Source 2 confirmed: Counter-Strike 2 officially announced
Game developer Valve has officially announced Counter-Strike 2, the highly anticipated update to its flagship FPS esports title Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
A closed beta for Counter-Strike 2 has started today for selected CS:GO players, with the full game arriving this summer, Valve has announced.
Counter-Strike 2 will replace CS:GO once the game officially launches, a departure from previous updates to the Counter-Strike franchise which saw multiple versions of the game — and esports scenes — run simultaneously.
The game will feature several upgraded and updated features, most notably transitioning to Valve’s newest game engine Source 2.
Other changes include an upgrade to Counter-Strike’s server architecture and tick rate, an overhaul of all current CS:GO maps, as well as fundamental changes to how grenades work in the game.
“Counter-Strike 2 is the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come,” Valve wrote on a dedicated new website outlining the update.
With a slate of major changes, including gameplay changes, the update could have significant effects on CS:GO’s esports scene — one of esports’ biggest titles.
The major update could lead to renewed interest from viewers, players, esports organisations and sponsors. CS:GO experienced a loss of market share to Riot Games’ VALORANT when it launched in 2020.
It is unclear what will happen to professional competitions following the game’s launch, given that Counter-Strike 2 will replace CS:GO and multiple esports leagues are currently ongoing.
Leagues may immediately transition to the new game. However, another possibility could be that Valve provides tournament organisers or competing teams with an older version of the game until those leagues are completed.
Valve has yet to announce what its esports plans are for Counter-Strike 2 or how this update will affect its ecosystem.
Esports Insider has reached out to ESL Gaming and BLAST — CS:GO’s two biggest tournament organisers which run franchised CS:GO leagues — for comment and will update this article if a response is received.
An update to the Counter-Strike franchise has been much anticipated amongst the CS:GO and wider esports community, long the subject of memes, jokes and speculation as to when it would arrive.