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Valorant: The problem with Icebox and how it can effectively ruin competitive matchmaking

Image Credits: Riot Games
Image Credits: Riot Games
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 23 Oct 2020, 13:23 IST
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There was a lot of hype surrounding Valorant’s Act 3. Not only did it come with a new map, but it even teased a brand new Agent called Skye, all set to arrive in the servers on 27th October.

However, Act 3 could not live up to community expectations, and Valorant’s patch 1.10 came with some of the most game-breaking bugs in this title.

The bug issues in the game, especially the stutter and visual delay, are making Valorant unplayable at the moment. But the problems with the new Act do not end there, as players are finding issues with the new map, Icebox, as well.

Don’t get us wrong; there really is nothing wrong with Icebox in terms of map design. It’s quite a unique map compared to the rest of the Valorant arenas, and its vast structure, with multiple site entry points, nerfs much of the Operator’s potential and doesn’t make it as defender-sided as the rest.

Icebox’s very design changes how gamers play the game, and the immense possibilities with vertical movement make it a very complicated map to learn.

The problem lies in the fact that a large portion of the Valorant community does not want to take out the time to learn it. 

Every time Icebox falls onto their map rotation, the players dodge queue, and because of this, many feel that the competitive match experience will get heavily impacted.

Players dodging Valorant’s Icebox will harm competitive matchmaking

Image Credits: Riot Games
Image Credits: Riot Games

In a recent Reddit post, a Valorant player who goes by the handle of natedawg247 noted how ranked matchmaking would be an 'absolute fiesta' once Icebox goes live in competitive.

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The Redditor wrote:

"I have played 15 unrated games since Icebox went live. I have played Icebox once. It takes ~3 lobbies before my game goes because everyone is perma dodging trying to get Icebox. I'm pretty much done with unrated now anyways as my friends are within close enough to play ranked together again now."
 "There will be so much toxicity for having no clue wtf is going on in Icebox. I still have zero clue how the map works. I know my team will flame me for feeding. Really seems like we need a separate queue."

This Reddit thread poses a serious issue, and the Valorant community does indeed feel that constantly dodging Icebox ruins the game's competitive health in the long run.

In one of the follow-up comments, a Redditor added:

"Icebox is like a complete 180 in terms of map design: its a bigger map, way more open, with thousands of angles and corners, and it also includes height difference to cover. It's a nightmare because it's unlike any of the other maps, and while I like they took this new approach, I'm kinda scared player opinion will shy them away from doing something like this again, leading to more boring designs."
"And I say this being a player that still can't for the life of me figure out a way to play this map without feeding hard…"
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Queue times in higher elos are incredibly long, and players dodging the Agent select screen does not help Riot Games curb any of it. 

If anything, a map like Valorant's Icebox, already challenging to play, makes things all the more frustrating for those who want to learn it.

Because of this, some even feel that Valorant's Icebox is not even remotely ready to go live in competitive matchmaking. A Redditor noted:

"12k hours of fps experience and don't mind Icebox, but the map IMO isn't ready for competitive play. 5x more angles than all the other maps combined with a level of verticality that's insane compared to what people are used to in a tactical fps (overpass, nuke)."
"If they worked on removing some angles on A and removed the ability to get on top of some boxes near B/Kitchen the map would be much more enjoyable to me personally. It's hard checking all ground-level angles while also having to watch out for players 10ft above you."

This is quite a severe issue that Valorant's Act 3 is facing at the moment, and Riot will either need to tweak a few things or delay the map for competitive matchmaking and give players some more time to learn it.

Published 23 Oct 2020, 13:23 IST
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