An Overview of Split: Best Layout, Angles, and Agent Compositions - VALORANT Guide
Sat 16th May 2020 - 11:24pm
As one of the more intricate maps that VALORANT has to offer, Split toes the line perfectly between favoring straightforward pushes and catering to players who are able to precisely rotate from site to site. Due to the map’s sharp corners and maze-like layout, the map is slightly biased in favor of the defending team, but there’s still plenty of nuanced tricks and angles that both teams can take advantage of in order to balance out the experience. In this overview, we’ll break down Split in its entirety - everything from the map’s layout, its best angles, and the strongest character compositions you can put together in order to succeed on both offense and defense.
Map Overview and Strong Character Options
Games on Split are won and lost on defense. So, the stronger your setup is before the round beings, the better chances you’ll have in the long run. The following chart is a sample depiction of where you'll want to allocate your resources prior to the start of a round. Keep in mind that most of the characters featured on the chart are interchangeable with other agents.
Keeping in mind that Split is a defense-oriented map, so you’ll need to have strong reconnaissance and vision control in order to best take advantage of the maps’ many angles. If we were to use classic tactical shooter lingo, Split is a little “CT-sided”, meaning that you’ll have to play patiently, carefully, and cater to the defender's style of play.
This more carefully crafted style of play revolves entirely around vision, and when it comes to gaining the upper hand through vision, the obvious choice in terms of character selection is Cypher. His best setup on defense comes at B-site, where he can very easily get a full array of tripwires, traps, and cameras scattered throughout the site, namely around Garage. However, Cypher also showcases his strengths around the middle of the map, as well as near A-site, specifically on the ramp leading into A-Heaven.
And while Cypher might be the essential defensive pick for Split, there are other agents in the game who would serve your team well while holding down the sites. Namely, Sova and his ability to play through corners with various arrows is a huge advantage for any defending team. Beyond him, characters like Breach, Brimstone, and Omen, whose abilities go through walls and are usbale from any point on the map are viable options in a team composition.
Also, Sage is a welcome addition to any composition, as her Barrier and Slow Orbs can force the attacking team to find another route to their intended site, while additionally making the defending team lose vision of a sightline while the attackers push.
A quick note on Sage: she might just be the only character in all of VALORANT who is applicable to any team composition and strong on both offense and defense. Resurrection is easily the best ultimate ability in the game as it currently stands, and the entirety of her kit is usable to its fullest extent whether you’re holding down a site or pushing towards one. If there’s any character that should most definitely be a top priority when it comes to building a team composition - not just for Split, but for every map in VALORANT - it’s Sage.
Defending on Split
When it comes to defending on Split, each sightline is incredibly different, and the way you defend your positions from round to round will vary heavily based on your team composition, gunplay abilities, and level of comfort with the map’s angles and corners.
If you have a player on your team who is comfortable using the Operator, they should be sent to watch Mid, as defenders have a particularly advantageous set of angles looking towards Sewers and Link.
The rest of your team, however, should be sent to cover the sites directly. It’s ideal to send one player to B-Site and have them watch Garage, while the other three delegate their responsibilities between A-Long, A-Heaven and the other angle in Mid that’s not being held by the Operator player.
Attacking on Split
On offense, however, things shake up quite a bit. Defensively-minded characters like Cypher and Sova fall out of favor for agents like Phoenix and Viper, who can block sight lines, create a path to a site, and defend spikes after they’re planted with ease.
Abilities like Viper’s Toxic Screen and Phoenix's Blaze are great tools for blocking your enemies’ vision while simultaneously gaining the upper hand on a site in terms of control. And with other offensive tools in mind like Phoenix’s Hothands and Raze’s Paint Shells, you can manipulate your enemies into making a misstep on defense, giving you an advantageous route towards your desired site.
As for where you’re going to be pushing on Split, you’re usually going to want to stick to Garage, Long, and Tower as your best routes onto the sites. Going through the middle of the map is typically a death sentence as defenders will have the upper hand on that section of Split because of sightlines, setups, and a little bit of “peeker’s advantage”. You should really only be pushing through Mid if you know your enemies won’t be covering sight lines, or if you have the tools to force them into a disadvantageous position at the start of the round.
Even then, you’ll have some natural trouble getting to your next destination, as defenders who might have fallen back will still have a slight advantage if they’re peeking you from a distance. With this in mind, it’s clear that pushing through Mid on Split is most definitely a high-risk, high-reward scenario that should really only be utilized if you have extensive knowledge of your enemies’ patterns, as well as the upper hand in gunplay ability.
Building a Composition
The following chart represents a tier list of sorts showing each character on the VALORANT roster and how they stack up on Split. Keep in mind that defensive characters that dominate the vision game will be better choices on defense, while aggressive characters with engaging options will have a better time on offense.
The key to building a strong team composition, however, lies in your team’s ability to combine both offensive and defensive elements so that your comp is balanced from Round 1 potentially all the way to Round 25. Utility and reconnaissance should be your top priorities when building a comp in VALORANT, so characters like Sage, Viper, Sova, and Cypher should immediately come to mind. From there, if your team is equipped with an aggressive playmaker, agents like Phoenix and Raze might be up their alley. Regardless, you should be aiming to create a balanced comp that takes advantage of the built-in tools that the game throws your way.
With these factors on the table, it’s easy to see why Split might be considered to show bias in favor of the defending team. However, by putting an emphasis on - and properly using - abilities and gunplay, it’s possible that those biases can be quickly evened out.