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Half a year into CS2’s Limited Test Beta and still a long way to go until it lives upto Counter-Strike’s legacy

Subhradeep Mukherjee

An illustration improvised from the official Counter-Strike 2 cover image

It has been a fun run for Counter-Strike (CS), all these years of memorable moments. And we are here upon the precipice of witnessing the future unfold through CS2.

The heritage of CS dates back to a couple of decades. And it is safe to say the franchise lives to be older than a chunk of today’s esports professionals in every field. And throughout these years, millions of teenagers and adults were left captivated by the beauty of Counter-Strike. Be it the first mod extracted from Half-Life 2 or simply 1.6, Source, and subsequently Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it was a memorable journey.

All these years of development and dedication seemed halted earlier this year as it seemed that the CS scene was at its last legs. With updates coming in late, a lack of engagement, and a failed anti-cheat system, the situation looked gloomy. And when it seemed like everything was over, Valve announced the existence of CS2. Thus began the Limited Test Beta phase. And with it came a wave of new and old players as Valve handed out invites to them.

However, even after six months of handing out access, and beta testing, the community remains split. While some say it is heading towards a direction from which the game might never return. Others chose to look at the bright side and appreciate the changes with a heart filled with hope. And it is still a hard climb ahead for the game to live up to the colossal franchise.

Is CS 2 good or bad? Community remains split

The bigger question should be how long is the Limited Test beta taking place. Looking at the answer it seems like an injustice to call it either. Because at the end of the day, it is still the closed beta phase. It will be followed up by the open beta phase resulting in the full release.

And until Valve ships out the final product, an ultimate verdict will only fall on deaf ears. Because all the hatred and negative comments will only lead to developers improving those experiences. Ultimately, the effects remain positive, having an immense impact on CS 2.

There are many facets upon which the community remains divided. The fact that the long-running MR15 system is shifting to the new MR12 format boils the blood of many in the community. This situation can even be misread as many think this hatred comes from the same towards the current competitor, Valorant.

Valve made a few bold changes to the existing system

While the game has its elements, we players loved Counter-Strike for its system. The gameplay, the feeling, and choices in execution of each round made it such a hit. Players loved the freedom of improvising flashes to take proper fights. The freedom of making a long comeback based on the availability of 30 rounds. All these add the competitive edge, strengthening beliefs of making a return. But with CS2, the system no longer remains the same.

Looking back, we have always witnessed a massive change with every iteration of Counter-Strike. And there is no denying that everyone expected major changes to the prevailing title. For starters, Skybox is gone, which allows for lucrative flash lineups, same for smokes. The devs listened to the complaints of the community, to receive a 128-tick server.

However, it came as the most peculiar method possible. Valve removed the whole aspect of the tick rate. The CS2 servers run on Sub-tick rate. Which means there is no delay in registration. Every click or movement is read in real time, and the actions take place at the time of input. However, some data mining recently showed that the servers in reality are 64-tick. And no changes were actually made.

The MR12 (Each half will have a maximum of 12 rounds) system matches the currently popular competitive match length of Valorant. However, it comes with a catch. While rounds are not in abundance, the economy remained the same. Which led to making comebacks near to impossible. Another reason for outrage in the community is the change to the Buy Menu. Instead of the Buy Menu having a wheel, it followed suit with Valorant, having a fully laid out list of weapons.

Big names in the community gave their opinions on CS2

The whole of the community remains split, it is obvious that even big names will follow suit. While some praised the new changes and fight to save the name of Valve, others looked the other way and remain that way. Jacob “Pimp” Winneche, Counter-Strike panelist, former pro player, speaks highly of CS2. And he even portrayed the hatred he received for advocating the MR12 system for quite a few years now.

Nikola “Lobanjica” Mijomanovic is someone who looks at the dark side of the moon. He tries to portray the bigotry within the community, and in reality, just propagates unnecessary hatred.

Counter-Strike prevails in the end

Be it the White Knights or the Crusaders against Valve, all the feedback comes from playing and engaging within the community. And this is something the Counter-Strike franchise lacked for a long time. The fact that enough players are trying and dedicatedly playing the game is a positive thing. It means the beta testing is going exactly how it should.

Kudos to Valve as well for handing out a dedicated email id for players to send feedback so that the development team can look into it. And the ID remains in the archives of the official CS2 Twitter account. And for sure Valve is looking into every single one of those issues. There are regular updates coming in with quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes.

As mentioned earlier, half a year is too short to measure the height of greatness. There is a long road ahead for CS2. Not because changes were made to the game, but because it still remains on shaky grounds. There is a lot that could go wrong real quick, game having hit registration issues, server tick-rate issues, there is a lot to improve.

One more thing to remember, there was a lot of hatred when CS: GO was released. The situation was the same at that time. But the game finally turned out great, it existed non-stop for all these years.

There are so many positive changes as well. Volumetric Smokes make the game more engaging. The interactions with Frag Grenades also redefined utility usage. The only thing to look forward to is Valve lowering that time to greatness. And seeing the progress already, the community should remain hopeful.

About the author

Subhradeep Mukherjee

Subhradeep Mukherjee


Subhradeep "Bucketbaba" Mukherjee is a journalist currently working as a Senior Editor and division head of Esports and Gaming at The SportsRush. He has an experience of over 3 years and has written more than 1500 articles in total. He has been a video game enthusiast leaning mostly towards story-rich games for almost two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys reading mystery novels and tending to his household cat. He also has a Master's Degree in Statistics.

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