After months of rumours and speculation, Valve has revealed Counter-Strike 2, the next generation of CS:GO.
What Counter-Strike 2 means for CS:GO esports
The game was announced via the official CS:GO Twitter account, in which Valve stated that Counter-Strike 2 is "an overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience."
Counter-Strike 2 will release in Summer 2023, launching as a free upgrade to CS:GO. The game is already available to players participating in the Limited Test Build, with Valve collecting feedback before the worldwide release later this year.
The upgrade is, as the official Counter-Strike website describes it, "the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come."
While the graphical upgrades to the game are sure to delight fans, we've already had a peek at several new features that will make a radical impact on the game's professional scene.
Valve has brought specific attention to how Counter-Strike 2 will change how smoke grenades work. Smoke grenades have become a vital part of CS:GO professional tactics, and teams across the world will no doubt be paying close attention to the new features.
Smoke grenades in Counter-Strike 2 will create 'volumetric 3D objects' that will interact and change with other items in the game world. Essentially, this means that the smoke will expand to fill spaces naturally, seeping through opened doorways and broken windows. Additionally, given that the smoke itself now exists as an object in the game's world, all players will see the same smoke, regardless of their position.
Most notable for professional play, however, is that the smoke can now be dispersed by the in-game weaponry. Shooting into the smoke will create a hole through which players can see through to the other side, while HE grenades will briefly clear a section of the smoke to clear sightlines.
And while Valve has yet to reveal all of Counter-Strike 2's new features, there's still more of interest to the esports scene in this announcement, as Counter-Strike 2 has made some significant changes to the game's tick rate system.
As a brief explainer, Counter-Strike games until now have tracked a player's shooting and movement in “discrete time intervals," known as "ticks." The tick rate reflects the speed at which the game's server processes updates and the gap between a mouse click and a tick could make the difference between a shot landing or missing its target.
In a video uploaded to the official Valve YouTube channel, the developer revealed that they are "moving beyond tick rate" with an all-new system.
Counter-Strike 2 introduces sub-tick updates. Essentially, this means that tick rates between a player moving and shooting are now irrelevant, as the server can track a player's precise movement between ticks. As Valve explains, this means that the game knows the “exact moment you fired your shot, jumped your jump, or peeked your peek." While this change may not make an enormous difference to casual players, its significance to the professional scene cannot be underestimated - and will no doubt make world-class Counter-Strike esports more exhilarating to watch than ever before.
In the meantime, Counter-Strike tournaments will still be utilising the CS:GO we all know and love. But as players begin to get their hands on the all-new Counter-Strike 2, it could have some significant ramifications for the game's professional scene. However it plays out, you'll be able to follow along with our upcoming Counter-Strike esports match schedule. And while you're at it, why not make it most out of your CS:GO betting experience by signing up to claim your free 100% bonus?