Following eleven years of Counter-Strike Global Offensive, it's time to turn the page as Counter-Strike 2 is coming soon. On the 22nd of March, Valve announced the launch of CS2 in a closed beta that is invite-only based on "recent playtime on official Valve servers, Trust Factor, or Steam account status."
There is still no date for CS2's official release, but Valve announced the game would be launched in Summer 2023.
In recent news, CS2 announced a Rating named Premier mode, featuring per-map Skill Groups. In Premier, you will earn points for each victory, and the ranking will be divided into three different leaderboards: friends, regional (Africa, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, South America and North America) and global, with the top 1,000 best players in the world.
As mentioned before, now you will have a rank for each map, which will be played in MR12, meaning each half will have 12 rounds, and you will have to score 12 rounds to win a game. You must play a six-round overtime if the game is tied 12-12. This MR12 will be introduced in competitive esports, too.
Legendary Dust II was the first map being released in the CS2 map pool, but more were added during the last few weeks. Check the list of available maps in CS2:
- Dust II
All the maps introduced in CS2 were updated with "better lighting and player visibility but remain fundamentally identical." Other maps, like Overpass, were built from the zero, "taking advantage of all the new rendering tools and features in Source 2".
In CS2, smoke will now interact with what's happening in the game. Grenades and bullets will open a field of vision and disperse the smoke.
Counter-Strike 2 will introduce new effects for Molotov, bomb explosions, blood from the players and interactions with nature.
From now on, in CS2, you can see your legs while you're moving around the map.
The Weapons for Counter-Strike 2 are expected to be the same as CS:GO. However, a new loadout was introduced. Now you can choose five weapons for each category: Pistols, Mid-Tier, Rifles and Grenades.
This new loadout allows you to have the possibility to buy M4A1-S and M4A4 in the same match since you have both selected in your loadout.
In CS2, you can give back the weapon if you mistakenly bought the gun, and you will get your money back.
Things will remain much the same for skins in CS2. All your inventory from CS:GO will move to CS2, with no changes or skins being unavailable in the new game.
According to the Counter-Strike 2 website, "Not only will you keep all the items you've collected over the years, but your collection will also benefit from Source 2's lighting and materials. In addition to accommodating all CS:GO models and skins, all standard weapons have been enhanced with high-resolution models, and some skins take advantage of these new models."
These should be the bottom line required for CS2:
- Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit operating system
- Processor: Dual-core Intel or AMD processor at 2.8 GHz speed
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Graphics: GeForce GTX 650 or Radeon HD 7750 graphics card
- Storage: 60GB of space
Esports and tournaments
Officially, only one tournament has been announced to be played on CS2 -- PGL CS2 Major Copenhagen 2024 -- and will take place in March of next year in the Royal Arena with a $1,250,000 prize pool.
There was the expectation of having big tournaments in the summer with CS2. However, with still no release from Valve, tournaments like IEM Cologne or ESL Pro League will continue to be played in CS:GO.
CS2 will come as a new breath for Esports and Counter-Strike with all the hype that a new game naturally brings to the ecosystem. More fans and viewers are expected to see the new game and CS:GO professional players playing the game.
Several teams announced their intentions to join the game, including M80, TSM and Guild Esports. More esports organizations are expected to join the fun with rosters and try to be part of the first CS2 tournaments.
There's still no information about the first CS2 tournament, but news will come in as soon as the game is officially released to everyone.