Riot Games has officially announced Lotus, Valorant‘s ninth map, after a week of teasers and a cinematic trailer.
The new map is set in India’s Western Gnats, a chain of mountains that runs parallel to the country’s western coast. Lotus, a lost city brimming with Indian elements and rock-cut architecture, is smack dab in the middle of the mountain range.
The Map Design team wanted players to have a “Indiana Jones moment” while playing on the fantastical and mystical-themed map, according to Brian Yam, Valorant’s Lead Artist.
The game developers are introducing rotating doors, a destructible door/wall, and a silent drop for the first time in a Valorant map – elements that can only be found in the Episode 6 Act I map.
Lotus will also have three spike sites, which were previously exclusive to Haven, to further challenge players.
“We wanted to make another 3-site map to demonstrate that this is a format we’ll continue to use rather than just a single map,” said Joe Lansford, Valorant’s Map Design Lead. “We also wanted to create a map with a lot of movement and flexibility for both teams.”
Lotus is intended to be distinct from previous Valorant maps, as Yam explains: “Our previous maps were mostly urban or had modern architecture.”
“We wanted to explore the theme of grand adventure, lost mysteries, and a lost ancient structure,” Yam explained. “One of the thematic inspirations we drew from was Indiana Jones.”
The Radianite relics are even mentioned in the map’s mystical backstory. One of the relics, according to Yam, is the giant mutated lotus in the centre of the map.
Lotus’s creativity and map design will entice Valorant fans to explore every nook and cranny of the map, while also furthering the game’s lore.
“These relics suggested that the ancient inhabitants used them as a source of power for rotating stone doors on the map,” Yam explained. “We also began experimenting with how the mutated plants could store and provide energy output from Radianite.”
Lotus will be playable when Valorant patch 6.0 is released on January 10.