Riot Games just launched VALORANT Episode 5, Act 3 on October 18, and Varun Batra has finally joined the game as its 21st agent (20th playable), Harbor. Thanks to the latest patch, there are lore updates that players can find in the Range, and most of the updates have something to do with the recruitment. And based on the clues from these new updates, it looks like a new map is coming to VALORANT.
The big reveals for Episode 5, Act 3 come from a new recording at Cypher's part of the Range (You can listen here), along with some accompanying player cards from the new Battle Pass. The recording from the VALORANT HQ research wing features a conversation between Harbor and Astra. The two Agents talk about his bracelet, which Astra reveals to be an artifact created by the Guardians. The Guardians, also known as "Astral Guardians" appear to be a group of beings beyond Earth involved with protecting reality, and Astra herself is one of them as one of her quotes refers to herself as an Astral Guardian.
However, it seems that Astra is relatively new to this, so she's still looking for answers from the knowledge left to her, but we do know that some of the things left behind by other Guardians are the relics: Yoru's mask, Astra's gauntlet, and Harbor's bracelet.
Astra used her gauntlet to locate Harbor while he was on the run by tracking similar energy output the bracelet had with her relic, and Yoru himself talked about how his mask might have been similar to the bracelet. All three relics are featured together in the player card of the latest Battle Pass, "Unearthed", revealing the locations where they were discovered. In one of the voice-lines, Harbor confirms that Yoru painted over his mask that was originally gold to match his color scheme.
Astra then tries to translate some of the engravings carved into Harbor's bracelet, and from what she can understand, they suspect the bracelet might function as a key for something, something that Astra has already been looking into, a search for a lost city on Earth that was created by the Guardians, called "Nexus". Astra couldn't find the lost city, but Harbor reveals that he already had found it.
Is the next VALORANT map called "Nexus"?
REALM had been looking into this place that they called a "City of Flowers", but after getting a map to the city, they learned it had not only been destroyed, but sabotaged. Astra brought up Nexus on Omega, thinking about whether they could reach there instead. So could this be a teaser for the next VALORANT map?
As many VALORANT players know, the Battle Pass always includes a teaser for upcoming major releases, and Tier 50 of the Battle Pass for Episode 5, Act 3 features the "Astral Conduit" card, and the latest act also comes with a "Star Lotus" gun buddy. Both of these fit in with the themes of the City of Flowers and the Astral Guardians.
Riot Games hasn't officially revealed any details about the next VALORANT map, but based on these clues, it looks like the developers are already working on "Nexus" or "City of Flowers".