Valorant Episode 6: Riot Reveal New Lotus Map

Valorant's Lotus Map

Valorant‘s Episode 6 is just around the corner, and true to the rumours and expectations, a new map is also being added to the game. Lotus is the game’s ninth map, and brings striking visuals with high flexibility and movement possibilities. It follows the most recent launch of Pearl, which was added to the game in June 2022.

Lotus is set in Omega Earth’s India, in the Western Ghats and will be added to Valorant on January 10, 2023 to coincide with the start of Episode 6. There have been a few limited teasers of the map on the official Valorant Twitter account, beginning with a mysterious glowing red, almost-static scene on January 1, followed by several more of a similar ilk right up until January 5, when a tweet was revealed with more information about the new environment, which led fans to a new cinematic on developer Riot’s website.

The four-minute long trailer immediately tells excited fans that the setting is the Western Ghats in India, and features Omen – a character unseen in a cinematic before now. Eagle-eyed Valorant players quickly spotted a blueprint showing that Lotus will have three sites, like existing map Haven, but there weren’t any other secrets hidden in the clip.

Now though, Riot has announced that Lotus will feature new mechanics including rotating doors, a destructible wall and a silent drop. The lost city environment is inspired by “rock-cut Dravidian architecture” as well as “traditional Indian stepwells” says Riot, and players with keen eyesight might notice some visual secrets. We’ll leave that for you to figure out when playing.

Valorant’s Lotus Map

Valorant’s level designer, Joe Lansford, said that the team wanted to make another three site map to “show that this is more of a format that we’ll keep using” as well as aiming for “high flexibility and movement for both teams”. In terms of the visual influence, Lansford also mentioned that traditional Indian architectural elements and locations were a huge inspiration, including “Badami Cave Temples, Ellora Caves and Rani Ki Vav” to name just a few.

Brian Yam, art lead for Valorant also shared that his goal was to “push the boundaries of fantastical and mystical elements” which might not have made an appearance in the game’s earlier maps. “We want to explore the theme of grand adventure, mysteries lost to time, and a lost ancient structure,” Yam said. “Indiana Jones was one of the thematic inspirations we drew from.” Yam also explained that the team found the rock cut architecture “fascinating” due to its “mystical and ancient vibe”.

Valorant’s Lotus Map

Lotus deviates from other Valorant maps as the majority are urban or are comprised of modern architecture. Yam explained that a giant mutated lotus at the centre of the map represents a Radianite relic, present within the structures of the map. These relics have suggested facts about the new Lotus map, such as one being used as a power source for rotating stone doors. Yam discussed the concept of Radianite “root circuitry”, explaining that these lotus leaf panels were crafted “in that time period” and gave an “interesting visual where it looked advanced, but also fit the time period”.

Interestingly, Lotus nearly became something entirely different to its ancient setting, as Lansford discussed, “I was originally envisioning a space station and had an airlock mechanic that shut down large areas of the map.” That idea was scrapped when the Valorant team decided it just wasn’t very fun.

Valorant’s Episode 6 will begin on January 10, 2023.

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