VALORANT will be adding the Pearl to the map pool with the Patch 5.0 update, arriving 22 June. This underwater map looks like a modern take on the lost city of Atlantis, which should make for some excellent beauty shots.
PEARL OF THE ATLANTIS
Pearl is probably one of, if not the most, visually impressive maps that VALORANT has in the pool at present. If it weren’t for the normally high tension matches the games typically are, this could make for a very pleasing, calm stroll. The sheer amount of detail is astounding, anywhere from the larger set pieces to even the covers of the comics in the store windows.
However, this is still a Valorant map, so surely there’s got to be a little catch in it? In this case, Pearl has actually forgone gimmicks, so you will have to walk those steps with your own feet. Instead of taking advantage of teleporters and other such fixtures, Pearl wants you to be more tactical with your movement. It makes for a fresh change, though some might consider the lack of such mechanics could make a map feel simply ordinary.
PLAYING THE MAP
At a glance, the Pearl looks quite challenging for Attackers when it comes to B site. You have two options: enter via B Ramp where Defenders have ample of time to set up prior to the round starting, or get mid control for B Link, risking a B Tower counter. Of course, if you wanted to try to push through the Defender spawn for the third option, feel free.
It’s a no brainer that you’re going to have to use your smokes and flashes well, not forgetting needing members for post-plant scenarios. B Tower is unlikely to be under Attacker control unless you have any Jett, Omen, Chamber or Raze who are both still alive and have expended their skills to fly there. Just hope no one can use their skills to reach you, one supposes.
A Site is more “forgiving” for Attackers. Your opponents have a clear shot at you as you come around A Main, but it’s a more challenging angle than the straight line from B Hall to B Ramp. Getting A Link would probably make it easier too.
The Mid Plaza is more than likely going to be the hotly contested point, perhaps even more so for Attackers. Losing it could see you getting cornered, or cut off from your team.
Split has been removed for Pearl, which can bring up some conflicting opinions. On one hand, the increased tactical need for Pearl could see the gunfights get more focus. On the other, the easy rotation between A and B Site for Split via Sewer is surely a tragic loss (maybe).
Pearl may look confusing, but once you actually get to playing it, the familiarization should come naturally. It asks for your map awareness, your strategic ability usage, your plan of attack… well, all the stuff you should have but more, really.
Let’s see how you do.