Sources: Yes "Counter-Strike 2" Is Real And It's Round The Corner


For years leakers and data miners have promised the release of a new version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on the Source 2 engine. It has been such a frequent occurrence that it has become the subject of jokes and memes within the community. However the rumour mill had gathered extra steam at the end of February when Valve’s official CS:GO Twitter account changed its banner. Nothing too out of the ordinary. This was noticed in September and October of 2022 as well. Then on March 1st when Twitter accounts, including the popular @gabefollower, started to point out that NVIDIA drivers had introduced support for two new executables, “csgos2.exe” and “cs2.exe” tongues really started wagging.

‎Gabe Follower 2 @gabefollowerSomething weird just happened. Latest NVIDIA drivers introduced support for unknown app executables called "csgos2.exe" and "cs2.exe". Why project is called Counter-Strike 2 and what are you cooking @CSGO? Aquarius @aquaismissing😳🚨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: - csgos2.exe - cs2.exe

6:44 PM ∙ Mar 1, 20239,582Likes924Retweets

Since then official channels have gone back to their standard radio silence and the CS:GO community started to believe it might just be another false dawn. Since then sources have reached out to this publication to inform us that not only is the new version of Counter-Strike very real but it’s also right around the corner.

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Speaking under the condition of anonymity sources with a knowledge of the game’s development told us that indeed there was a new version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on its way and that had been worked on for some time. The new version is almost certainly set to be released under the working title Counter-Strike 2 and the tentative release date for the beta is in this month of March with April 1st at the outside.

The sources explained that the creation of the game had been something of a priority for Valve’s team, which includes members that have overseen development of previous iterations in the Counter-Strike franchise. This, they said, should explain why some issues with CS:GO have been largely unattended to for some time. “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.”

Specific details of the game included that it will, of course, be on the Source 2 engine, a move that should improve the optimisation and graphical fidelity of the game. That is likely to come at a cost of performance for players with low-end PCs, although Valve historically has always had a philosophy of empowering those with every-day gaming rigs to be able to play their games.

The big question for the community has been whether or not official servers would be 128 tick bringing it in line with rival title Valorant. The sources confirmed that this would be the case and that this feature would likely be ready at the launch of the beta.

The game is also set to include a much improved match-making system with features that it is hoped would make the need for third party pugging services unnecessary. Currently the community has had to suffer from uneven match-making and long times between rank ups. Most who want an experience more closely aligned with that of a competitive player are typically advised to sign-up for third party services such as FACEIT. These features will be an ongoing work in progress but the beta will launch with similar match-making features that are available in the current version of CS:GO.

The sources explained that the game was “about ready to go” and had said that it had even already been tested by an unnamed group of professional players that were flown out in secret to Valve’s headquarters in Seattle.


Less clear is the future of CS:GO and its esports scene. Only Valve can answer intentions about whether CSGO2 will serve as a direct replacement for CS:GO or whether it will exist alongside the older game, enabling players to make a choice of preference as has happened historically since the first version of Counter-Strike was released. It could also be similar to the Dota 2 move to Source 2 when the newer version was called Dota 2 Reborn and ran alongside the original game before a “merger” that saw the improved version become the main one.

It also begs the question how long the current esports season can continue before tournament operators adopt the newer version and whether they will have input on when that happens. On the basis of past versions there is likely to be a lengthy period of balance and feature overhaul before the game is fit for competition. We shall add an official Valve response if we receive one.

The Counter-Strike franchise has remained one of the premier and most popular esports across the world and a new version, with superior technology and a reduced barrier of entry into competition, bodes well for the future.

We shall update the story with further details as we receive them.

Richard Lewis is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.