Pearl, Chamber Fix And First Map Rotation: What Happened In Valorant In 2022
The year 2022 turned out to be quite an interesting and eventful year at VALORANT. The game continued to evolve at the same pace, introducing new characters, a map, and a reshuffle of the map pool, the first in the game's history. I invite you to get acquainted with the most important events in the world of VALORANT in 2022.
11th January - Patch 4.0, Neon, Changes On Bind And Breeze
At the beginning of 2022, Riot Games released a rather capacious patch - 4.0. Along with it came a new hero - Neon, as well as Bind and Breeze maps succumbed to the changes. At that time, we did not know that at the end of 2022, they would go to a full-fledged rework.
Neon entered the meta from the very first weeks. Many teams started using this Philly agent, especially on Fracture and Breeze. Neon became special with one of its "High Gear" abilities, which added the "Slide" mechanic to the game, like in Apex Legends. So far, Neon has often appeared in the peaks of the world's top teams and will likely remain there in early 2023.
15th February - Patch 4.03, Major Deathmatch Changes
Deathmatch was one of the most discussed topics in the second half of 2021. Many people simply got tired of playing this mode because it was very uncomfortable. And now Riot Games presented an update that has slightly corrected the situation. They reduced Respawn Time from 3 seconds to 1.5 and improved spawn logic and spawn placement to increase the likelihood that you will be facing each other players in an encounter.
1st March - Yoru Rework, Astra Nerf And Updated Icebox
Already in the next update, 4.04, which came out two weeks later, Riot Games made big and significant changes. Let's go through them in order. For 7-8 months, Astra was in every team's pick. She was the best smoker at the time. And the developers decided to weaken Astra, and quite seriously. It had a reduced number of stars, and all abilities had an increased cooldown. At the same time, Omen and Brimstone got their buffs.
Yoru got its own Rework. He added to the game quite a long time ago, but he has not become a frequent guest on the servers. He was redesigned, almost all his abilities were changed, and he became a little more playable. But at the same time and not imba.
And also, the Icebox has undergone changes, especially on the B plant.
27th April - Fade, Jett and Sova Nerf
The next big patch is almost two months away. And for a good reason, because update 4.08 was quite intriguing. The game has a new initiator - Fade, which is to take the place of Sova. He, in turn, was weakened. But in the end, as we can see now, both agents have found their place in the peak teams in the rankings and on the pro scene.
Riot Games decided to weaken Jett by changing Tailwind. Since patch 4.08 Jett cannot leave the fight instantly. Since then, Jett received a 12-second window where she is empowered to immediately dash on the next button press after activating Tailwind.
22nd June - Pearl, New Rank And Map Pool Changes
In mid-2022, Riot Games presented us with a new map, Pearl. It was also announced that Split is being removed from the Unrated and Competitive queue. This map was the first one in Valorant's history to be removed from the game. In addition, Split is one of the first three maps of the game we saw back in Beta.
A new rank, the Ascendant, was also introduced. Then Riot Games gave the following explanation for this decision:
"We believe our lower ranks have a few too many of you, especially Bronze and Silver. When we were looking at rank distribution, we realized that if we were to move some of you up and out of those lower ranks, it would overpopulate Platinum and Diamond. So by adding a new rank we can better distribute you across ranks, keep the prestige of high ranks, while helping better define the skill level of each rank".
4th October - Patch 5.07, Fracture Changes, Reyna Nerf
After Champions 2022, Riot Games announced the new patch, 5.07, at the beginning of October. They introduced Fracture changes. Next locations: Arcade, B Site, B Generator, Defender Spawn, A Halls, A Site, A Dish, A Drop and A Rope were changed.
Also significantly weakened was Reyna, the most popular agent in Valorant this year.
18th October - Harbor
In mid-October, Harbor's third and final agent, in 2022, was introduced. It was able to make history after the first few weeks, as Harbor proved to be not as imbued as the previous agents upon release. It's a suitable controller that's situational enough to be used on individual maps.
15th November - The Return of Cypher
One of the most popular agents at the beginning of Valorant, Cypher, got his long-awaited bump with the arrival of Patch 5.10. His changes are as follows:
- Maximum Trapwire length increased from 1000 >>> 1500.
- Neural Theft (Ultimate)
- Neural Theft now reveals enemies two times. There is a four second delay between the reveals.
- The time restriction to cast on enemy corpses has been removed.
- Maximum cast distance increased from 1200 >>> 1800.
- Quality of Life
- Updated the yellow silhouette used for Cypher’s reveal on Spycam and Neural Theft.
- Yellow silhouette now disappears if the revealed enemy becomes visible to you to help reduce confusion of seeing two representations of the enemy in different places.
- Yellow silhouette now starts dimmer and fades faster to make it more distinguishable from an actual enemy.
- Cypher’s placed utility is no longer destroyed by allies’ AOE damage.
Cypher didn't become a super-meta agent after that, but he got picked up more often at different levels, which can't help but please.
6th December - Final Patch of The Year
Finally, in late 2022, Riot Games released the patch that millions of game fans have been waiting for. 5.12 turned out to be one of the most intense patches in the history of the game. As many as 15 heroes underwent changes, and the main nerve of the year touched the Chamber. For a year, this agent was the centerpiece of the VALORANT world; millions of players used him, and Chamber could win entire games single-handedly.
And so it was finally loosened up. You can read more about it in our video.
A complete list of changes to Patch 5.12 can be found here. And finally, we should mention that Riot Games announced a new Map Rotation. At the beginning of next year, with patch 6.0, Bind and Breeze will be removed from the game. They will go through the same rework as Split. The latter will return to the game with Patch 6.0 as well.
Image Credits: Riot Games.