About a month ago the 3rd act of Valorant launched, introducing many new changes to the game. Amongst the major additions that were featured with the release of Act III was a new map, Icebox. In a brutal cold of the Arctic tundra, Icebox offers a whole host of new combat elements and thrilling tactical possibilities in addition to its unusual environment.
The first thing players would possibly remember about the map is that it has more up-down angles relative to what you might be used to. The incorporated verticality has largely contributed to icebox being one of the game's most challenging maps. The presence of obstacles allows different angles to be created and can result in players being subjected to greater risks as they are vulnerable from many positions.
This map is very wide, but rather short, and includes a number of areas both indoors and outdoors. There are still several ropes similar to those on Split and on the A site, there is a horizontal zip line that can allow you to access unreachable areas. Another unique feature is a two-stage plantation site that allows you to plant on low ground or the high ground.
In between the sites A and B is a mid-area which can lead to both sites from behind or the flanks. The A site is inside a large laboratory facility. Icebox is the only map that has its site A in a closed position in the game. For both close-quarter and long-range battles. On the other side, B site embraces the Arctic tundra and blends with tons of crates and cranes.
Moreover, variations in height on the map favor unique agents that can overcome them. The structure of the map and spawning position of Defenders and Attackers results in extraordinarily fast encounters with the enemy and rapid gameplay in general.
It has lots of different height angles and there are two ways to strike. One of them is going across the main floor. You will find a good angle to peak the view if you remain close to the pipe. Alternatively, you could even jump into a nest, however, on-site defenders might spot you. On the other hand, a belt helps you to challenge the higher angles in A. Attackers will be able to get a good look at the sight and rafters from their characters with jumps will be able to push down the right-hand side and play a more vertical game which when coordinated with the main push can be very hard to defend against.
Meanwhile, the defending team can also use the Site’s A unique structure to their advantages by using Cipher to set up Cameras so that they can have an eye on the site at all times, as well as wire traps to slow down the enemy and reveal the position. If the enemies have restricted agents with mobility options, A site can be fairly well defended by a solo, but the various angles around the site make this a challenge, and crossfires would be crucial.
Ziplines on Site A might seem extremely useful at first glance but it comes with its fair share of risks. Doing this leaves you extremely vulnerable, you'll be able to be seen by everyone on the site, and you'll have no real ability to protect yourself, especially if you have no teams to back you up. Furthermore, deployable abilities like Raze’s cluster grenade can be tossed up at high grounds and will decrease your health drastically. Escaping the grenade would result in players leaving the high ground immediately, which will either result in fall damage or being caught off guard by enemies waiting for an ambush.
The B location is the most complicated and unique section of the current Icebox map. Two parallel paths connect to the B site that is both isolated by containers. The distinction between the two is: you need Mid control for one of them, and you don't need Mid control for the other. But all paths lead to site B, which is a two-tiered spike planting area with a rope to access the upper section, similar to Site A. Defenders played on the B site have three separate entrances to hold their attention: the B tube to the kitchen and the two parallel paths. Because of this, playing the Kitchen is a must-have because both B Tube and B Orange can be watched.
B green has two entry points for attackers from the garage and their spawn. For attackers from the garage and their spawn, B Green has two entry points. On top of the garage entryway, agents such as omen and jet can quickly set up a one-way smoke and blot out the whole choke. As soon as the round begins, defenders need to run out to protect it. Another significant advantage of the shipping containers is that agents with vertical movement abilities will get on top of them for an observation point to ambush the enemy unit. Attackers can choose to push under the B tube or the middle pallets. The boiler is an impressive holding position with a straight side of the choke point and the defender.
You will have two long open corridors to go down as you take the main route to B from the attacker spawning. Both have small boxes and small hiding spaces in the walls and it’s amazing how many times attackers have neglected to investigate. Players often tend to ignore searching corners since they are a bad place to hide. However, some players use this to their advantage and camp with shotguns ambushing players running by.
The Mid Region of Icebox is a quite basic and simple section. The only thing that can trigger battles to take on the attacker's side is that the defender has a headshot angle. Icebox's mid is similar to Ascent's mid. Control benefits the squad immensely no matter from which side you are on.
Regulation of the mid-lane on icebox is of immense importance because it helps your team to play on either side. Attackers want to monitor mid, as it makes it easier for B site to operate. They succeed they can push up B tube push under and or over B tube. Lurk and cover the rotations from A and flank defenders holding the green choke. Defenders will drive through mid and flank attackers who want to perform A bright or A side execute. You must be guarding mid as either side until your team starts dying. Both sides gain a large advantage if you just abandon it and you'll end up losing the round quickly if you die to a flank.
You may attempt to assert the mid lane and decide where to go based on the situation, but claiming mid can be overwhelming so players should only attempt it if they have faith in your team and your team is well-equipped. In general, on this map, the mid-lane is an important location. The players could prevent it, but a mid-attack will decide your team's fate.
Lineup and Weapons:
Cipher is easily one of the best characters on defines icebox because defenders can hit each choke from multiple angles. He can use his camera to figure out which angles aren’t being covered by attacking teams and get some sneaky kills his trap wires give him a large amount of control.
Sova’s recon arrow can be shot from the mid entrance to the A site, revealing any attackers that may try to push in. There are not many perfect sites to cover a recon arrow on the B site, since it is very accessible, but due to the angled containers at the back of the site, there are several chances to avoid plants or defuses.
On such a large map with many long-distance choke points, the infinite range of the Kill Joys’ turret is extremely useful. Attacking or defending some of the primary chokepoints with one-way smokes, provides the advantage to Agents like Omen. Moreover, Jett with her vertical movement ability allows her to gain the high ground.
Due to different angles both long-range arms and mid-range weapons are used to deal with these cases. The meta weapon is vandal and in some instances, the operator shotguns saw some of the action. A site features mostly long-distance battles and is favoured with either Vandal, Phantom, or Operator. B hosts mixed variety gunfights with the Spectre, and Shotgun as the weapon of choice.
There will be some more tactics and metas uncovered as time progresses. But with the first couple of weeks on the latest map, you will have an over your opponents if you stick to these tips and tricks.
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Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games