Valorant's 5.06 patch notes are here and they're calling out bad behaviour. Though the main focus of the patch is the large changes to the map Pearl, which I'll go over in detail, what piqued my curiosity is the brand new Disruptive Gameplay-based Behaviour Indicator. Valorant is now going to point out the players in each game that have been flagged as behaving in a disruptive manner.
The patch notes simply state: "We've introduced a feature that will show at the end of game screen, which players have been detected for engaging in disruptive gameplay-based behaviour." This will be added to Unrated, Competitive, Spike Rush and Replication with others modes on the way. What disruptive behaviour means in this context is anyone's guess as Riot haven't clarified what that exactly means. Does it mean going afk mid-round? Does it mean language used in voice comms or using abilities to harm team mates to try and teamkill them? Perhaps. But Valorant will now point at you and laugh as you hide in shame as it knows you're being an asshole in a video game.
The patch notes' highlight is that Valorant's newest map, the underwater city Pearl, is getting a rework. Since the game's initial release, the maps Riot Games has launched have had their ups and downs—but mostly downs if players were to speak their mind on the topic. Each map, as Riot once said, asks a question. For example, Bind asks what happens when you're given teleports to go from one side of the map to the other quickly and Fracture asks if you'd like to cry. Oh sorry, I mean it asks how things change if there are two attacking sides. But Pearl? Pearl asks you how many angles you want to check and then triples it.
It's no secret that Valorant is heavily influenced by the game formula of CS:GO. It's basically like its Gen-Z cousin, and although Valorant has a superpowered, sci-fi flair to it, Pearl was supposed to strip much of that flair back and give players a very simple, straight-forward experience by making a tight but complex map. Though it removes many gimmicks, it's now being reworked to make players spend less time checking angles and more time getting onto or defending sites.
Patch notes for 5.06 reveal many of the changes for both attackers and defenders. Anyone who has played Pearl, for example, will know that when pushing B Main, there is a little waist-height wall down the edge of the map which you have to check when attacking as once-per-game, someone on the enemy team may be able to hide there. It's not frequently used it but slows down the push quite significantly when in reality there are already many places to hide on B-site already. That waist-height wall is now being lowered so no one can hide completely, it's easier to check, and more risky to hold. All the changes to Pearl are in this spirit, accelerating the flow of play and making the numerous places to hide fewer and farther between.
Other changes include Mid Shop's pile of boxes disappearing in favour of a larger platform, which will typically aid flanks or rotations. Mid Shops to the central plaza is having a tricky corner removed for the same reason. Mid Top, by attacker spawn is being reduced in size so defenders have an easier time keeping mid control.
The removal company seems to have finally visited Art, because the boxes have been removed making this area far clearer. This helps both teams check and clear the area, when before it was hard to be aggressive for either team.
And that clearing affects A Main and B Link too. Many boxes which were easy enough to conceal yourself behind have been removed, some vertical advantage points have been removed and my favourite little cubby on A Main has been removed, too. Shame, it was my favourite place for a Chamber teleport on attack. Perhaps what attackers will feel the consequence of the most is that the stairs down into A site from A Main have been narrowed so smoking it is easier on defence. Even without a smoke, defending that point will be easier with the smaller choke point.
There are some small bug fixes too which you can check out in the full patch notes on the Valorant blog post.