VALORANT Map Tier List 2022

VALORANT was inaugurated with only four maps in 2020. Almost 2 years later, players are finally getting the taste of Riot’s full ambition with the game. 

During the Beta stage, VALORANT had only three maps: Bind, Haven & Split. Ascent was rolled out with the global launch of VALORANT. Considering the game officially took off with four maps, the progression hasn’t been impressive so far, although almost every map received some sort of reworks & adjustments after release. 

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General Map structures in VALORANT 

Riot focuses on delivering unique experiences. Thus, their map design features bits and pieces from everything. While the developers try to maintain a balance between realism & performance, they also have to please the enthusiastic audience somehow. While trying so, they’ve attached dark & mysterious twists from the VALORANT lore behind each map. 

VALORANT Map Tier List 

VALORANT Map Tier List 
VALORANT Map Tier List 2022
TierMap
S-TierAscent 
A-TierHaven, Bind  
B-TierIcebox, Split 
C-TierBreeze
D-TierFracture

S-Tier

Ascent

Released alongside the launch of VALORANT, Ascent is definitely the most balanced map in the game. First-person shooters require balance above everything since there will be multiple sides gunning to complete some objectives. Starting from aesthetics, Ascent features everything the players need.

Ascent’s level design provides enough room for players to carefully plan site executes while leaving sufficient room for retreat if necessary. As for the defenders, Ascent can be a beautiful map to plan defensive strategies as it allows strong connections between both sites. The Mid area of the map is carefully designed to give an edge to whoever has control over it.

Besides Mid, Ascent’s bomb-sites present opportunities for both sides. Depending on the timing, any team can take or retake the bomb sites in a matter of seconds. Ascent gives plenty of room for the players to play post-plan, retake, anti-flash, or execute. Most importantly, the map is highly flexible with agents, so players can freely try out any meta they wish.

A-Tier

Haven

Haven was one of the three maps to play during the Beta phase. Players initially had mixed reactions towards Haven as it goes against the traditional two default bomb-sites of most FPS games. Since the Haven features three bomb-sites, defending them is a challenging task; however, the attacking side on Haven is sometimes tricky as all the entrances to the bomb sites are pretty narrow.

Most of the site entrances are choke points & ideal positions for Controllers players to place their utilities. So, attacking still requires a good amount of planning & coordination from the players, especially the IGL. A good in-game leader can utilize all the routes and perks of Haven, while a random competitive lobby might suffer from a lack of coordination. 

Unless you happen to be on Team Liquid with a zero dullest composition for Haven, the map generally doesn’t allow agent flexibility.

Bind  

Similar to Haven, Bind was also introduced during the Beta stage. Bind is truly unique as it features teleport facilities for players to quickly rotate around the map. In addition to these “portals,” Bind sites recently received some minor modifications, improving the map’s overall balance. 

In Patch 4.0, Bind’s A short & A site has been modified to favor the attackers more. Initially, the choke point was too difficult for the attackers to get through. Now it’s easier & less time-consuming to perform quick executes on the A site. Although, the Mid/Market area of the map is still a huge disappointment for the players. 

Bind’s B site features a pretty one-dimensional route of attack. However, the site itself has a complicated design & it’s really hard to retake. Once inside, it’s also tough to perform rotation from the B site, favoring the defender’s rotation. However, the portals can be used as shortcuts to trick the opponent. 

B-Tier

Split

Based in neo-futuristic Japan, Split’s level design is heavily focused to favor the defenders. Split is congested, small & unpredictable yet beautiful. The map offers little room for IGL’s to develop lengthy strategies. Needless to say, it’s a fast-paced map by design with extensive opportunities for players to experiment with different metas.

Split received some tweaks during the first quarter of 2021. The changes made to the map were monumental as pro teams quickly started to pick the map more often. However, in the casual-tier of the VALORANT community, Split remained the same headache for the majority of the players. 

Agents like Raze, Sage, Killjoy & Cypher are absolutely necessary for any team composition on Split. However, the map doesn’t allow for agent flexibility & teams usually adapt to whatever meta is available. However, developing any new meta on Split is difficult due to the presence of multiple choke points throughout the map.

Icebox

Icebox is arguably the most chaotic place to enjoy VALORANT. Since its release in the last quarter of 2020, Icebox received a plethora of criticism from the players & analysts of the game. Icebox is unforgiving, huge & abstract, and players are expected to adapt to the map at a slow pace.

After its release, pros were concerned about the general design of the map. Icebox was unbalanced, risky & totally unlike anything that the fans were expecting. Soon after, Riot took note and released a patch to transform the map into a more friendly place for both sides. Some tricky changes were brought to improve gameplay during Patch 1.14. 

One positive side of the map is its agent flexibility. Icebox welcomes any meta, thus pro teams often experiment with uncommon agent compositions. Even during official VCT events, some teams were willing to test risky compositions on the map. Aside from these facts, Icebox is aesthetically pleasing & has a unique fanbase.

C-Tier 

Breeze

Breeze features large bomb-sites, wide-open Mid & multiple routes to access any sites. Riot made Breeze to please the spectators of VCT events. With less attention paid to the map itself, Breeze had some critical flaws from the beginning. Both bomb-sites of the map felt unfinished, rough & hurriedly developed. 

However, realizing the community’s desire, Riot finally revised the A & B sites along with some other areas of the map. Now, Breeze is no longer an attacker paradise anymore as the choke points are now easier to control from the defending side.    

Breeze is undoubtedly an eye-pleasing map. Teams have somewhat free space to evaluate different metas, but agents like Sova, Skye or Killjoy will always be crucial in the map. Information is key in Breeze, as it’s impossible to assume where the opponents will flank, lurk, or organize defenses.

D-Tier

Fracture

Fracture is the latest map released by Riot. It’s extremely similar to Split & Icebox in every way. After having so many debates & arguments about Icebox & Breeze, VALORANT players were simply too tired to complain about yet another surprising move from Riot. Hence, Fracture is now a vital part of VALORANT’s competitive scene. 

The map has huge upsides & downsides, although the downsides sometimes become obstacles. Fracture’s bomb sites are overcomplicated at best. With such hard-to-navigate sites, Fracture also has long Ziplines for rotation, but those are half as effective as the portals on Bind. Agent flexibility is an option on the map, but it’s a risky business for the pro teams.   

Aside from such a gimmick, Fracture is a Pandora’s Box for the enthusiasts since it features the most amount of visible lore-related clues scattered all over the map. Fracture’s design doesn’t allow any side to have an advantage over the other, but it’s possible to play passive & anti-flash in the map and waste utilities of your opponents in the process. 

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Pro-Picks & VCT presence

In the professional sphere of VALORANT, the original four maps are still highly favored over the newer maps. During the recent Stage 1 Challengers for VCT 2022 worldwide, teams showed more interest in maps like Haven, Bind, or Ascent than any other. Although there are many expectations & some underdog teams tend to surprise their opponents by picking Breeze or Fracture, the majority of them prefer the Beta-era maps.

As the player base continues to grow, Riot will definitely release more maps in the future. But, it’s important to keep the “Competitive FPS” part of VALORANT alive if Riot tends to attract more teams to join VALORANT’s pro-scene. The Casual player base also requires maps that are easy to learn & play, so that should also be a priority for Riot.

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