The limited map pool in Valorant has been a hot topic since launch, though Riot Games has its sights set on adding two more maps to the mix much sooner than you might have expected.
The earliest versions of Valorant launched with just three maps. Bind, Haven, and Split are the battlegrounds players first became familiar with. Before long, Ascent was introduced and just days ago, Icebox was also added in.
Given early criticisms of the small map pool, Riot pivoted its development plans. Rather than focusing on various other content, map design became a top priority. We take community requests seriously,” Senior Producer Dexter Yu said on Oct. 10. Just weeks later and Game Director Joe Ziegler has now echoed that sentiment.
With five maps in the game, it appears Riot isn’t content just yet. In fact, the next two maps have been “accelerated” in order to flesh out the variety of maps sooner rather than later.
We don’t have enough [maps] right now, we’ll be the first to admit it,” Ziegler told pro player Oscar ‘Mixwell’ Canellas. However, Riot is “trying to accelerate the next few maps.” This means that the original schedule has been overhauled so that Valorant can keep up with community demand.
“We feel like getting to seven is a good starting point,” he added. Reaching this number would establish a solid foundation to then consider a map pick/ban system, according to Ziegler. “Once we get past that, we can begin really thinking if we’re going to leave maps out of the competitive map pool.”
With seven maps in play, the competitive side of Valorant could benefit a great deal. Best of five matchups could avoid doubling up on certain maps. Not to mention the ranked playlist could see more strategy before Agent lineups are even picked.
“Right now we’re sort of thinking about how do we get to the point of having about seven, just to start off that conversation.”
The relevant topic begins at the 18:00 mark below.
Ziegler didn’t provide any further details on a specific timeline for the two additional maps. With Icebox only just launching, however, they could still be a ways off.
Keep your eyes peeled for any teasers on social media as the current Episode comes to a close. You never know what Riot might be hinting at.