Welcome to the deep blue, amigos.
Riot Games finally unveiled the underwater paradise of Pearl today as the eighth competitive map in VALORANT. The new map is being added along with the game’s fifth episode, Dimension. It will also serve as the first map to take place on Omega Earth.
As players load into the game, they’ll quickly realize they are actually fighting in a dazzling city within a dome at the bottom of the ocean. The map itself is beautifully designed, boasting a unique combination of Kingdom Industries’ futuristic structures juxtaposed with the older, more traditional structures of Portugal. There are also Portuguese murals and art scattered around, adding a bit of authenticity to the experience.
Unlike a majority of the newer maps that have been released, Riot has taken a much more simple approach for Pearl strategically. This will be a classic three-lane map, where attackers will descend into defender territory to battle for control over two sites.
There won’t, however, be any map mechanics like ascenders, doors, or teleporters, making things a lot easier to plan for on both sides of the battle. Teams can choose to brute force their way through the compact halls of mid or engage in long-ranged skirmishes through Pearl’s side wings.
“Pearl demands committed engagements, without the rotation and mobility support of doors, ascenders, or teleporters,” level designer Joe Lansford said. “What you get is something deceptively simple, strategically speaking. That said, it still has some twists and all the depth you’d expect from a VALORANT map.”
With the sun beaming down through the shimmering waves, agents will need to batten down the hatches and plan some special strategies to best their opponents when Pearl is released on the VALORANT live servers, starting on Wednesday, June 22.