Valve shuffles the active map pool
Valve has announced changes to the active map pool with Dust 2 making a comeback. Dust 2 remains one of the fan favorite maps with it being one of the most iconic maps within the game. It is not uncommon to call Dust 2 as the face of Counter Strike as the map has been synonymous with the game since it’s launch. But when Valve announced they would be taking Dust 2 off the map pool for a rework, it changed up the esports scene.
Dust 2 is making a comeback into the active map pool and will be used in the upcoming tournaments. It will also be featured in the FaceIT London Major, which is the next Counter Strike Major.
The Official Announcement
Today we’re updating the Active Duty map pool; Cobblestone is out and CS:GO’s most iconic map, Dust II, is back in!
The revised Active Duty pool will be featured at the FACEIT Major in London later this year. And don’t worry – if you were hoping to queue for Cobblestone, it’s still available in each game mode.
In addition to these changes Valve has also made some changes to the casual map pool and the Wingman mode. Nuke is now available in the Wingman mode and has been modified to suit the gamemode. Valve will be shortening the Map as well as include some experimental changes to Point B. This will prove to be a feedback thread for the developers as they can judge the players’ reactions to the same. They will also be looking at the statistics to ensure that the map remains competitive and suitable for the professional scene.
Was the wrong map chosen?
The decision to move Cobblestone out of the active map pool has been met with a lot of skepticism by the community. Cobblestone is a map that requires a rework, but definitely not as much as Nuke. The map was reintroduced as part of the December 18, 2013 update and was architecturally quite different from the current version of the map. Cobblestone has received several updates over the course of the years with the map becoming increasingly Terrorist favored of late. However, despite all its flaws it still sees decent play-time in LAN tournaments.
The other choice for a map rework would have been Nuke. Nuke is a map that has traditionally been extremely CT sided. The previous iteration of the map would see huge CT numbers, often resulting in scores which looked like 13-2, 14-1. The map rework was supposed to make it playable and a much more balanced map. However, there were still various problems with the map and it saw a dip in playtime.
Teams are generally averse to playing Nuke and decide to veto it outright. The alarming regularity with which this happens suggests that there is a fundamental problem with the map.
The following maps are currently in the Active Duty Map pool:
- Dust 2
Nuke will be receiving changes as well
The addition of Nuke to the Wingman mode will see experimental changes to the B site. These changes are aimed at making the site much more fluid and create a balance between the Terrorists and Counter Terrorists.
The map does not require a full rework since it has recently gone under development. The new Nuke was added to the active map pool in 2016. The official blog post shows the differences between the two versions in detail.
The changes to Nuke will be crucial to help the developers determine which changes are best suited to the map. Ensuring that they get it right this time, the map will still be in active rotation and we should hope that the new changes will come into effect soon.
The professional community, however, does feel that Nuke should have been the map put out of rotation. There are several problems with the current iteration and we do not expect the new changes to come before the London Major. The low pick rate for the map definitely puts it as one of the least favored map of all time.