In Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), there are various maps where virtual battles are fought. Each of these has unique characteristics, making gameplay different on each map. CS2 has retained popular maps from its predecessor, CS:GO, but many of these have undergone significant changes to their layouts, resulting in a considerably different playstyle. In addition to the revamped classics, Valve has implemented new ideas to refresh the map pool.
Classic Maps (Bomb Defusal and Hostage Rescue)
In CS2, you can expect the return of classic maps like Dust 2, Inferno, Nuke, Train, and Office, among others. Some of these maps have not only been significantly visually enhanced but their layouts have also been altered at times. For example, Inferno has been visually polished and Overpass has undergone multiple changes.
The development of CS2 is ongoing, and thus it’s important to note that the map pool for CS2 is still not finalized. This means that we don’t yet know how exactly the map pool will look in CS2, but it is expected that it will feature both updated classic maps and entirely new ones.
Map Groups & Map Pool for Tournaments
CS2 maps are divided into categories based on different game modes. There are the Competitive and Wingman modes where players can freely select which maps they want in their pool. The Casual and Deathmatch modes, on the other hand, use “Map Groups”, which are predetermined sets of maps established by Valve.
Valve also designates an “Active Duty Map Pool” that comprises seven classic competitive maps. These are the maps that professional players commonly use in tournaments. This pool is not static and may change over time as new or revised maps are introduced, causing others to be removed.
The current official “Active Duty Map Pool” is:
Community maps have a significant role in CS2 and are even encouraged by Valve. For example, Cache, a popular competitive map, has been remade by a community member. This was the first community map to be permanently included in the official map pool. Anubis, the second community map to accomplish this feat, was added years later.
Nowadays, Valve frequently introduces community maps into the game, albeit for a limited time. This not only provides variety to the players but also gives talented community members a chance to showcase their creativity and even make some money.
The Official Maps in CS2
As the development of CS2 continues, expect a variety of maps spanning different game modes. Most maps can be played in several modes, with some being exclusive to specific ones. The maps can be broadly categorized into:
Classic Maps: These are usually played in 5v5 Competitive mode.
Other Maps: These feature in the smaller game modes.
Danger Zone Maps: These are made exclusively for the Battle Royale mode.
The maps vary according to the underlying mission type: Bomb Defusal or Hostage Rescue.
Professional Players and Maps
Professional players prefer certain maps that are part of the “Active Duty Map Pool.” This set of maps, which currently includes Ancient, Anubis, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass, and Vertigo, is always used in Valve-sponsored Major Championships. Other professional leagues and tournament organizers, like ESL, also often use this map pool. This pool is considered the standard among professional players.
While this overview provides a basic understanding of the maps and map pool in CS2, remember that Valve may make changes to them in the future. The active duty map pool and community maps are subject to alterations based on feedback from the community, players, and tournament results. Therefore, players should always stay updated with the latest changes for the best gaming experience.