Riot Games apparently gave us our first official peek at a new Valorant map called Ascent in the background of a recent developer update video.
Devs have already confirmed that Valorant will be getting a fourth map – in addition to Haven, Bind, and Split – before the end of the game’s beta period.
After datamined information was shared on Reddit that revealed the new stage’s mini-map as well as the name “Ascent,” we got our first look at the map proper in a video from Riot on April 13.
Timestamp in the below video at 2:45 for mobile viewers.
The apparent shots of Ascent are only shown for a few seconds altogether, but the brief shots we do get of the map doesn't look like any other stage in Valorant right now.
Combine this with the fact that the mini-map in the top left of the dev video is a dead ringer for the one datamined previously, and it would certainly seem that we're indeed looking at the back of the defender's spawn on Ascent.
How do we know it's the defender's spawn we're looking at, you may be asking? Their spawn rooms will always be closer to the points to allow for set up of defences during the buy phase.
At first glance Ascent seems to be more like Split or Bind with only two points of attack, compared to the three points on Haven. There's sure to be some kind of unique gimmick or feature that will set it apart from the other three maps, but it's hard to tell what it could be from just the shots in the video.
Along with a mini-map, various textures including scaffolding and construction equipment were also datamined from the game's files.
As we said, the map is only shown for a good few seconds and even then, it's only the back of the defender's spawn, but in the right-hand corner very briefly, you can definitely see some construction scaffolding, just like the leak said.
The map will be Italian themed and set in the city of Venice, just like Rialto is in Overwatch, with models for gondola boats, pizza shops, street lamps, and more already mined.
A lot of Valorant's promo art and pre-beta trailers feature images of a Venice-looking backdrop, so to have a map set in the Italian city would make a lot of sense.
Лето 2020 pic.twitter.com/A7BnCpGhFV
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) March 2, 2020
Riot has indicated it would like to bring Valorant out of Beta for a full release sometime this Summer, with two more agents and the new map arriving before then.
Exactly when we'll see the new map remains unknown, but if developers are already teasing us with shots like this, a release date for Ascent probably isn't too far off.