Valve-sponsored major’s in CS:GO have changed the competitive map pool recently, removing de_train and introducing the remake of de_cbble ‘de_cobblestone’, well-known map de_cache, provided to us by FMPONE and Volcano, as well as a brand new map ‘de_overpass’ made by Valve themselves.
As Cobblestone and Overpass had never been played in a competitive environment before, (besides Cobblestone in its beginnings as de_cbble on CSS, which even then was played very little due to it’s incredible CT sidedness), this will shake up the VETO system and make things very fresh and unpredictable for BO3 matches.
The competitive map pool is now:
Cobblestone has been in the Counter Strike map pool for years and dates back to the 1.6 era, however it was never popular as a competitive map. It has since had a revamp and some say it is now ready for competitive play in tournaments worth thousands of pounds. However, I am dubious. If it had never been used before, there must be some issues with the core of the map. If there are, or even a whiff of issues with the map, I personally don’t feel like this is good enough for quarter of a million dollar tournaments.
I expect most teams to veto this as it is the least ‘competitive-ready’ map in the pool, with far too many tight angles and hiding spots to check as well as a huge area of quiet or ‘dead space’ between T spawn and middle where things will hardly ever take place.
New maps are good, there’s no disputing that. But there needs to be some sort of testing and feedback from pro players and the general community. This clearly isn’t being considered by Valve at the moment as nobody was consulted in the development of Overpass or the remake of Cbble. This happened when Valve & Hidden Path first released the game; If they want the game to be as successful as League of Legends then they need to involve the players more. The people who actually play the game for a living are the ones who can give the most valuable feedback on how the game should play and what changes are most important.
The VETO system is now a lot more tactical than it was before with two maps people don’t want to play, or haven’t played as much. The system for the major’s is now:
Best of One: Veto A – Veto B – Veto A – Veto B – Randomized map out of the three remaining
Best of Three: Veto A – Veto B – Pick A – Pick B – Randomized 3rd map out of the three remaining
So in theory we could see a lot wider map pool being played. If teams know they will get absolutely demolished on for example, de_dust2, they will VETO de_dust2 then the other team knows they will get beaten on de_inferno they will VETO that, leaving at least one of the three new maps to be played.
For the game to progress and be successful in adding new maps and growing as a community Valve need to include the professional players a lot more. Include them in developing the maps and updating them or just have a ‘test client’ prior to releasing each update in the way that Blizzard have their ‘PTR’ or ‘Test Realm’. This will keep a high level of map variety and hopefully prevent bugs like the Tek-9 OP and the dust2 doors debacle.