Valorant Episode 8 Map Rotation - Icebox to replace Haven

Valorant Episode 8 map rotation will happen on Jan 9th, and Icebox may replace Haven with the new episode.

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Valorant Episode 8 Map Rotation - Icebox may replace Haven

There are presently 10 standard maps in VALORANT, and learning the ins and outs of each one may be rather challenging. Fortunately, by concentrating on only seven maps at a time, a map rotation reduces player overwhelm by relieving them of the burden of memorizing techniques for every map simultaneously. Now, according to a new leak, Icebox may replace Haven in the competitive map pool in Valorant Episode 8.


UPDATE: Valorant Episode 8 Map Pool Revealed

Riot has finally unveiled the official map lineup for Episode 8 Act 1 in Valorant. Riot Games briefly removed and altered the maps Fracture, Pearl, and Icebox in September 2023, the last time the map pool in Valorant changed. Now, starting on January 10th, the upcoming competitive season will use this updated map pool.

This is a complete list of all the maps that will be playable in Valorant Episode 8 Act 1 of competitive modes:

  • Icebox
  • Lotus
  • Sunset
  • Breeze
  • Ascent
  • Bind
  • Split

As for the maps that would not be included in Valo EP 8 Act 1, the list includes Fracture, Haven, and Pearl.

In addition to revealing the new map pool for Act 1 of Episode 8, Riot also disclosed some details regarding possible modifications to some of the maps that will be accessible. Based on suggestions from experienced players, Icebox and Lotus will be adding new features to the map pool.

Changes to Icebox:

The majority of the changes concentrated on narrowing the central area by adding windows and raising storage containers. This minimizes hiding places and offers fresh viewpoints.

  • Attacker Spawn: When a fresh container is positioned on top of an old one, it overlooks the attacker spawn center. This position, which was once used to delay pushes, now provides enemies with an early advantage.
  • Middle Tunnel: A new window on the tunnel sidewall looks out onto the center lane. Attackers could once securely push up, but they are now visible as they approach.
  • Defender Tunnel: For new views, the roof of the defender tunnel features boxes and a window. There's also new container protection on the right side of the current glass above the snow pile.
  • B Site Access: A significant alteration was made to the path leading from the attacker's spawn to the B site. The view between the sides opened as the crouch-under container was lifted.
  • A Site Unchanged: Icebox's A site and its surrounding area have not been updated, despite changes occurring throughout the map. The map's left half is a complete mirror image of the one before it.

Changes to Lotus:


Valorant Episode 8 Map Rotation - Icebox may replace Haven

The competitive map pool may be changing once more at the start of Episode Eight, which is slated to begin on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, according to well-known VALORANT leaker ValorLeaks. It's possible that Haven will leave this new episode, with Icebox presumably taking its place in the rotation.

However, it is to be noted, that ValorLeaks did point out that another map from the competitive rotation, like Pearl and Fracture, might take Icebox's spot upon its return. However, Icebox has been on the competitive map list for the longest, which implies that it may finally be receiving the attention that the other well-liked choices in the game deserve.

When Patch 6.08 was released in April, Icebox was taken off of the competitive map rotation and replaced with Bind. When the choice was made, opinions among players were divided; some felt that the map needed too many changes to remain playable, while others were happy with the way it worked.

Conversely, since the game's release, Haven has been a mainstay in VALORANT's rotation and has never been taken out of the competitive map pool. The two maps that have been in the rotation since the beginning are Ascent and Haven, but by 2024, this small roster might get much smaller.

It's also unclear if Riot has changed Icebox significantly, much as how developers overhauled the Breeze before reintroducing it for competitive play. 

While the majority of the community was thrilled to see Icebox back, VALORANT players, notably those involved in esports, found it difficult to accept that Haven might be taken down in exchange for it—Ascent, in their opinion, ought to have been the obvious candidate for removal. 

Former M80 IGL Alexander "Zander" Dituri tweeted, "Anyone that plays this video game understands how boring and one-dimensional Ascent is." As was to be expected, nearly every member of the community agreed with Zander. There were also several other anti-Ascent tweets and comments on Reddit.

As Riot has not yet verified the modifications to the map rotation in VALORANT's Episode Eight, you should take this leak with caution and consider the possibility that the leak is inaccurate. There's a wave of support for keeping Haven and removing Ascent, with sentiments that Ascent's gameplay lacks variety and depth.

Having a large number of maps is a steep learning curve, and mastering them is much more difficult. Seven is a good sweet spot, according to the developers, that delivers both expertise and variation. Starting with VALORANT, new players will have less to learn, and seasoned players won't need to pick up any new maps

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Valorant Sunset - Episode 7 map

However, Riot has yet to confirm the map rotation changes for VALORANT's Episode 8, so there remains a chance that the leak might not be accurate. It's wise to approach the leaked information with caution until it's officially confirmed.

Keep visiting for more updates and Valorant news.

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