Map changes Do you remember what life was like back in March 2019? Seems like a lifetime ago these days, right? The world might have been a completely different place back then, but it was also the last time Counter-Strike: Global Offensive saw a map rotation in its competitive pool.
Cache was removed in favour of Vertigo on that occasion, in what will certainly remain one of the most controversial changes Valve Corporation have ever introduced. Cache had been one of the most legendary maps in the history of Counter-Strike, well refined and balanced through years of play, but its replacement was effectively a map that so unpolished it could barely be classed as completed.
Vertigo has been improved significantly ever since its first introduction, to the point where it’s practically a whole new map, but there’s yet to be another map rotated in or out since. Plenty of fans, pundits, commentators, coaches and players have made their wishes known that CS:GO shake up its competitive pool sometime soon, and there’s plenty of rumours running around the scene that we could be on the verge of some major shakeups.
With that being said, here are some of our bold predictions as to what map changes we could be seeing over the course of 2021.
REMOVED: Dust II / Mirage
Two of the oldest map changes in the game and easily nestled amongst the most famous maps in all of first person shooter history, we think it’s time for either Dust II or Mirage to take a step away from active duty.
Anyone who has played CS:GO will be all too familiar with Dust II and Mirage as maps: they’re both baseline maps that will often be selected by the majority of players in vetoes as they’re the two most easy maps to simply pick up and play. The layouts are simple, the utility is easy to master but not exactly essential if you don’t know them and both maps have a real contact feel that rely on duelling and fast contact plays.
Rushing is an infuriating thing to have to come up against round after round, especially when you’re trying to work out strategies or clever rotations, but it’s all rendered impossible when the enemy team goes from rushing the B bombsite to rushing long round after round.
These ultra-aggressive teams at any level of the competitive pyramid regularly dominate the CS:GO betting odds for the matches where Dust II and Mirage are involved, and there’s just very little for fans to see or enjoy after years of the same strategies being employed over and over again.
On top of that, both maps have very similar themes aesthetically speaking with both are set in sandy towns with a similar-looking orange glow to them, giving both Dust II and Mirage an overlap that no other maps in the pool have to worry about.
Rumours have been swirling about a lot about the potential addition of the likes of Anubis, Cache or Engage, however we think that the likeliest map to slot into the active competitive pool is actually one that has already been there: Cobblestone.
Cobblestone first appeared all the way back in the beta stages over the very first Counter-Strike game in the late 1990s, but was added to CS:GO in the Winter Offensive update in 2013. The map is located on the grounds of a medieval castle located in Germany and was a part of the competitive pool from 2014 to 2017 as the game grew into one of the most popular Esports games in the entire industry.
It was a map that really allowed outsider orgs such as those that competed from NA and the CIS region of EU to have a map to punish pick with, and there are plenty of highlights and vods of when Cobblestone was a popular map pick at even the biggest of events and tournaments.
The map boasts a naturally striking them with its castle setting that stands it out from all others around it, it’s a popular map with fans in deathmatch and such through its placement in the Defusal Group Sigma collection and boasts a whole host of interesting strategies that orgs could either bring back from its heyday, or attempt to rejuvenate for the modern game.
It’ll be interesting to see what maps Valve bring in over the course of 2021, but definitely make sure you keep an eye out for the Cobblestone castle to be amongst the favourites.