Posted: Sep 28, 2023 in CSGO
In the world of competitive gaming, few titles have captured the hearts of players and the competitive spirit of esports as profoundly as Counter-Strike. Since its inception in the late 1990s, this first-person shooter franchise has continued to evolve and set new standards for tactical gameplay and thrilling action. Now, as we step into the future of Counter-Strike, it’s time to don our virtual combat gear once again and explore the exciting innovations introduced in the beta for Counter-Strike 2. What new features has Valve been cooking up? Let’s dive right in.
Wait, hasn’t this beta been going on for like, months? Well, yeah. The beta has been going on for a long time and will most likely continue to do so as Valve rolls out new features and collects feedback on the changes in real-time. But what changes are being made, and how will they affect Counter Strike’s current player base?
Unlike a traditional sequel, Valve’s Counter-Strike 2 will be replacing the old game. This puts more pressure on them to release a solid game that can live up to the original’s fame, which is saying a lot since it’s one of the most popular games in the world.
Everyone’s favorite map…sort of. Inferno has received a massive graphical overhaul! Take a look at it! The crevices, the small corners, everything feels unique and lived in. Valve did a fantastic job and while we may gripe at how low their output frequency is, it just shows that quality takes time. They’ve done a great job but I can’t believe they removed stuff like the boiler or library because they are such iconic spots.
I’m also not too fond of the ‘dusty’ aesthetic that it has been given, because I feel like it makes it more like Dust II. In any case, the map is gorgeous and we should be ecstatic that one of the most classic maps in gaming history has been updated for a new generation of gamers!
The flagship competitive mode is staying the same, except it’s going to twelve round halves along with a brand new map-dependent ranking system. This means that you will now have a separate rank for each map. Very interesting! I can’t imagine someone being Silver 2 on Inferno and Global Elite on Office, but here we are! Although, when you think about it, it makes sense. Map knowledge and awareness can lead to serious variations in results when it comes to player skill, and so it makes sense that you would want to highlight a player’s strengths and weaknesses depending on which map they’ve ended up on.
The goal here is to please everyone. Allow me to explain. If you were unaware, CS: GO allows its players to queue for specific maps in competitive matchmaking. In fact, if you so choose, you can queue for literally only one map for every match. This will lead to a situation where you have a player who ends up becoming incredibly proficient in one map but never plays any other maps. And they aren’t incentivized to start learning other maps because it would be at the expense of their rank. This new system allows these players to comfortably queue for other maps in competitive matchmaking without risking their rank on certain maps. Furthermore, it does not penalize those who queue for all maps.
This is a new mode that has its own competitive matchmaking. It does not use the traditional competitive ranks that we’re used to like Silver, Gold Nova, or Global Elite. Instead, players are given a flat number value. There is then a leaderboard that allows you to compare yourself to everyone in the entire world and in you’re own region.
Unlike in the basic competitive mode, the rating system in Premiere Mode is not map-specific. When you queue for this mode, you can end up playing any map in the game. Every map in the active duty is on the table, and you can end up playing every map, except for the new ‘Veto’ system. The first team bans two maps. All you have to do is simply click on the map you don’t want to play. Next, the second team bans three maps, through the same process the first team used. Finally, the first team bans one map and the leftover map is the one that is played. The second team gets to decide which side they start on.
This new system allows you to punish players who you believe may only be skilled on a small map pool. Now, having a wide range of strategies over a variety of maps is an important skill that is directly rewarded with this new system. Identify and exploit your enemy’s weaknesses. The veto process is the first strategic decision your team is going to make. Do not take it lightly. After you’ve won ten games of this Premiere Mode you’ll receive a rating and be able to see yourself on the leaderboard.
Another aspect of Premiere Mode I find interesting is surrendering. If a player happens to leave your team, anyone on your team is given the option to surrender. If even a single player on your team decides to surrender, the game ends. It’s an unfortunate reality that leavers will inevitably happen, and in my opinion, it’s better to cut that game short than to force people to commit to a 4v5.
Optimism galore! Counter-Strike 2 is looking to be an incredible game, with each update in the beta bringing great new reworks and changes not only to the gameplay but to the actual systems in place for playing the game. I am confident that not only will Valve create a great competitive gaming experience, but that they will redefine how competitive gaming is played entirely. In any case, I hope you all are as excited as I am. Have a great day!