A Full Breakdown of Icebox: Map Layout, Angles, and Best Agent Picks
Mon 16th Nov 2020 - 7:25pm
Perhaps VALORANT’s most intricate and unique map by far, Icebox has much to offer for players who excel in long range gunfights and fast-paced decision making situations. Easily the most complex map that’s been released in the game to date, Icebox thrives on its strong foundations of vertical gameplay and the countless angels found throughout the map.
In this overview, we’ll break down Icebox in its entirety - everything from the map’s layout, its best angles and strategies, and the strongest character compositions you can put together in order to succeed on both offense and defense.
Map Overview and Layout
The main attractions on Icebox are going to be its spike sites. While other maps might find strength in their angles or iconic chokes, Icebox relies almost entirely on the two sites when it comes to making a difference in-game. Perhaps the most notable difference between these two sites are the entry points that players can reach them by. While A-site definitely confines players in their choices, B-site allows for a bit more versatility when it comes to pushes.
On A-site, the biggest downfall, whether you’re on offense or defense, is going to be the fact that each team only has one main point of entry towards the site. Sure, there are multiple sides that you can emerge on to, but at the end of the day, both offense and defense really end up being cloistered to the same locations once they get on to the site. What’s most problematic for the attacking team is that A-site promotes little diversity in its pushes. While there are opportunities to make the most out of areas like Nest and Belt, standard pushes tend to go awry if the defensive team stacks this site.
When it comes to B-site, there’s a stark contrast. On the other side of the map, there’s plenty of room for creativity and inventive strategies in regard to pushing on to the site, as well as defending it. Whether you’re using the Garage, Tube, or the midsection of the map to reach your eventual destination, there’s going to be far many more options for B-site as there are for A-site.
Even looking at the bird’s eye layout of Icebox, it’s ultimately clear that almost 75 percent of the map is dedicated to either B-site or the various entryways leading to it. Only about a quarter of the map itself actually deals with A-site at all.
Important Angles and Points of Interest
1) Perhaps the most interesting area of the map as a whole is the spot on A-site connected by two ziplines. This area gives attackers and defenders a way to travel quickly between Nest and Rafters while a potential gunfight could be erupting beneath them. Having an aerial advantage is certainly a testament to the idea of vertical gameplay that is so prominent on Icebox, and nowhere on the map is it more present than the main area of A-site.
If you’re defending this spot on A-site, you’ll have a good view of both potential ways the attacker’s choke can be manipulated. If a defender sits in the rafters, they can easily wait for a quick pick on a pushing offensive player if they’re able to have a clear sightline. Another major tip for this area is to avoid using the ziplines altogether unless you’re making a quick rotation. While the idea of landing a zipline trickshot definitely sounds cool in theory, it’s probably going to do your team more harm than good. Still, if you need to leave A-site in a hurry, the ziplines do have a bit of use.
2) An important angle to take advantage of on B-site is actually a fairly simple one. As stated previously, Icebox is great for its long-range gunfights, and when attackers clash with defenders on opposite sides of B-site, there can certainly be opportunities for great Operator battles. If you’re on defense, you’ll have a near clear shot at any attacking players emerging from the garage entrance to B-site if you hold the angle just behind and to the right of B-site. Additionally, if you’re holding this angle, another one of your teammates can play up near the middle part of the map and either force a pincer maneuver or a complete flank. As long as pressure can be applied from this part of the map, the open space that Icebox allows players to run around in definitely plays a major part in deciding rounds.
3) Finally, one last point of interest that has to be mentioned is the Tube in the middle of the map. This area is way too unique, even by VALORANT’s standards, to not be mentioned in an overview of Icebox, as it commands a good portion of the discussion when it comes to reaching B-site. Perhaps the most unique and mentionable characteristic of the tube is the fact that it’s sloped upwards, making a ramp-like structure in the process. With this in mind, players on the attacking side of the map will have to ascend up the tube, also meaning they’ll have to shoot up at an incline as well should a gunfight break out in the area.
This incline gives defenders a significant advantage, as the team that is attempting to hold down the site will have an increased advantage when it comes to simply firing down-range. If you’re looking to make a push on to site through Tube, make sure you have the proper utility in hand or a significant numbers advantage before doing so.
Building the Perfect Agent Composition
In order for players to find success on Icebox, they’ll have to make use of all of the many elevated positions and vertical angles. Areas like A-site’s rafters, as well as the straight drop down onto B-site are some of the most notable positions where characters like Jett and Omen would be great picks.
Additionally, with so many corners and angles, characters that can gather information quickly and efficiently are extremely viable on Icebox. If your playstyle revolves around excelling in the recon department, Cypher and Sova certainly stand out.
Finally, with so many tight positions for players to potentially gain some sort of vantage point from, characters that snuff out parts of the map with devastating grenades and molotovs are most definitely beneficial on Icebox. With that in mind, Raze and Phoenix actually find a decent amount of success on this map when placed in the right hands.