It is hard to believe that Valorant is already entering its third calendar year. The game has proved a massive success and a continual pipeline of new content has given the feeling that there is much still to come.
At launch back in July 2020, we had ten Agents and four maps, and as we enter 2022, the game now boasts 18 playable Agents and seven maps.
That's to say nothing of all the skin bundles, battle passes, game modes, the flourishing esports scene which culminated in Valorant's first 'world cup' -- Valorant Champions or even knowledge that a mobile version of the game is in the works, Valorant is here to stay and I am all for it.
But what can we look forward to in the immediate future? The game's next big update is Episode 4 Act 1 which will very likely introduce Valorant's 18th playable Agent, codenamed Sprinter, as well as bring the long-awaited Yoru rework, which will mark the first time an Agent has had their abilities so drastically altered in an attempt to make them viable.
A new map is probably out of the question, with Episode 4 Act 1 likely to come out before that one is ready, but nevertheless there looks to be plenty for players to get their teeth into.
Here is everything we know.
When does Valorant Episode 4 Act 1 come out?
The launch date of Episode 4 Act 1 is -- if there are no delays -- scheduled for 12th January 2022.
We know that because the Episode 3 Act 3 battle pass ends on that same date and the downtime between seasons has historically been kept to a minimum.
What can we expect from Episode 4 Act 1?
At a minimum, we will be looking at a brand new battle pass with all the cosmetic rewards that it bestows.
While the developers haven't explicitly said that the Agent currently known as Sprinter will be joining the roster in Episode 4 Act 1, the fact that we know so much about this rival to Jett, including their likely abilities, points to her inclusion being imminent.
Though, it should be noted that the game's latest Agent, Chamber, was expected to be released at the outset of Episode 3 Act 3 but was pushed back as the developers didn't feel it was game-ready.
The Yoru rework has been long in pipeline and that too looks like it is ready to ship, we got an extended look at the changes to his abilities last month and it would make sense to get them into the game as soon as possible with the start of the competitive calendar beginning in earnest next year.
Will we get a new map?
We likely won't get a new map with the release of Episode 4 Act 1 though we are starting to see some leaks and teasers that point to a map located in Lisbon, Portugal will soon be coming to the game.
🇵🇹 A map teaser?! 🇵🇹 #VALORANT#RiotXArcane— Disturbo (@NotToDisturb) November 2, 2021
A VALORANT themed texture sheet in RiotX Arcane contains a set of coordinates which potentially hint at the location of the next map
" 38º 42' N 9º 8' W " ⏬ pic.twitter.com/NCeUfYaFx5
While there is a very slim chance of the map coming next season it is likely we will see more in-game (and out) teasers in the first few months of the year with a release at the outset of Episode 4 Act 2 being more likely.
We will continue to update this page with more information as we get it, check back closer to the release time for all the latest news around the battle pass, agent changes, and Sprinter.
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.