Fracture makes first appearance at VALORANT Champions
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Fracture, VALORANT’s newest map, has made its first appearance at Champions after Cloud9 rallied to come back and win on Split against Fnatic. The entire series — headlined by Fnatic’s Jake “Boaster” Howlett and Cloud9’s Anthony “vanity” Malaspina — has been a nail biter, with Fnatic only winning Map 1 by two rounds.

This will be the first time we’ve seen an official VALORANT Champions Tour match played on Fracture, as it was not included in past tournaments. Pro players, including Team Liquid’s Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and Gambit Esports’ Igor “Redgar” Vlasov tweeted about the map as soon as Cloud9 sent the series into another map. They all want to see Fracture played at the highest level of competition.

“The first Fracture incoming,” Redgar tweeted. “[I] wanna see it.”

Fracture at Champions

Fracture has been a hot topic in the lead up to the last VALORANT tournament of 2021. While some teams have played the map at tournaments like Red Bull Home Ground #2, the level of competition there is far from what we should see at Champions. Both Fnatic and Team Liquid have some experience on the map; Fnatic defeated FunPlus Phoenix on Fracture 13-3 at the third party Red Bull tournament.

No team is considered the undisputed best at Fracture, although Vision Strikers’ Gu-taek “stax” Kim believes that it’s one of his team’s best maps.

“Initially when the map was released we weren’t so sure about it,” the South Korean IGL said at the VALORANT Champions press conference on Tuesday. “But now I’d go as far to say it’s one of our strongest maps”

Fracture is a map with four lanes for both Attackers and Defenders to hold. It opens up both sides to flanks, making room for some unconventional strategies.

“The way the spawners have it is very interesting,” former FaZe Clan player and current Sentinels coach Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty said at the NA LCQ. “And being able to attack from both sides is unique. I think the map allows for a lot of fakes and takes, because the four entrances to a site are very unusual.”

Fnatic have opted to keep their Fracture strategies under wraps until the last possible moment, but Boaster didn’t hide his thoughts on the map.

“Oh, we absolutely hate it,” he said. “Rubbish mate. Who designed a map with four entrances? Oh, yeah, four orbs as well.”


Aron Garst looks at esports from a different point of view by tackling the ways games are molded and broken by players around the world. He covers Call of Duty, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros, and everything else for Upcomer. You can read his previous work at WIRED, Rolling Stone, ESPN and elsewhere. Rise up red sea.


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