Valorant will welcome the much-anticipated Indian map, Lotus, to its well-thought seven-map rotation pool next week. It is the ninth map to be added to the competitive first-person shooter game, and will be deployed alongside Split, via the new competitive frame - Episode 6 Act 1 - on January 10, 2023 (PT).
With the ongoing Episode 5 Act 3's imminent conclusion, the popular tactical shooter will embrace a new episode and its first act to continue its competitive legacy. Players will not only get to dive into a refreshed competitive queue, but will also see a brand new Battlepass, ready to instantly enhance their inventory.
As per Riot Games' announcement, the ongoing competitive phase will reach the finish line on January 10, 2023. The new Episode 6 Act 1 will begin a few hours later, once the developers finish conducting their pre-patch server maintenance.
Exploring Valorant's new map, Lotus: Release times, features, and more
Valorant's sixth episode will introduce some highly influential changes to the existing map meta. For starters, popular offerings Bind and Breeze will exit the current rotation.
To fill the gap, the developers will reintroduce Split, the fan-favorite map that was removed to accommodate Pearl in Episode 5's rotation. It will return with a few changes, while the new offering, Lotus, will be added to complete the seven-map policy.
Both these maps will be available in Valorant once the new episode kicks off. As mentioned before, the developers will conduct maintenance before deploying the Episode 6 Act 1 patch. The game will remain unplayable during server maintenance.
The expected maintenance timings for Valorant's upcoming patch are as follows:
- Asia Pacific: Servers will be going down for maintenance on 10/01/2023 at 14:00 PST
- Brazil: Servers will be going down for maintenance on 10/01/2023 at 06:00 PST
- Europe: Servers will be going down for maintenance on 10/01/2023 at 20:00 PST
- Korea: Servers will be going down for maintenance on 10/01/2023 at 14:00 PST
- Latin America: Servers will be going down for maintenance on 10/01/2023 at 06:00 PST
- North America: Servers will be going down for maintenance on 10/01/2023 at 06:00 PST
Once the period concludes, players will be able to download patch 6.00 and hop into Valorant to experience Lotus and other Episode 6 Act 1 content.
Valorant's upcoming update will bring a legion of new in-game content, and thus, will be big in size. The developers usually conduct longer maintenance sessions for bigger patches. This time, the game's servers are expected to be taken down for around three to four hours.
Unlike Split's fast-paced two-site meta, Lotus will feature three plant sites and some exclusive environment mechanics, including rotating doors, a silent drop, and destructible walls. It is based on the the Western Ghats of Omega Earth’s India and features intriguing life-like structural designs.
Lotus is heavily inspired by intricate structures found in the Western Ghats of India - traditional Indian stepwells, rock-cut architecture, Dravidian style structures, Badami Cave Temples, Ellora Caves, and Rani Ki Vav. According to Level Designer Joe Lansford, this map will promote "high flexibility and movement for both teams."