A Valorant developer gave weight to the idea of map-specific queues after Icebox’s mixed reception made it difficult for some to get any meaningful practice on the map.
Icebox has been a divisive addition to Valorant. There are some members of the community who swear it’s a great example of a tactical map that demands a thoughtful approach to Agent ability usage; and there are others who believe it’s the worst map to grace the game.
Unfortunately, people in either camp share the same matchmaking playlist. This presents a problem, at times, in which people who want to play Icebox can matchmake with someone else who will then dodge that particular map.
Luckily, there are discussions within Riot Games for a solution that could include special playlists that feature specific maps.
“Could you please put a separate queue so that we can quickly get some experience,” a message to Riot said. “I found it hard to get used to Icebox because people keep dodging so I can’t rack up the hours to get used to the map.”
Riot Insight and Strategy dev on Valorant, Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm, responded with an encouraging word, noting how the idea is “a great suggestion and it’s something we’ve talked about ourselves as well.”
One of the last times Riot addressed map selection playlists was back in July, when Senior Producer Ian Fielding said from a competitive standpoint, separating the matchmaking pool wasn’t ideal for players.
“Splitting up matchmaking into separate map pools would reduce the overall players in our matchmaking pool,” Fielding said in an Ask Valorant blog. “Which not only slows down matchmaking, but makes it more difficult for us to produce fair matches.
“Given that, we currently don’t have plans to enable map specific selection for Matchmaking.”
As disappointed as some players might have been, Altombre’s update has given some hope that Valorant could one day include these smaller matchmaking queues.
Although who’s to say it would look anything like the kind found in CS:GO. In League of Legends, Riot has people lock in a primary and secondary role to choose which one they get in a match.
In some instances, a player won’t get either. Moreover, if the system determines there’s a lack of sufficient players queuing for a certain role, then the game offers a brief reward for anyone willing to fill it.
A general idea like that could be applied to Valorant’s maps. Although tweaked to fit the concept, that could be a solution to let people choose which two locales they prefer, while maintaining the possibility of getting any map at the end of the day.
In either case, it sounds like Riot wants to tackle this issue in some capacity soon, and hopefully it results in a meaningful quality of life update for Valorant.