Split is officially back in the VALORANT map rotation for competitive and unrated play, but at the VCT LOCK//IN in São Paulo to kick off the pro 2023 season, it holds the unfortunate distinction of being the only map to be banned in every series so far.
It’s still a relatively small sample size, and early in the massive 32-team single-elimination bracket, but Split has been banned in the map pick/ban phase in all six series so far at VCT LOCK//IN. Both Split and Fracture have not been played yet over the six best-of-three series, but while Fracture was technically picked in the Cloud9 vs. Paper Rex series as map three, that series ended in only two maps via a decisive C9 win.
The returning Split is faring much worse than the debuting Lotus, which has been picked twice so far. Interestingly, though, both times in which Lotus was picked, the team that picked it lost: Paper Rex against Cloud9 and FunPlus Phoenix versus Karmine Corp.
Given how long Split has been out of the active rotation, it makes sense that teams are a little hesitant to jump back in right away. Players have had fewer opportunities to play Split in ranked compared to other maps, and at least with Lotus, players were able to play a Lotus-only queue when the new map was released.
Additionally, there’s a chance that some teams might be keeping a few of their cards close to their chest. The start of VCT league play is just over a month away, and while all participating teams are certainly looking to win, perhaps some aren’t looking to reveal all the pages in their playbook at a tournament where one loss means they’re sent home.