VALORANT Champions Tour will resume stage 2 with 8.11 duelist patch, but Abyss has to wait

Some of the biggest changes to the VALORANT meta—via a combination of drastic balance tweaks to the duelist class and a new active map pool—are coming to the game’s highest competitive tier, but not all at once.

The VALORANT Champions Tour Americas League confirmed today that stage two, with the all-important Champions-determining playoffs later on, will resume on Patch 8.11. The buffed Iso and Neon, the balanced Reyna, and the satchel movement nerfed Raze will all be playable from the first match onwards.

But while the map pool is also changing to start stage two, the newest map Abyss will not be in the map pick-and-ban phase until the playoffs. Stage two will begin with Haven returning to replace Breeze, with the rest of the map pool consisting of Ascent, Bind, Icebox, Lotus, Sunset, and Split. But before the playoffs begin, Abyss will officially enter the pool as Split exits.

The other international VCT leagues are implementing similar changes. VCT Pacific just completed week one of its second stage, but Haven will replace Breeze starting in week two. Both VCT China and EMEA will start the same as Americas, on Patch 8.11 and with Haven in the map pool.

These changes will reflect the state of the map pool in VALORANT as a whole. Patch 8.11 is live at time of writing, but only Haven has re-entered the map pool for competitive play. Abyss, currently near the end of its one-week Abyss-only queue, will enter the competitive map pool with Patch 9.0.

While a new map pool will certainly liven up pro gameplay, the changes to duelists have the potential to be far more impactful. The buffs to Neon and Iso have already resulted in a massive spike in their ranked pick rates, though ranked trends don’t always fully carry over into VCT play.

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