Counter Strike 2 Update: Beta Leaks, Rumors, And Everything We Know So Far
CS:GO has been the recipient of a lot of major updates over the course of its decade-long history, but nothing akin to a true sequel. Over that time, the player count has grown every year, owing to the powerful core mechanics, famous esports scene, and a thriving digital economy of the items present in the game.
For the reasons mentioned above, a ‘sequel’ never quite seemed possible. Why would Valve even think of releasing a new version of such a successful and still-growing game? However, when ‘CS:GO 2’ executable files were found in an NVIDIA driver update, the rumors started.
Afterward, a report by Richard Lewis seemed to confirm the upcoming Counter-Strike 2 beta, which is scheduled for release in March. Since then, there have been even more leaks and rumors, which we have compiled in this article.
Counter-Strike 2 Gets Officially Announced!
As of the time of writing this article, Valve has officially opened the doors to Counter-Strike 2 for selected players and has released a bunch of official news including trailers, blogs, etc.
So any information below that refers to CSGO 2 not being released has been outdated. All other information is still completely accurate. So do give it a read!
Counter Strike 2 Beta: Leaks And Rumors
In this article, you will find all of the most recent updates concerning the Source 2 beta for Counter Strike, some are straight from Valve, whereas others are from trustworthy players such as Gabe Follower and Aquarius on Twitter.
March 21: New logo revealed on CS:GO’s Twitter page
At last, CS:GO gave the very first official indication that something exciting is in the running by updating their banner with a brand-new logo.
We are still not quite sure as to what exactly this logo is for, but given Valve knows how much the community pays attention to their banner, this was clearly a deliberate attempt to build up hype and speculation. It is safe to say that they succeeded in this particular mission of theirs.
March 20: Valve drops another teaser, more blog activity
After a fairly silent weekend, things ramped up again on the 20th of March, Monday. Firstly, Aquarius found more secret blog posts and other CS:GO blog activities. It is pretty apparent that Valve is preparing something for the blog.
After some time, CS:GO’s official Twitter account dropped yet another vague GIF teaser, but this time, it was not from ‘The Office.’ Instead, it was the classic ‘conspiracy theory’ meme from ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia.’ Alas, we are still no closer to knowing when the Source 2 update will actually release.
March 17: Valve registers new trademarks
It came to our attention that Valve had submitted applications for two new trademarks: “CS2” as well as “Counter-Strike.” It is not quite known what exactly these new marks will be used for, but the majority of the players are convinced that it relates to the Source 2 update.
March 17: Valve developers change profile pictures
This might seem like a harmless update, but Aquarius suspects that the developers at Valve are changing their profile pictures to take screenshots for promotional images.
March 16: More blog activity and another CS:GO response
Once again, CS:GO directly replied to a tweet regarding Source 2 with another GIF from The Office. However, this time around, they replied to streamer fl0m, who said that Source 2 was “incredible.”
Nevertheless, this time the GIF featured Michael Scott, who looked quite confused and was on the phone. It’s anyone’s guess what this is meant to mean. Then, there was some more blog activity.
The blog activity continues on the 16th of March, further adding fuel to the fire that developers at Valve are lining up the official blog post announcement to coincide with the release of the Counter-Strike Source 2 beta.
March 15: Valve finally breaks silence
On the 15th of March, the official CS:GO Twitter account finally addressed the Source 2 beta rumors (kind of). They replied to an ESL tweet with a video segment regarding all the Source 2 speculation.
Nevertheless, the reply was simply a GIF, once again from The Office, which featured Michael Scott simply snooping through his office blinds. This reply was more than enough to send the CS:GO community into a meltdown.
March 15: CS:GO Blog Activity
On the 15th of March, Aquarius started to post alerts showing that activity was taking place on the official Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Blog. Needless to say, we expect that there will be a blog post to accompany the announcement of the Source 2 beta, so this could be in preparation for that.
March 14: Limited test build config added
Next up on the 14th of March was a new executable, with the description “Limited Test Build” and the name ‘cs2.exe.’ This is still possibly one of our most powerful indications that a new executable will, as a matter of fact, be known as Counter-Strike 2.
March 14: Source 2 added to Developer pre-release branch
This was a pretty solid indication regarding the fact that the Valve developers are working and testing on a Source 2 version of Counter Strike, getting ready for a public launch.
What Is The Counter Strike Source 2 Beta?
The most apparent modification in any new version of Counter Strike would involve an upgrade to the Source 2 engine. Presently, CS:GO operates on the original Source engine, which, despite updates over time, originated in 2004.
It's improbable that this will be an entirely "new game"; rather, it will be the familiar CS:GO, but utilizing the Source 2 engine. Think of it as a substantial update to the existing game.
Valve introduced its latest engine iteration, Source 2, in 2014, and it is already employed in Dota2, Artifact, Dota Underlords, and Half-Life: Alyx. So far, Valve has refrained from making an official announcement about the Source 2 engine upgrade for CS:GO.
On March 5th, experienced esports journalist Richard Lewis revealed that the Source 2 version of Counter Strike is set to launch the same month, featuring 128 tick servers and an enhanced matchmaking system.
Several reports suggest that the new engine will also enhance graphical quality and optimization. As for maps, numerous leaks and data mining indicate that Valve has been testing Source 2 versions of maps since 2020.
In July 2022, various leakers verified the list of maps with Source 2 versions, including Shoots, Inferno, Lake, Overpass, Shortdust, and Italy. However, the precise impact of Source 2 remains unclear.
Valve is unlikely to significantly alter the core gameplay of Counter-Strike, but visual and technical enhancements are expected.
On March 7th, 2023, references to CS:GO in Source 2 were discovered in a Dota 2 update. The game's code contained information about maps, player models, cases, and sprays being integrated into Source 2.
Even though there is no concrete proof, it shows the existence of a CS:GO port into Source 2 made by Valve, and until official confirmation, it is the best proof we have as of yet. The most recent updates came on the 14th of March when many players thought the CS:GO Source update was about to release.
An ‘Imminent Major Update’ was alluded to as players checked changes to the CS:GO app on Steam’s database. However, in the end, March 14 came and went without a major update at all, meaning that the wait went on.
Will Skins Be Removed in Counter Strike 2?
To address this concern, no, CS:GO skins, knives, stickers, and other in-game items are not anticipated to be erased.
The CS:GO economy serves as a vital component of Valve's business approach, and deleting these items or not transferring them to an updated game version would lead to the loss of millions of dollars in value and compromise players' trust.
It has been approximated that about 30 million CS:GO cases were opened in February 2023, generating remarkable monthly earnings for Valve. The potential worth of items inside the cases motivates players to open them.
Nonetheless, while Valve would undoubtedly make efforts to preserve the skins economy, it's plausible that Source 2 could provide skin creators with expanded artistic liberty, allowing them to craft more sophisticated designs, textures, and pattern templates than currently achievable.
When Will Counter Strike Source 2 Update Release?
Counter-Strike 2 is set to release on March 2023 with a beta, according to Lewis’ report. At the latest, the beta will release on the 1st of April (not an April fools, don’t worry).
On the 6th of March, when the new Dota 2 update went live on Stream, it included several CS:GO strings too, spotted through the Steam database tracker SteamDB.
One more CS:GO update tracker on Twitter, known as Aquarius, recapped the update, confirming what it means: “CS:GO Source 2 can be dropped ANY day now. It will be a free opt-in DLC that will be available to anyone who’d like to participate in beta testing. It’s real, and it’s happening.”
The trademarks registered only for “Counter-Strike” have also indicated that “Global Offensive” could be dropped from the name. This has also sparked a couple of rumors that faction names ‘Terrorist’ and ‘Counter-Terrorist’ could be changed in order to soften the language.
However, for now, the always famous CS:GO continues to hit new player count records in 2023, more than ten years on from release, and that is without any major updates. Valve need not be in any rush to release a CS:GO 2.
Has Valve Officially Confirmed Counter Strike Source 2?
Currently, Valve has not officially confirmed CS:GO’s port into Source 2, but they also have not denied its existence either. On the 16th of March, 2023, the official CS:GO Twitter account replied to a tweet by ESL regarding the port.
The tweet was a content segment that was released during the ESL Pro League Season 17, poking fun at CS:GO 2 data miners and leakers’ obsessive wait for the game.
Technically, this was the very first acknowledgment by Valve or the CS:GO developers of the existence of the port, even though it is a very roundabout acknowledgment.