Valve has released a major update for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and it’s one that’s bound to make an impact on future tournaments.
Valve announced the changes in a post on the official Counter-Strike blog, with one of the game’s most iconic maps being taken out of the Active Map pool - a change that’ll be felt on the competitive scene.
Dust II, arguably the most iconic map in CS:GO history, has joined the likes of Cobblestone and Cache, and has been taken out of the Active Duty map pool ahead of the 2023 Paris Major, taking place from May 13 to May 21, 2023. While the map will remain available in competitive modes, it won’t appear in the map pool for Counter-Strike tournaments.
Instead, Valve has replaced Dust II with Anubis - something the developer had teased on the official CS:GO Twitter account, through a Tweet asking followers to reply with a good Anubis pun. This prompted speculation about some upcoming changes to the Active Duty map pool, and particularly about Dust II - especially after the previous update to the map was criticised by players.
It’s not necessarily the last we’ll see of Dust II on the competitive scene, however. The iconic map was replaced by Inferno back in 2017, but returned to Active Duty just a year later in April 2018 with a new visual update.
The current Active Duty map pool consists of Anubis, Inferno, Nuke, Mirage, Vertigo, Ancient and Overpass. These maps are considered the best of the best by Valve, providing a perfect balance for professional CS:GO tournaments.
That’s not the only change that’s going to be felt in future Majors either. In the same update, Valve has significantly nerfed a fan-favourite weapon: the AWP sniper rifle. Additionally, the M4A1-S now does less damage from a distance.
Following the update, the AWP has seen its magazine size reduced from 10 to 5, with Valve telling players to make their shots count. It’s a pretty significant reduction, and one that is bound to affect the competitive scene. At $4,750, the AWP is one of the more expensive guns in the game - and with less ammunition on hand, players may decide to steer clear of it.
There’s still quite some time to go before we see how these changes affect the Paris Major, but there’s still plenty of CS:GO action before then. The BLAST Premier Fall Finals are kicking off on November 23 - here’s everything you need to know about this week’s tournament.
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