Riot Games has confirmed that VALORANT’s map pool is changing when Episode 8 Act 1 begins, which includes the return of Icebox.

The VALORANT map pool is receiving a significant change once Episode 8 begins. Rumors persisted for a short while, but now we are guaranteed a shift to the maps in the competitive queue and for competitive tournament play.

When the eighth episode of the first-person shooter kicks off, you can expect Icebox to return. It will have a slew of changes to make it fit the game's current meta. Changes will also be made to Lotus, the only three-site map in the pool with Haven being swapped out.

Upcoming VALORANT map pool changes

We don't know what the changes to Icebox and Lotus will be, but this isn't the first time the two maps have been updated. Once we know the changes, we'll let you know what exactly is being updated. Expect them to both receive rather major tweaks for gameplay purposes.

Per Riot Games, Icebox replaces Haven. All modes, aside from custom games and Team Deathmatch, will utilize the new VALORANT map pool. That map pool is as follows:

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

That leaves the aforementioned Haven, Fracture, and Pearl to only be available through the custom games section of VALORANT. Of course, the community has their own opinions on the map pool adjustment.

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Many feel Ascent has grown stale, with Agent compositions remaining fairly the same across most pro teams. The hope was that Ascent would be taken out, but it remains and a good portion of VALORANT players aren't too happy with that.

Riot Games may grant their wish in the future. Until then, though, we'll have to keep our fingers crossed that team's will innovate on Ascent. And with Icebox coming back, we know teams like FNATIC are ecstatic to have one of their favorites return.

Stay tuned to for more esports news and VALORANT coverage.