Counter-Strike 2: Source 2 CS:GO update, beta, leaks, and everything we know



Counter-Strike 2: Source 2 CS:GO update, beta, leaks, and everything we know

Published: 2023-03-22T17:15:00  ❘   Updated: 2023-03-22T17:27:35Valve

CSGO playrate has skyrocketed after Valve’s surprise announcement

Following countless hints and leaks, Valve has now officially revealed Counter-Strike 2. Here is everything we know about the new update to CS:GO, and all the leaks, hints and rumors about the beta.

CS:GO has had a handful of major updates over its decade-long history, but nothing akin to a true sequel. Over that time, the player count has grown year after year, thanks to the strong core mechanics, popular esports scene, and a thriving digital economy of in-game items.

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For all of these reasons, a ‘sequel’ never seemed likely – why would Valve release a new version of such a successful and still-growing game? But, nonetheless, when ‘CS:GO 2’ executable files were found in an NVIDIA driver update, the rumors reached fever-pitch.

Then, a report from Richard Lewis all but confirmed the release of a Counter-Strike 2 beta, due to release in the month of March.

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Now, that report has been confirmed, with Counter-Strike 2 officially revealed.


Counter-Strike 2 officially revealedWhen will CS:GO 2 beta release?CS:GO 2 beta leaks and rumorsWhat is the CS:GO Source 2 beta?Will skins be deleted with CS:GO 2?

Counter-Strike 2 officially revealed

Following all the leaks and rumors which you can see below, Valve finally lifted the lid on what they have been working on: Counter-Strike 2.

The new version of CS:GO includes overhauled maps, improved lighting, changes to smoke grenades, sub-tick servers replacing the previous tick-rate system.


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You can read more details about Counter-Strike 2 here.


It’s also confirmed that skins and other items from your inventory will transfer over from CS:GO, and benefit from the improved lighting.

When will Counter-Strike 2 release?

Counter-Strike 2 limited test will release on March 22. It will be open to selected players which Valve will choose.

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The full game will be available for all players, for free, in Summer 2023.

Trademarks registered for just “Counter-Strike” have also indicated that “Global Offensive” could be dropped from the name. This has also sparked some rumors that faction names ‘Terrorist’ and ‘Counter-Terrorist’ could be changed, to soften the language.

The always popular CS:GO continues to hit new player count records in 2023, more than ten years on from release, and that’s without any major updates.

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CS:GO 2 beta: Leaks and rumors

Here are all the updates and hints that dropped regarding the Source 2 beta for CS:GO, some straight from Valve, and others from reliable figures like Gabe Follower and Aquarius on Twitter.

March 21: New logo revealed on CS:GO’s Twitter page

CS:GO finally gave the first official indication that something is on the horizon, by updating their banner with a new logo.

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We didn’t know exactly what this logo is for, but given CS:GO knows how much the community pays attention to their banner, this was clearly a deliberate move to drum up hype and speculation.

March 20: CS:GO drops another teaser, more blog activity

After a fairly quiet weekend, things ramped up again on Monday, March 20.

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First, Aquarius found more hidden blog posts and other CS:GO blog activity. Clearly, Valve are preparing something for the blog.

Then, later on, CS:GO’s official Twitter account dropped another vague GIF teaser – but this time, it wasn’t the office. Rather, it was the classic ‘conspiracy theory’ meme from It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia.

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Now we know Counter-Strike 2 will fully release in Summer 2023.

March 17: Valve registers new trademarks

It was noticed that Valve had submitted applications for two new trademarks: “CS2” and “Counter-Strike”.


It wasn’t known what exactly these new marks will be used for, but players are convinced it relates to the Source 2 update.

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March 17: Valve developers change profile pictures

This might seem like an innocuous update, but Aquarius speculates that developers at Valve are changing their profile pictures in order to take screenshots for promotional images.

March 16: More blog activity and another CS:GO response

Again, CS:GO replied to a tweet directly about Source 2, with another GIF from The Office. This time, they replied to streamer fl0m, who said Source 2 was “incredible.”

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This time, the GIF was Michael Scott on the phone. It’s anyone’s guess what this is meant to mean. Then, there was more blog activity.

The blog activity continued on March 16, adding fuel to fire that developers at Valve are lining up the official blog post announcement to coincide with the release of the CS:GO Source 2 beta.

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March 15: CS:GO finally breaks silence

On March 15, the official CS:GO Twitter account finally addressed the Source 2 beta rumors – sort of. They replied to an ESL tweet with a video segment about all the Source 2 speculation.

However, the reply was simply a GIF from the office, with Michael Scott simply snooping through his office blinds. This reply was enough to send the CS:GO community into meltdown.

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March 15: CS:GO Blog Activity

On March 15, Aquarius began posting alerts showing that activity was taking place on the official Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Blog. Of course, we expect there will be a blog post to accompany the announcement of the Source 2 beta, so this could be in preparation for that.

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March 14: Limited test build config added

Next up on March 14 was a new executable, with the description “Limited Test Build” and the name ‘cs2.exe.’ This is still possibly our strongest indication that a new executable will in fact be called Counter-Strike 2.

March 14: Source 2 added to Developer pre-release branch

This was a solid indication that Valve developers are working and testing on a Source 2 version of CS:GO, getting ready for a public launch.

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What is the CS:GO Source 2 beta?

The most obvious change for any new version of Counter-Strike would be an upgrade to the Source 2 engine. CS:GO currently runs on the original Source engine, which, although updated over time, dates back as far as 2004.

Source 2 is Valve’s newest iteration of the engine, released in 2014, and is already in use for Dota2, Artifact, Dota Underlords, and Half-Life: Alyx.

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CS:GO is updated very rarely, with new maps and minor weapon tuning, but the player count continues to rise.

CS:GO is yet to be upgraded to the Source 2 engine, but that will all change with Counter-Strike 2.

On March 5, veteran esports journalist Richard Lewis reported that the Source 2 version of CS:GO will release the same month, and feature 128 tick servers and an improved matchmaking system.

One element of this was slightly off, as instead of a set tick-rate, CS2 will use a sub-tick system.

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The new engine will also improve graphical fidelity and optimization.

In regards to maps, countless leaks and data mining has shown that Valve is working on a Source 2 version of maps, being tested as far back as 2020.

Maps confirmed for CS2 include Mirage, Dust2, Overpass, Nuke, Ancient, Inferno, and Italy.

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In July 2022, leakers confirmed the list of maps that had Source 2 versions were also being worked on.

What else Source 2 will do exactly isn’t clear. Valve couldn’t risk changing the core gameplay of Counter-Strike too much, but visual and technical improvements are on the cards.

On March 7, 2023, references to CS:GO in Source 2 were found in a Dota 2 update. It was found in the game’s code, showing maps, player models, cases, and sprays being added to Source 2.

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Will skins be deleted with CS:GO 2?

No, CS:GO skins, knives, stickers, and other in-game items would not be deleted. The CS:GO economy is an incredibly important aspect of Valve’s business model, and removing these items, or not porting them over to a new version of the game, would destroy millions of dollars of value, as well as the trust of players.

Valve / Luksusbums

CS:GO skins have continued to increase in price – this AK-47 is on sale for $400,000.

It is estimated that around 30 million CS:GO cases were opened in February 2023, representing incredible revenue every month for Valve. Players are inclined to open cases due to the potential value of the items inside.

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However, while Valve would certainly work to keep the skins economy intact, it is possible that Source 2 would allow skins creators greater creative freedom, to create more intricate designs, textures, and pattern templates than currently possible.

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