When Pearl launches, it will not appear in competitive queues for another two weeks. Instead, the map will be playable on a Pearl-only queue in that time, giving players a chance to learn its layout before having to play in it competitively.
Pearl is an underwater city “directly inspired by Portuguese culture”, and will feature no unique mechanics “to keep things a little more straightforward”.
In the meantime, Split has been “temporarily” removed from the map pool in both unrated and competitive queues. There is no date for Split’s return, though it will still be available to play in custom and alternate game modes. On the decision to pull split from rotation, Riot shared that it wants to preserve a seven-map pool so that players aren’t required to learn too many maps at once when playing competitively.
Aside from these changes to maps, Valorant patch 5.0 also adds an Ascendant rank, which will be placed above Diamond and below Immortal.
“We believe our lower ranks have a few too many of you, especially Bronze and Silver. When we were looking at rank distribution, we realised that if we were to move some of you up and out of those lower ranks, it would overpopulate Platinum and Diamond,” explained Riot. “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.”
Valorant patch 5.0 is set to go live with Episode 5 Act 1 on June 22.