Valorant's third Act drops today, and it's bringing a bounty of lovely new things to Riot's guns and wizards first-person shooter. The first and most notable of these is a cold new map called Icebox. Then there are updates to ranked play and the deathmatch game mode. And to top it all off, later in Act 3 we'll see a new wizard arrive, too. Her name is Skye, she throws animals at people, and she looks a bit like Artemis from Supergiant's Hades.
But first, Icebox. Set in a chilly harbour next to some sort of laboratory, this map will plonk players into tightly-packed corridors lined with shipping containers. From the looks of it, Icebox won't have so many long sightlines encouraging sniper-fests (which is good considering the Operator got nerfed recently).
There is a zipline you can hop on to whizz over the map, though, so maybe watch out for people trying to snipe you off of that.
As it's brand new, Icebox will show up a bit more frequently than other maps for now so players have a chance to get used to it. However, it'll only be in rotation for unrated matches to start with, but if it's all stable and well-balanced it'll show up in ranked from October 27th.
A new Act means the start of a new competitive season, too. You'll get your Act 2 Rank Badge when you next log in, and be thrust back into placement matches to start earning your Act 3 one. Riot say this season they've "tightened competitive matchmaking to reduce skill disparity", so you should be matched with players more aligned with your skill level now.
Next up are some changes to the deathmatch game mode. The number of players in a match is being upped from 10 to 14, because previously it was taking players too long to find someone else to fight. As a result of this, the mode's radar pulse that told you where enemies were every few seconds has been removed, and replaced with a single pulse when you respawn instead to help get your bearings. Deathmatch length has also been increased, as has the amount of XP you get for it, and your gun will automatically reload once you get a kill now, too.
Last, but certainly not least, Act 3 will see the arrival of this new lass, Skye. Her abilities include an area heal, magic birds that blind people and a ghosty fox that leaps at your enemies. She joins Valorant on October 27th, and I'm very excited to have a go of her.
That's about it for now. We'll keep you posted if this patch manages to break something (Valo patches usually do). But in the meantime, feel free to cast your eyes over our Valorant guides to brush up on your skills before you dive into your next game.