It has been more than ten years since CSGO – one of the most popular first-person shooters in history – was released by Valve. As the leading esports title, CSGO enjoys a prestigious place in the gaming industry, boasting tens of millions of fans and a thriving, valuable ecosystem that – even after a decade – absolutely refuses to quit.
Recently, rumours have surfaced regarding the near future of CSGO and the potential for an enormous upgrade to take place on the platform. In 2014, Valve released its upgraded, proprietary game engine, Source 2, but since it dropped, CSGO has remained on the nearly twenty-year-old engine, Source.
Following a series of telling references and suggestions, it seems that CSGO players should be expecting a new update very soon.
There’s no doubt that CSGO holds most of the weight of the entire esports industry upon its shoulders. It’s by no means the only game in the space, but it is arguably the most popular, with countless events and tournaments being held every year. It comes as no surprise to learn that CSGO betting is also dramatically popular, with millions of esports fans placing wagers on some of the most valuable, prominent organisations in the esports space. It’s easily one of the most important games in the modern age, and even ten years after CSGO was released, it continues to shatter peak player records.
At its core, CSGO is a relatively basic game, but it’s certainly a case of it being easy to learn but difficult to master. It does so well what competing competitive shooters do badly, boasting an intuitive, enjoyable ranked platform that players have come to fully know and love over the last decade or so. It also helps that CSGO is free-to-play, despite boasting a global market for cosmetics – otherwise known as ‘skins’ – that’s worth billions of dollars.
Since 2014, all major Valve titles have been built using Source 2, and CSGO is one of the few remaining titles that use the original Source engine, which debuted in 2004. It’s outdated, but that hasn’t stopped CSGO from constantly sitting at the top of whatever charts it inhabits.
On March 1st, dataminers uncovered references in NVIDIA update files to a ‘CSGOS2’ and a ‘CS2’ – two executable files that started getting CSGO fans a little hot under the collar. There are so few things that these could be referring to, and the former could very easier be translated as ‘CSGO Source 2’. There was an immediate wave of confusion that surfaced as subsequent digging turned up references to a ‘Counter-Strike 2’, giving way to the belief that an entirely new game would be releasing soon.
That’s highly unlikely, though. For the duration of its lifecycle, CSGO has remained relatively unchanged, and even porting the game over to Source 2 would be a monumental difference for players both professional and inexperienced. An entirely new Counter-Strike game would be unfathomable at the moment, especially considering how remarkably popular CSGO is at present.
There are now expectations that Valve could slowly roll out an upgrade that would eventually fully port CSGO over to the Source 2 engine. At the very least, this would mean a graphical upgrade for the game, but it may also impact how it feels to play. It’s safe to expect a beta phase of some kind, with Valve actively seeking feedback from the community before launching a full, global rollout. CSGO could be set to change forever following ten years of living out the status quo.