More than a decade after the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve is reportedly preparing to announce a new version of its landmark tactical shooter. Moreover, a beta release could arrive as early as later this month. According to esports journalist Richard Lewis (via VGC), Valve has been working on a sequel to CS:GO for some time, and that game is "about ready to go." He says the studio recently hosted a secret playtest of the first-person shooter that involved a group of professional players who flew to Seattle. According to Lewis, Valve tentatively plans to begin beta testing the game with the broader Counter-Strike community by April 1st at the latest. "The big priority is getting this out and then polishing it, fixing any bugs and bringing it up to the level people expect from CS," one of Lewis' sources told him.
As for improvements, the new Counter-Strike will reportedly feature improved graphical fidelity thanks to a behind-the-scenes shift to Source 2, the latest version of Valve's in-house game engine. Additionally, Lewis says the game will support 128-tick servers, a feature that would bring CS in line with Valorant and reduce latency. Valve is also said to have significantly improved the matchmaking experience, which should make the community less reliant on third-party services like FACEIT. Valve did not immediately respond to Engadget's comment request.
😳🚨With one of the latest NVIDIA Drivers a new Game Profile has been added to the NVIDIA Control Panel called "Counter-strike 2"!!
Apparently it has 2 executables:
- cs2.exe pic.twitter.com/hWsWOh4YKV
— Aquarius (@aquaismissing) March 1, 2023
Rumors suggesting that a new Counter-Strike game is right around the corner have been going around for years, but there are a few reasons to assign more weight to this latest report. To start, Lewis has a strong track record. In 2015, he wrote a report confirming rumors that one of the leading professional CS:GO teams at the time had purposefully thrown a match. There's also corroborating evidence to support his claims. At the start of the month, a few CS:GO fans found evidence that NVIDIA's GPU drivers have included references to "csgo2.exe" and "cs2.exe" since February.