What Counter-Strike 2 Changes Will Impact Esports the Most?


Counter-Strike 2 is set to replace Counter-Strike: Global Offensive later this year. The last CS:GO Major was the Paris Major, and the esports circuit will change to CS2 come early 2024.

Esports fans are already wondering what will change once CS2 takes over. Will the gameplay be different? Will the teams have different strategies? Here’s what we can predict so far.

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Change #1: The Engine — Source 2

Counter-Strike 2 will be powered by Source 2, providing the game with much better graphics and more detail. We’ve already seen significant visual improvements during the beta, which has shown a handful of maps in action.

While seeing the maps with more detail is quite exciting, it’s not going to impact competitive play all too much, if at all.

Change #2: The Maps — Touchstone, Upgrade, and Overhaul

It’s already been confirmed that CS2 will see big changes to existing maps — some more impactful than others.

Touchstone maps are classics that never seem to get old with the Counter-Strike community. These won’t be updated too much, allowing players to enjoy them as they have for the past decade. These maps include Mirage, Vertigo, Dust2, and Train.

Upgrade maps are maps that will have visual improvements, like lighting, texture, and reflections. The maps will look completely different but will have the same layout as before. These maps include Nuke and Ancient so far.

Overhaul maps will see complete makeovers in Counter-Strike 2. The layouts and design will be changed for maps like Overpass, Inferno and Italy.

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This will heavily impact competitive play, especially overhaul maps. Teams will have to practice on these new maps to get used to how they look and feel, ensuring they know them inside and out. A lot of Counter-Strike players have muscle memory and incredible reflexes, so they will need to make sure that they feel confident enough on each map to know the angles and spots to focus on.

Change #3: Weapon Loadouts

This change, while refreshing, is being seen as a “quality of life” change more than anything. The Counter-Strike community is very excited about the improved loadout system, which will allow them to use weapons they are more familiar with or enjoy more than others.

Change #4: Smoke Grenades

The utility is seeing big changes in Counter-Strike 2. Maps now have an open skybox, so you can toss grenades more freely across the map. And most importantly, smoke grenades work completely differently than before.

Smoke grenades will now expand to fill the space they’re in instead of having a set plume no matter where they land. This will create some unpredictable or strange shapes players may not expect. Smokes are also wider and last longer.

Even more interesting, the smoke can be dispersed by gunfire. If you fire through the smoke, you’ll poke a hole in it. This allows you to see through it for a short amount of time. Dropping a grenade in the middle of the smoke will provide you with a few seconds of clarity.

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Developers have also stated that CT smokes will be a dark blue while T smokes will be a dusty yellow. This will make it easier to know who has thrown the smoke grenade.

This will be a significant change for pro players. A lot of strategy in CS:GO revolves around throwing smokes and making moves. Now, players will have to remember that the smoke will move differently depending on the area they are dropped, meaning they will have to figure out the best spots for throwing grenades for the best coverage. They will also have to keep in mind that the smoke disperses with every shot.

Will Pro Play Change in CS2?

There have been some significant changes to the rules on how tournaments can be organised in CS2. With that said, the fundamentals of a match in Counter-Strike 2 still remain the same. This means Abios’ data-collecting capabilities will be unaffected, and we can continue to collect in-game data and post-match statistics just as before.

Keep an eye on our blog to follow all CS2 action unfolding. We’re looking forward to seeing if the same teams remain at the top or if some players adapt better to CS2 than others.

Do you need data from tournaments in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Counter-Strike 2 for your next esports project?