We are days away from the start of Season 5 in Valorant, which of course will bring a new playable Operator and a new map. On July 16, developer Riot Games showcased the new map, named Pearl, with a short reveal trailer that gives players a good overview of the map’s art style and ambiance, as well as some snippets of character conversations in the background to suggest the existence of lore. As you can see in the trailer below, the new map is quite unusual for Valorant or any other competitive shooter, as it happens to be completely underwater.
Pearl appears to be a small town built inside a dome off the shores of an unknown continent. While the architecture appears to be the present-day Mediterranean with some techno-details tacked on, Pearl is described as Valorant’s first “Omega Earth” map, whatever that means. The map wears its main inspiration on its sleeve: as the trailer goes over the layout of the city, the camera focuses on a statue of Atlas (or maybe it’s Omega Atlas?), instantly reminding viewers of Bioshock and Andrew Ryan’s Rapture.
It cannot be downplayed just how cool the new map looks. Every part of Pearl is very detailed and thoughtfully constructed to show that people once lived here, and the whole town is bathed in water-refracted shimmering light. The map even has a metro station, though we don’t expect it will factor into the gameplay.
Aside from its aesthetics, Pearl is a standard competitive Valorant map, meaning it has three lanes and two bomb sites, inviting players to use their established suite of tactics and compositions. You won’t have to wait long before you can test it out, as Pearl will arrive on June 22 with the launch of Valorant Season 5: Dimension. Season 5 will also feature a new operator, and of course, a new Valorant battle pass.