The closed beta of Valorant was launched on April 7, 2020.
At the time, those invited to try out Riot Games' new "Overwatch-meets-Counter-Strike" experience were presented with a modest pool of 10 Agents to use in any of Bind, Haven and Split.
Flashforward to Episode 4 Act 3 and the map pool has steadily grown to seven-deep, with there being several reworks to a handful of boxes, lanes and doorways along the way. Moreover, as each battleground continues to be pushed to its limits each and every hour of the day around the world, it becomes progressively clear for players to decide just which of the maps are least suited to their individual tastes.
DBLTAP spoke with several of the game's best players from Team Liquid, The Guard and OpTic Gaming during Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1: Masters Reykjavík to get their thoughts on a common question — What is the worst map in Valorant? Here's what we found.
According to Liquid Travis "L1NK" Mendoza, the answer has to be the snow map.
"The worst is Icebox by far," L1NK told DBLTAP. "Icebox plays in such a one-dimensional sort of way it’s like, 'Hey, just [Snake Bite] the bomb, shock dart the bomb,' and then you’re done. It’s just the way you play the map on Icebox, like it’s just honestly like a one-dimensional sort of way to play the game.”
L1NK's fellow Liquid teammate and longtime Icebox-rework advocate, Adil "ScreaM" Benrilitom, was a big fan of seeing the 4.04 changes it received in February, although he also feels that its dynamic still gets pretty repetitive.
"I think Icebox got really better with the changes," ScreaM said. "I think it’s really nice, but still, like the Icebox map still plays very similar, right? You have to plant the Spike and on the other side on Defense, you have to try to avoid that. It’s always the same thing over and over and over again. That’s what kinda what I don’t like on this map, but yeah."
Ultimately, however, ScreaM felt that his least favorite maps at the moment are tied between two greater evils — Bind and Fracture.
"Bind is definitely one of the worst," ScreaM said. "Even though it’s cool, you know, like the TPs and stuff, but I don’t know man, this map is very weird to us. At least for Liquid, we’ve never had a good time on it. Right now, I would say Fracture. ... Bind and Fracture today for me. Maybe because we just don’t [often] play these maps as a team, you know?"
Speaking of Bind, OpTic Pujan "FNS" Mehta made it clear that despite his personal success with the Moroccan desert city, the map is in his bottom two.
"It’s actually funny because Bind is one of our better maps," FNS said, "at least statistically, but I’d say Bind is probably the worst map in the game. Maybe even Fracture just because it’s such a large map, so many choke points and you have to invest so much into map control before you can hit the site. I would say Bind and Fracture are the two worst maps."
Lastly, Guard Michael "neT" Bernet's answer was perhaps painfully relatable — the worst maps in the game are the ones that hurt your mental health the most in the Competitive queue.
"I don’t think there’s necessarily a 'worst map,'" neT said. "I just think in ranked, Split is really bad. It’s just not enjoyable. Same thing with Breeze. Split and Breeze in ranked are just not fun.
"For ranked, Split and Breeze are maps that require a lot of teamwork and coordination to be successful. The Attack Side for Split and then the Defense Side for Breeze need to be coordinated to be successful. ... On Split and Breeze in ranked, a lot of people are lost and they don’t understand the general concept of how to play the map."