Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test: How Could CS:GO Esports Change?

Posted on March 22, 2023 - Last Updated on March 27, 2023

[Update provided by Khein Gutierrez]

Over the past few weeks, the competitive CSGO scene evaluated the rumours of a new version of the game being released by Valve. The Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test has now been announced. Read on to learn how this could change CSGO esports.

Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test – Game Changing

We finally have a clearer picture of Valve’s intentions.

Many games such as Overwatch and Call of Duty have constantly enjoyed updates and new changes to keep their respective esports fresh.

Ever since 2012, with the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the community has enjoyed a title that become the most popular esports title in the world.

Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test
Image Credits: Valve

Despite a lack of massive changes or updates, the technology has advanced in the past ten years and CS:GO hasn’t managed to catch up.

And now, after years of epic CSGO tournaments, the CounterStrike 2 Limited Test appears to be the next step forward in the evolution of the game.

The Next Era of Counter-Strike – This Summer

Right now, Valve has unfortunately decided to not share too many details.

All we know for certain is that all of the game’s new features will be outlined this summer. However, until then, Valve is rolling out a limited test that will be open for a handful of select CS:GO gamers.

Likely involving the best CSGO players, this testing period should provide massive insight into what awaits the future of CSGO. Supposedly, during this time, Valve will be trialling and testing new changes which look to shake things up.

Like this, the game will only reach the wider community once it’s completely ready – there’s no better way to release it.

In addition, Counter-Strike 2 will be arriving as a free upgrade to CS:GO, which is certainly an awesome piece of news which portrays Valve’s regard for the community.

Counter-Strike 2 Limitedt Test
Image Credits: Valve

Confirmed Changes – Items, Mechanics, Maps

Within the official announcement, Valve confirmed a few concepts which are on the roadmap for the upcoming Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test. Here’s a concise list below:

  • ‘Responsive Smokes’: reworking an essential tactical piece of equipment to act dynamically with the environment and behave realistically.
  • Improved Tick-Rate: by updating the tick-rate, the system which handles the connections between players in servers, online gameplay looks to be smoother and much more consistent.
  • Map Overhauls: dated textures and colours of classic CSGO maps look to be lightened up and overhauled using modern game design elements. Some changes are more significant than others.
  • Source 2 Tools: new mechanic for the community to be able to build their own maps in their very own Item Workshop.
  • Other Changes: enhanced VFX, accurate audio, environment effects, UI effects and gameplay visuals

Such exciting moves do away with any idea of the community asking – is CSGO dying?

Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test Wishlist

Beyond these confirmed changes, which are much needed, we have our own wishlist of items for this hugely anticipated update:

  • Map Reworks: apart from visual reworks, we’d like small tweaks to the maps to help spice up how the maps play.
  • Weapon and Economy balances: weapons haven’t changed in a while, and a change in how the economy works is much needed.

While CSGO remains one of the most popular esports in the world, change is great for everyone involved, to the extent that it changes how we bet on CSGO.

What this means for CS Esports

While it’s important to linger on the details of what will be the new face of CS, the coming of CS2 raises even bigger questions for esports.

A professional CSGO player has spent thousands of hours mastering every aspect of the game. Moving to CS2, which promises to preserve all learned skills from the old version to the new, it’s reasonable to argue that the learning curve will be almost negligible. Yes, there’s a discussion of which teams will exploit and create the new meta the best. But for those who say the new mechanics will “completely change the game,” know that the majority of this change will not come from the pro players and their approach.

So, where will it come from then? Right now, there are still many things left in the dark. A possible answer, however, is from the competitive play and its biggest participants.

On March 26th, CSGO broke its monthly concurrent active players record. That said, it becomes a question of whether or not the hype behind this upsurge—which will reappear in a much larger wave when CS2 finally gets released—will greatly influence the CS competitive scene somewhere down the line. Imagine new phenomenal players to challenge the likes of s1mple, NiKo, karrigan, who wouldn’t really be blamed if they decided to end their career clean before or shortly after CSGO become CS2.

Everyone knows graphics will only get better and better as more technological advances get unlocked. What everyone doesn’t know is how long a game can accumulate new players and sustain growth even with such beautiful graphics. With the world moving even faster now, especially with the increasing capabilities of A.I., can CS and its player base, which fuels its competitive scene, withstand another decade?

Gabriel Sciberras Avatar
Written by
Gabriel Sciberras

Gabriel is an esports journalist and content writer, covering every related esports scene and topic under the sun, apart from plenty of experience in the realm of technology and gaming. When he's not covering international news, he's focused on the local Maltese scene.

View all posts by Gabriel Sciberras