Valve is switching up the map pool ahead of the new year.
Just a week after Outsiders hoisted the IEM trophy at the Rio major, Valve has dropped a bombshell on CS:GO fans with a couple of huge changes to the game. Map switches in the active duty pool and even some gun modifications await CS:GO fans in the new update.
Another titan of Counter-Strike is leaving the active duty pool of maps. After watching maps like Cache and Cobblestone benched for the likes of Vertigo and Ancient, it was only a matter of time for Dust II. Starting today, Anubis will step into the limelight to replace one of the most iconic CS maps of all time. Many fans speculated about the departure of Dust II, especially after the map received less-than-stellar reviews for its update over a year ago. What’s interesting about the switch is that Valve teased the idea of Anubis entering competitive play earlier in the day. Valve also made it clear in their post that the upcoming 2023 Paris Major was in mind when making this change. Dust II will still be available in competitive modes, but won’t be in the map pool for any professional CS:GO tournaments.
This won’t be the first time Dust II has been pulled from the active duty map pool. Back in late 2017, Valve yanked the classic map for the likes of Inferno, a map now regarded highly among the Counter-Strike community. The departure of Dust II was short-lived though, as the map returned to competitive play just half a year later in April of 2018, replacing Cobblestone. Dust II received a visual update during its time outside of active duty before its return. Players will have to wait and see if that pattern will repeat itself once again.
The other big changes coming to the Nov. 18 update involve gun updates. For starters, it seems that Valve is actually taking a page from Riot Games’ book with its changes to the AWP. The big green will now only hold five bullets per magazine, similar to the Operator in VALORANT. This change will obviously force sniper players in Counter-Strike to be much more mindful of every shot taken going forward.
The other gun to receive changes is the M4A1-S, which is getting a slight nerf. The A1-S has long been the preferred weapon over its louder brother, the A4, despite holding ten fewer bullets per magazine. Part of that was due to the A1s’ accuracy, especially from long distances. That long-ranged accuracy is exactly what Valve are changing, making the silenced M4 less reliable from distance.
It’s a small update in size from Valve, but one that will have a monumental impact on CS:GO heading into 2023.