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Counter-Strike 2 is official, gets Summer 2023 release window

Valve just shook the entire esports world when it dropped news of the Source 2 engine migration of Counter-Strike out of nowhere.

Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 in the most Valve way possible - with zero warning.

It's official: Counter-Strike 2 is coming and it will be here sooner than expected.

The Janitor Valve confirmed the Source 2 upgrade for Counter-Strike out of nowhere, not with an announcement, but with a series of unprompted video uploads on its YouTube channel.

As if Valve couldn't be bothered to ask ChatGPT to help it detail every change that's coming to Counter-Strike 2, audiences instead got three short videos showcasing everything from tick rates to the maps, as well as a complete rework of mechanics in the game.

Valve later published a blog post detailing the changes coming to the free CS:GO upgrade and the Limited Test, which, as the name suggests, gives select users a glimpse of the new version.

Valve is describing Counter-Strike 2 as the "largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike's history" while also promising that it will receive "updates for years to come."

Unfortunately, the eligibility criteria for the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test remains murky at best, as is usually the case with Valve. It's reportedly based on several factors like recent playtime on official servers, trust factor, and the standing of your Steam account. Naturally, Valve didn't send Counter-Strike 2 invites to players who've gotten banned from CS:GO at some point in the past.

According to Valve, the Limited Test will let players use existing in-game skins and cosmetics. Unfortunately, you're limited to playing only against other players in the Limited Test. As of the time of writing, the available modes for the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test are Deathmatch and Unranked Competitive matchmaking exclusively on Dust2. However, Valve will add more maps and game modes as the Limited Test progresses.

Don't worry if you didn't get in the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test. Valve plans to bring in more players until Counter-Strike 2 is out this summer. As long as you keep on the good graces of Valve, you should get your invite sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, your best bet to knowing more about Counter-Strike 2 is to find a content creator or streamer.

Valve has been ramping up its release schedule lately and Counter-Strike 2 might not be the last big release this decade.

After much teasing, Counter-Strike 2 is finally here. We're curious to find out what else Valve has planned after releasing a much-awaited update for its most-played game. Who knows? Maybe Half-Life 3 and/or Portal 3 are next in the pipeline.

At this point last year, Valve revealed that it was working on multiple "pretty exciting" projects, with a later datamine revealing at least four.

If Counter-Strike 2 and the unannounced Dota spin-off are part of the four-part lineup, we'd love to know more about the other two soon.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5904

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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