Valorant players have disliked Icebox from the moment it was added to the game. After receiving a lot of such feedback, Riot has used patch 1.14 to bring some major changes to Icebox. Most of the updates are centered around simplifying A Site by reducing a lot of the height of vertical areas in that section of the map.
The first change was reducing the height of the tall platform leading to the attacker’s spawn. Now it connects to the A Belt area with a ramp.
This will allow defenders to have an easier time identifying where opponents will be coming from and to understand where to place their crosshairs. Riot developers explained that acquiring targets up top will require less vertical movement of the crosshair. Attackers will no longer have to loudly jump down to make it to A Site, creating better balance for both sides.
Developers also added a gate that can be seen through in one area that can’t be passed from the ground level. This should “hopefully be more predictable from attackers approaching the site and defenders retaking the site,” comms associate Jeff Landa said.
Riot then replaced the double stack of Radianite crates on A Site with a smaller object. Now players don’t have to worry about agents hiding behind this spot. This change should allow attackers to approach the site more safely. On the other hand, defenders can retake the site a lot faster.
The B Site received a small but impactful change as well. A yellow container was significantly reduced in height.
Without the second crate on top of it, agents such as Jett, Omen, and Raze won’t be able to unfairly utilize the height of the crate stack. Riot explained that these agents can still climb atop the yellow crate, but now approaching enemies will have a better view of the top of the crate and clear it from a few angles a lot easier.
While Icebox has definitely seen a lot of necessary updates in 1.14, it’s still unclear if players will enjoy the newest Valorant map. Fans of Riot’s tactical shooter have consistently complained about Icebox’s map layout and general design, pointing to its many angles and overly busy setup.
Developers recently noted that Icebox was purposely designed to create aggressive encounters and teamfights. But this isn’t a playstyle that many players seem to appreciate.