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Valorant removes Bind, Breeze maps for 2023 season cover image

Valorant removes Bind, Breeze maps for 2023 season

#News

Riot has announced the return of Split to the map pool for the 2023 Valorant season. Along with the removal of Bind and Breeze to maintain the seven map pool.

With the new year almost upon us, the Valorant map pool for 2023 is seeing some changes. For all you Split fans, you’ll be no doubt delighted to hear the map will make a return to play. Meanwhile, Breeze and Bind will be removed from the pool. Taking the map count to seven playable active maps.

Do Valorant maps always rotate?

Valorant’s FPS game play has always had maps in rotation. Seven maps is usually the golden number to Riot Games who bring in new maps every so often, and rotate which ones are in play. The most recent addition to the map pool was the underwater town map that is Pearl. The maps are playable while in the map pool, and are played by players of all ranks, from beginners all the way up to pro players.
While there haven’t been significant shifts in the map pool in recent months, this change marks the start of the next season of Valorant.

What does this mean for my games?

For all players in competitive and unrated queue this means Breeze and Bind will stop being playable options at the start of Janaury 2023. Which also marks the start of the 2023 season. This will coincide with the 6.0 patch updates, which are yet to be released.
Split will be returning with some changes made – however it is yet unknown what these changes will be. But we can be sure that these updated changes will make many fans happy. Especially as Split was an incredibly popular map among players. Breeze and Bind will still be playable in custom games and some other game modes, just not in general queues.
Breeze Removed from Map Pool - Image via Play Valorant
Breeze Removed from Map Pool - Image via Play Valorant
As Breeze and Bind will no longer be playable as part of the main map pool, there is no set return date for them to rejoin the pool. It is common for Riot to rotate maps, and gives a chance for maps to be updated for when they return to the game.

Why Split?

Riot have mentioned another article as part of this update . Which cited their reasons for bringing back Split while removing Bind and Breeze. The main reasons being that Split was hugely popular with all ranks of players. Plus, it had been a while since the release of Split and so an update was well timed.
The Return of Split - Image via Play Valorant Website
The Return of Split - Image via Play Valorant Website
This is also because Split fits well with the latest map Pearl. Meaning the two maps coincide nicely with their dystopian theme design.

If there is no set return date, will we see Breeze and Bind again?

The short answer is yes. Riot rotates maps to update them, bring new changes and improvements and make them more playable with the various agents. While there is no set return date, it is unlikely we will see the maps gone for too long.
Bind Removed from Map Pool - Image via Play Valorant
Bind Removed from Map Pool - Image via Play Valorant
And finally, for any Icebox haters among you, it is likely that Riot’s rotation of maps will see the map removed at some point for its’ own updates.
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Nia Quinn
Nia Quinn
Contributor | Twitter @smolsh0rtie
Nia Quinn is a freelance blogger and esports/gaming writer who first fell into esports through a friend in 2020. She is known online as smolsh0rtie (a name that has a long story behind it) and is an avid fan of League of Legends (across all regions) and Valorant. In her free time she can be found playing video games, drinking boba and squealing about how cute koalas are.