Valorant Episode 5: Dimension came out last week and brought a brand new map. Alongside the introduction of Peral, Riot announced the removal of Split from the map pool.
If you are a Split fan, Pearl looks like a suitable replacement. Haven and Ascent fans might share the same feeling, as Pearl is a more traditional tactical FPS map with an important Mid area.
Unlike most Valorant maps, Pearl doesn't contain unique gimmicks such as doors, teleporters, etc. With only two bomb sites and a mix of long corridors and alleyways with buildings like Multiverse Museum, Pearl forces players into direct combat.
Pearl has a classic tactical FPS layout with two bomb sites and three lanes. However, there are a lot of layers to all areas of the map, from a compact mid to the longer-range wings.
Pearl is similar to Split in terms of having a lot of small hallways; however, it is overall quite larger. It has many choke points and tight corridors but, it also has long sight lines and room for long-range weapons such as Operator.
Mid control is essential on Pearl, as it opens up extra corridors to sites on each wing. It also makes post-plants much easier for the Attackers, as you can set up many more crossfires and utility lineups to defend the Spike.
It also makes rotating and lurking much easier. Like Haven, the Defenders often have to be split up to cover all different lanes. Rotations without Mid control are very long and time-consuming, emphasizing its importance even more.
Attacking on Pearl
Although very new and yet to be fully understood, it seems like a rather Attacker-sided map.
Firstly, the Mid area is easier to control as an Attacker since they start in close proximity to its entrance, and the choke points are larger. Mid control allows your team to split the attack and avoid funneling through narrow chokepoints that can be costly.
Although controlling it might be the most optimal way of attacking, it doesn't mean it is the only way. Also, it is never good to be predictable in Valorant, and switching up your setup when attacking is recommended.
If you decide to push A or B main without Mid control, you need to make sure to push deep into sites to facilitate your post-plants. For example, taking Dugout and Secret enables crossfires from A main.
A site is easier to rush because B main is so open that your team can has no places to hide from coordinated Defenders. B main is also perfect for Defenders holding angles with Operator or Marshall and taking advantage of its long sight lines.
Defending on Pearl
Ideally, you would like to contest Mid and force the Attackers to funnel through A or B main; however, it is not an easy task. To gain control, you must quickly peek through Double Doors or a corner from A Link/Art.
A site can be awkward to defend unless coordinated properly. Yet, it is easier to retake due to multiple entrances, especially if you are able to flank. Using utility from agents such as Viper or Killjoy can be crucial when holding on to A site and locking down A main.
Using an Operator when defending B main to get easy picks is desirable, but it is not an easy site to defend or retake. The entrance to Main is wide and hard to shut down with utility.
As long as you can prevent the Attackers from controlling Mid, you will be able to get information on enemy positioning easier. It gives your team a shorter rotation path and helps shut down pesky lurkers later into the rounds.
Agents and Team Compositions
Starting with Initiators, it is fair to say that almost all of them are viable on Pearl. However, Fade seems to be the best of the bunch as she can take the most advantage of tight corners and not very tall building roofs. KAY/O and Skye are the best alternatives or excellent second Initiator options.
Almost all Duelists feel OK on Pearl, but in today's meta, Raze, Jett, and Neon take the spotlight. Jett can use double Updraft to a top of many places, while Raze and Neon work great with utility from your allied Fade, Breach, etc.
Pearl has so many places you need to cover, so Controllers have a huge role in team compositions. Viper is excellent since her wall can close off B main, but Astra, Omen, and Brimstone all have the potential to utilize their kit fully. Double Controller team comps look interesting on Pearl and might be standard moving forward.
Sage's wall can be used effectively to enclose tight spaces, so she might be a prime Sentinel pick on Pearl. However, Chamber will have a great time holding B main, while Killjoy has some excellent ultimate placements on the map.
Stay tuned for more Valorant content and future guides on Gamercraft.