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Valorant Episode 8: Release Date, Map Changes, and More

Mrinal Baranwal   |   Jan 4, 7:50 AM   |   6 min read

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  • With an official announcement, Riot Games has revealed the next seven maps that will be available in both competitive and non-competitive game types in Valorant. 

  • Along with the release of Valorant Episode 8, two maps will undergo some modifications. 

  • The current map pool has been modified, and on January 10, 2024, the new map changes will take effect.


Next week, on January 10, 2024, Valorant Episode 8 is scheduled to launch, bringing with it the first big update of the year. Valorant developers have officially announced that Icebox will be making a comeback to the competitive map pool. Before release, it will receive some improvements to bring it up to date. Since Lotus is staying in the rotation through 2024, it will also receive some improvements in addition to Icebox. 


With Haven temporarily removed, the complete active competitive map rotation will consist of Icebox, Lotus, Sunset, Breeze, Ascent, Bind, and Split. Except for custom games and Team Deathmatch, which uses a different map pool from the base game, every mode in the game will use the same map pool as competitive play.


Also read: Sony Hit With 13.5 Million Euro Fine For Third-Party Controller Practices

Official Lotus Changes And Possible Icebox Updates Coming To Valorant Episode 8



Riot Games is prepared to introduce big improvements to Lotus with Patch 8.0, laying the groundwork for Valorant in 2024. The new episode will bring with it a new rotation for the competitive map pool, which will include the controversial decision to replace Haven with Icebox. All of these changes are set to go live on January 10, 2024. With their new and improved looks, Lotus and Icebox will offer greater variety for teams in professional and solo queue play. Although these maps weren't particularly unpopular in the past, these upcoming adjustments could encourage attackers to consider more angles before starting an extensive attack for site control by giving defenders new sightlines and expanding the map.


A Main, A Link, and B Site now have new corner cubbies, while other locations appear to have been extended to give players holding sites extra places to hide. Since the plant area has been drastically altered, it provides players with a new spot to place the spike in the former C bend section of the map. While attackers will have to learn new line-ups and holding techniques for when they succeed in putting down the spike, defenders trying to recover the site for a defuse will have to worry about new angles and hiding areas.



Icebox was removed from the competitive map pool by Riot in April 2023 and hasn't been seen in almost nine months. Players are eager to see what kinds of adjustments are in store for a map that has caused a rift in the community due to its unconventional sight lines and angles, particularly when rushing onto an attack spot.


A recent data miner leak indicates that the majority of the changes will take place in and around the lead-up to B Site. Players will be prompted to push out a little bit more for information in the Attacker Side Spawn as a new box has been added to block the extended sight line giving the impression that players may no longer be able to look toward mid. A new sightline has been created in B Tube for snipers to hold as they fight an opponent team push. This window allows defending players to peek into mid. Another fresh box stack inside the tube should provide more cover for defenders as well.


Redesigned B Orange and B Snow Pile sections include the removal of the outdoor pathway that runs alongside B Hall. Players can only now get to B through mid by running through either B Kitchen or B Orange. Overall, more angles to track attacking players and the removal of one extra way for simpler rotations should make it easier to defend B.



The upcoming map pool, starting from Episode 8 is as follows:

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


All game modes, except for Team Deathmatch and Custom Games, will now use the seven-map rotation. The Outlaw sniper rifle, a rumored new weapon, may also make an appearance in the game for the first time in Valorant Episode 8 when it launches on live servers on January 10, 2024.


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Mrinal Baranwal

Esports Staff Writer


Mrinal, also known by her gaming alias Jollies10, is a semi-professional Valorant player with a never-ending love for Esports. She lives by the rule Eat. Sleep. Game. Repeat.




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