Valve updates CSGO map pool and Cache leaks

More updates have come to the CSGO Map pool as Valve announced they would be rotating two maps out of active play. Gone are Austria and Subzero, to be replaced by a returning Zoo and Abbey, with a new version of Vertigo also having been added for Wingman matchmaking.

The changes mark the end of Subzero, the community-created map designed in part by FMPONE, but the enigmatic map designed had some other news for fans of the competitive scene on Twitter. While Valve are tweaking the casual maps that can be played in CS, FMPONE was tweeting an image of Cache, the competitive classic, that suggested the long-awaited remake is at least halfway done.


Zoo will make fans happy of course, and Austria is unlikely to be missed, but it is a bit odd to remove the fan creation so quickly after it was introduced into the game. From and esports point of view though, the remake of Cache is the most interesting story, with images first having leaked when the designer was streaming, and subsequent teases also appearing on Twitter.

In the linked image above, you can see the right angle on the wall of the A-site on Cache has been curved, giving a better view into the site from car. A container has also been replaced with a SWAT vehicle, with both changes making it easier to re-enter the site when you’re coming from B. There are also aesthetic changes coming, with a selection of leaked stills showing a far greener, more organic-looking map.


CSGO Prime tweaks

Finally, it looks as though Valve are tweaking their Prime Matchmaking service, with the phone number requirement on accounts potentially gone, and automatic upgrades to Prime status now occurring at Lieutenant Rank 21. This means the end of pay to play Prime, and in theory should reward dedicated players that enter the ecosystem through the free-to-play route with better experiences, if they can endure their time in non-Prime.

The plight of Subzero shows the challenge designers face too, as players are less likely to queue for the newer maps even if they have a decent layout and pedigree. Zoo and Abbey are unlikely to make it into the competitive pool any time soon, but the rework of Cache and potential return of Cobblestone could both revitalise the selection in coming months if Valve feel the need to do so.

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