Out of all maps in Valorant pool, Icebox is the one with the most mixed opinions by the community. Either way, Icebox is a challenging map with many angles, and it is an excellent playground for those with crisp aim.
What stands out on Icebox is it's extreme verticality across the map. For that reason, it is one of the most complex maps in Valorant. Statistically, Icebox is attacker oriented since it is one of the easiest maps to access sites as Attackers.
Icebox has a classic tactical FPS layout with two bomb sites and a Mid lane. Mid consists of a long tube that connects B site to Attackers' Mid entrance through Kitchen. You can also pass under the tube for another entry to B site.
On the other side, the Defender's side of Mid is connected to A site while also having an elevated platform to hold an angle to the corridor. Mid control allows quick rotations, which are very long otherwise.
The A site is an indoor warehouse-like facility with many angles and places to cover. It has got a lot of elevated areas that are accessible via zip lines. There is also a long horizontal zip line that goes mid-site across the building.
B site is located outdoors, and this part of the map is much more open. There is also a verticality aspect; however, most of the combat usually happens on the ground. The site is centered around giant shipping crates, including the big yellow one, which provides a lot of cover for the Attackers.
Attacking on Icebox
Accessing the site and planting the Spike is usually straightforward if played correctly. It is one of the easier maps to get site control; however, holding on to the Spike in postplants is much more difficult.
Controlling Mid puts pressure on Defenders and gives you another avenue to both sites, so playing off of utility together with your teammates is crucial. Solo lurking can be difficult due to tight chokes, and multiple angles Defenders can hold.
Attacking the A site can usually be done with four or five people attacking from A main. There are many avenues for attack solely from A main, primarily due to the verticality of the area. Slowly clearing out enemies with recon utility, smokes, and walls will lead you to a safe plant.
When pushing B site, use utility like Sova drone and darts to clear tight corners in Green, Cubby, and Yellow. When you reach the site, using Viper and Sage walls will give you enough time and space for a safe plant.
Postplants play a massive role in a successful attack on Icebox. In those scenarios, it is very dangerous to stay grouped, especially on site. Try to space out, create crossfires, and use long angles with an Operator or Chamber ultimate. It is also a good idea to have players off site, especially with Spike-stalling utility like mollys.
Defending on Icebox
When defending on Icebox, having a clear plan in mind and coordinating with your teammates is essential. You can either defend on site by contesting the enemy push or off site and play for a retake.
Both options are viable; however, many pro teams like to play full retake since Icebox is one of the most challenging maps to defend the plant. Also, rotations take a long time on Icebox, which makes playing on-site defense even harder.
In that case, you can play one Agent each on A and B sites, with three teammates playing Mid. Try to get an opening pick when the Attackers push onto the site, then retreat backsite and wait for reinforcements.
Agents that can more aggressively hold a long angle, such as Jett and Chamber are good options on B site, while Viper and Sage can use their utility to slow down the enemy push on A.
When retaking, try to bait out as much utility as possible, so it is safer for you to enter the site. Play around Viper and Sage walls and information gathering utility to gain control of the Spike. Take advantage of long angles with Chamber or Jett, and always be aware of enemy mollys from outside the site.
Agents and Team Compositions
Since Icebox is a map where sites are very easily accessible, Duelists don't play a huge role, and many teams would instead use extra utility from other Agents.
If you want to play a Duelist, Jett is by far the best option due to her ability to play around map's verticality. She is also the prime Operator user in the class. Reyna and Raze can be decent options, but most team comps nowadays don't use Duelists at all.
When it comes to Sentinels, Chamber and Sage are irreplaceable pieces of any team comp on Icebox. They are both great at slowing down enemies when holding a site. Chamber is the best Operator user in the game and able to hold aggressive angles, while Sage's wall is crucial for safe bomb plants and retakes.
Sova has been a prime Initiator on Icebox since the map was released. His Owl Drone and Recon Bolt provide more information on Icebox than any other Agent. Fade is the only recon Agent that can contest him, while KAY/O is a good option in double Initiator team compositions.
Finally, Viper is a key Controller Agent in any team comp on Icebox. Viper's utility provides cover and control for her team, her molly is an excellent tool in slowing down enemies and postplants, and her Ultimate is great for locking down sites. In case you want to play a double Controller comp, Omen is a go-to option.
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