Rainbow Six Siege's Kanal map rework has been out for a bit now, and everybody's starting to get pretty familiar with its new layout. There are portions that are pretty similar to what it was before, but for the most part, Kanal may as well be an all-new map. Anybody who's played Siege knows that maps that have even been in the game since it's launch still get new strategies developed on them again and again, especially when new Operators come into play. So a (mostly) new map means there's a ton to learn for a long time to come. Here are ten things to familiarize yourself with on the new Kanal to get you started:
10 BASEMENT SITE - KAYAKS/SUPPLY ROOM
The Basement Site in Kanal is one of the sites that is somewhat familiar, but it has enough new elements/improvements to lend itself to a pretty different strategy than before. Where the Boat Room used to be is multiple entry sites for Attackers; a double-window, a staircase, a ladder leading from a new tunnel coming from the bathroom, and a doorway into the hallway beside both objectives. This is likely going to be a focal point of aggression from an Attacker or two, so have a plan for dealing with that side of objective. The hallway to the side of the objective is relatively unchanged, as is the staircase leading into that hallway. The bathroom still has a ceiling hatch, but the room with the ceiling hatch in it also has a window to worry about, too. The Kayak room has one ceiling hatch as well, though, with just the one hatch, it's easy enough to keep the vertical entry threat to a minimum from this site.
9 1F SITE - COAST GUARD MEETING ROOM/LOUNGE
This site is very different than before, with only the hallway near the front of the building remaining virtually the same (besides having one less window). The Coast Guard Meeting Room itself is pretty similar, though it's much more defensible than before with every objective window removed. There's one room adjacent to it now, as well as those two same hallways leading into the room, as well. The other room, the Lounge, is entirely different than the previous other objective room and is likely going to be the site that's more difficult to hold in the long term. It has two windows, a wide breachable wall right next to the third floor staircase in the back hallway, and though it doesn't have a ceiling hatch to drop into, it does have a bit of ceiling that can be shot through.
8 1F SITE - MAP ROOM/SECURITY ROOM
This site can be a nightmare for Defenders that aren't properly prepared. Most teams will want to open up a rotation hole through one, if not two, of the walls between the objectives. There's one exterior window to worry about which gives a perfect view into the Map Room and, depending on how your team sets up their rotations, into the Security Room, too. There is one ceiling hatch that gives instant access into the Security Room, and two other hatches that give access to rooms less than a second away from the Map Room, meaning Roamers are going to need to have a presence upstairs if the Defenders hope to have a chance.
7 2F SITE - SERVER ROOM/RADAR ROOM
Though this site looks drastically different than before, it's still going to require some really strong Anchor play from the Defenders. The new 2F Bridge between the buildings leads directly into the objective site, so having an Anchor plant themselves with a sightline on this bridge is a must; they might even need some Roamer support on the NW staircase. The exterior wall leading to the Radar Room is going to be a familiar presence, but that NE staircase is a new and welcome addition for Attackers, giving them another option for getting onto the 2F of the building.
6 NEW BRIDGE
As mentioned before, a new bridge between the two buildings was added to Kanal in the rework, giving Attackers another option for pushing from the opposite building, and Roaming Defenders a new option for rotating around for a flank or to get back to the objective site. Because of this, it's pretty important for Attackers to keep a constant eye on their flank, and using claymores, Nomad, or Gridlock is a pretty easy way to do so.
5 VERTICAL PLAY
All but the 2F objective site has an at least partially destructible ceiling, even if there's no hatch to drop through. This can benefit whichever team chooses to make use of it, and that usually means the Attackers, unless the Defenders are using a less traditional setup. Exposing sightlines through the ceilings can really disrupt Anchors and allow you to not only get some free kill or push the Anchors into less favorable positions, but it also allows you to get a glimpse and destroy most of the gadgetry in the objective site that they're making use of. Through the ceiling, pop open Mira windows, get rid of Jager ADS devices, destroy Mute jammers, etc.
4 SURPRISE PEEKING
We're all accustomed to being prepared for a Roamer to surprise peek a window and kill rooftop Attackers on Kanal, and that hasn't changed much in the rework. In some places, the threat of this has been reduced somewhat, but in others, a new threat has presented itself. As an Attacker, there's definitely some impetus for staying on the roof for a little bit to fire through objective windows and cut off certain rotations for Anchors, but just like before, you'll want to stay prepared for a Defender to pop out of the door on the Coast Guard roof, or have a cheeky, small hole opened up in a window to fire from.
3 BLIND SPOTS
Kanal is a very hallway-heavy map, and this makes for quite a few blind spots and ultra close-quarter fights. As a Defender, all of these hallways make for a pretty tough time in having intel on what's going on around you, especially without a full five-stack of teammates. There are a few ways to alleviate this pain; a super-confident team might open up some of those walls with impact grenades/shotguns in order to give Anchors some more sightlines. Another team might grab an operator or two with bulletproof cameras, or Valkyrie and/or Maestro. For pure, long-term intel, Maestro is the strongest pick here, since his cameras are only destructible by a few operators on the Attacker's side.
Because of the tight hallways in Kanal, trap operators, in particular Lesion and Ela, are going to be very effective for Defenders. Attackers are going to be forced into a ton of narrow lanes, making the placement of these traps is very easy, and the likelihood of an Attackers stumbling onto it is very high.
On the flip side, this makes Thatcher a valuable asset for Attackers. Because a lot of traps are going to be congested into a tight space, his EMP grenades are pretty likely to take care of some of them without much fear of wasting the grenades.
1 RISKY TACTICS
Overall, Kanal is a map that rewards risky tactics and unconventional methods. Because of its size, a late flank can usually be largely unnoticed, meaning both Roamers and Attackers have the opportunity to stay on the move a bit more than some of the more claustrophobic maps.
That said, most of these sites are going to have Attackers putting easy pressure on the Anchors for quite a while. Strong Anchor play, and smart rotation holes, is going to be paramount to their success.