In the first big update of 2019, Counter-Strike has made a few changes. Some popular maps are now gone and have been swapped for some returning community favourites.
After the most recent update, we say goodbye to Austria and Subzero from the official matchmaking map pool. This was to make room for Zoo and Abbey which have now been added to both Casual and Deathmatch modes. Zoo, you may recognise from Operation Bloodhound. Abbey is new to the official servers but is a popular community map that even came second to Biome in a MapCore competition in 2017. The map swap was possibly a result of Valve not thinking the maps were popular enough. Trialling the new maps will likely occur the same as it did for Austria and Subzero, where they will eventually be added to Competitive matchmaking.
Some more changes are coming to other maps such as Biome and the returning Vertigo. Vertigo had been removed from the map pool previously because of a lack of popularity. It has now been re-added after some layout changes. It currently will only feature B site in Wingman mode but may be extended and make its way to Casual as well. Biome’s layout has had some subtle changes but they may have a large impact on gameplay. Counter-Strike’s update page specifies the following changes:
-Removed connector between A short and A long.
-Removed mid lower entry.
-Added ladder to mid upper entry.
-Moved T spawn towards A to give CTs better mid timings.
-Fixed several bomb stuck spots and clipping issues.
Removing pathways and entrances around the map can make it take considerably longer to rotate to or push a site. Pushing long A will really have to be commited to as there is no connector for a quick exit. Moving T spawn so that it will take Terrorists longer to get to B will indeed mean that Counter-Terrorists will have better timings on mid angles. However, it will also mean that Terrorists can make it to A quicker, with enough time to push past the open angle on short before the Counter-Terrorists even get there.
Let us know what you think of these changes. Will you miss Austria and Subzero or do you think Zoo and Abbey are a good swap?