Counter-Strike: Global Offensive enthusiasts have been scouring every Steam update for further information ever since it was rumoured that Counter Strike 2 would release this month. That appears to have paid off now, since the development team is seen testing the Counter-Strike: Source 2 version, which often signals that a release is just days away.
Internet sleuths have been poring over each server update and piece of code, even in updates for other games like the most recent Dota 2 patch, to see what they can learn about Counter Strike 2 release date, and yesterday they struck gold. It appears that references to Source 2 have been added in an update to the developer pre-release branch of CSGO, which is basically the version of Counter-Strike where they test any new content or features. This suggests that the team is currently getting ready to release the Source 2 update very soon.
Given the complexity of this modification, it would not be surprising if it took longer to ensure that everything is functioning as planned. Normally, any upgrades that arrive at this test branch are added to the live game within a day or two.
Although there is no assurance, it is a promising sign that CSGO 2 will be released within the coming week. CSGO updates typically appear at the end of the week, but as with anything involving Valve, as per Forbes, past performance is not always a reliable predictor of future behaviour.
Other investigators have found certain maps that, at the very least, look to have been upgraded for the new engine, which could turn out to be the new map pool in CS2. There are some new favourites like Inferno and Overpass, some old favourites like Cobble, and others like Italy, Short Dust, and Lake. It is possible that these are the improved CS2 maps and the current active duty maps not mentioned will simply be carried over in their current state, which would still make for an odd competitive map pool.
This could all be a clever deception as we still don't have any confirmed information about CS2, but with all the leaks and reports we have at this point, it seems very certain that it is real and scheduled to launch shortly. Counter-Strike 2 needs to make a lot of improvements, but right now, anticipation is at an all-time high, and this might be the perfect storm for Valve that propels Counter-Strike to a new level of popularity.
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