is:

This is by far the most picked composition on Haven at 16.6%. Most comps on Haven feature a similar core of Astra, Killjoy, Jett with the last two being filled out with two initiators. Most teams do feature Breach, Sova and Killjoy but some teams have started picking up Kayo as well.

Breach is extremely strong on Haven with his flashes and stuns providing great value on the long lanes and close corners of Haven. Killjoy is staple on Haven with her ability to lockdown either A solo, lockdown both Garage-Mid or Garage and C. Astra also provides a ton of value with her utility across this large map, allowing for lots of set plays, and fast executions on the Attacking side.

Icebox

Icebox was the 5th official map added into the map pool, with it peculiarly featuring quite a bit of verticality.

  • Icebox has seen a lot of change since its release. It has been one of the most improved maps in the map pool. Icebox on release had a completely different B-bomb site and A-site aswell. Out of all the changes that can be found here, the most significant are the rework to the B-bomb site. The B bombsite has been changed completely to allow for more plays by the defence, whilst also maintaining its identity of a open bombsite with barely any cover to plant.

    The dimensions of the Yellow box have been changed and so has the orientation. The actual bombsite itself has been changed to allow for more cover inside the site, whilst also changing how the top floor was previously. The entrance to B-main and Garage was also reworked to allow two different avenues of entry and provide some pathability for the Attacking side.
  • Icebox has a pick rate of 16.35%, which is one of the higher pickrates in game at the minute. Icebox has been played quite extensively, with only a few teams banning it since the release of Fracture and Breeze.
  • Icebox is a heavily attack-favouring map, with 52.3% of rounds being on won on the attacking side.With the amount of pathways attackers can take whilst approaching the B-site, and with the amount of value the Sova drone and recon arrow bring out on this map, attacking both A and B site becomes easier than defending it.

The most popular composition on Icebox is the following:

The following composition provides quite al ot of defensive prowess, and stall ability to a heavily Attacking-sided map. Chamber is necessary to lockdown either the B site or parts of Mid, allowing the Defence to rotate more freely and defend points of contact. Sage is extremely strong for her ability to wall plant, and also get lots of cheeky off-angles and not to mention her Resurrection. Viper is the staple controller on this map, providing great walls to block both A and B and very strong post plant capability.

Fracture

Fracture is the latest addition to the VALORANT map pool. It is an extremely unique take on the usual tactical FPS defuse map, with the Attackers starting out at two different spawn points and converging into the two bomb-sites which are relatively central in the map. It features a map wide zipline and 4 ultimate orbs that can be picked up.

  • Fracture due to its only very recent release has not seen much change to it. It remains fairly the same as how it arrived into the game.
  • Fracture has a 6% pick rate in the current month. This is the lowest play rate of any map in the pool so far. Far too many teams use it as an instaban opting to play maps they are more comfortable on so far.
  • Fracture is fairly balanced, with it favouring the defence side very slightly. The defensive side on Fracture wins 50.5% of all rounds. Fracture provides ample space for Defenders to aggress and find picks, and also the ability to sandwich attackers by pushing both sides of the map. There are also a lot of great angles to play as a defender on this map. However the multitude of paths to simply approach the bombsites helps the Attackers. This leads to a fairly balanced game.

The most popular composition on Fracture is:

This composition is the most played at a solid 19.5%. The next closest composition is at 8.2%. Breach and Chamber feel like an essential on this map due to their utility and Chambers ability to hold off parts of the map, providing information and ability to rotate.

Chamber’s ultimate also has a ton of value, and his ability to make aggressive plays can never be underestimated in general. Raze is generally preferred as the solo duelist due to her kit and exceptional ability in closed corners. Two controllers are picked in Viper and Astra due to their pseudo-sentinel ability whilst also allowing their team to properly control the map.

Split

Split is one of the first maps that VALORANT was released with. It is a close-corner heavy map with two bomb-sites.

  • Split is one of the only classic maps to receive significant changes. Split during initial release was extremely Defender-sided, which to some point still it still remains. Mid was completely reworked, with vent room being made easier to approach for the Attackers. Many 50-50 angles were reworked in order to allow less corners for Defenders to just sit in. B site was also changed a bit to allow for a B-main plant which was not possible earlier. A ramp and Heaven was reworked considerably.
  • Split is one of the lesser played maps at a solid 12.1% playrate. It is far from the lowest however, and most teams have started playing it.
  • Split is the most heavily one-sided map in VALORANT at the minute, with it favouring the defenders 53.2% of the time. Although reworked heavily, the defensive-sidedness of the map has not been completely erased. The defenders find it easy to hold major portions of the map, and the rotations are not as long as some other maps. Most post plants are harder to play than other maps.

Split is the map in which we’ve seen the most variety of compositions. The most popular composition is:

This composition is the most popular at a whopping 6.2%! That's far from the numbers we’ve seen on other maps. Teams have been running a double controller, solo duelist, initiator and sentinel composition on Split. Viper as always provides a lot of value taking control of spaces on the Default on the Attack side, whilst also providing so much stalling power and control on defense. Astra was a must pick, and Chamber as usual is the go-to sentinel.

Raze shows off her potential in a map with such close corners and close ranged fights. Breach has the same perks on such a map, giving off so many places where he can use his blinds and stuns.

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CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
Copyright © 2022 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.
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