Dust 2 Returns

 

Dust 2 is arguably the most iconic map from Valve‘s First person shooter Counter-Strike Global-Offensive. Over the last few months Dust 2 has been removed from the active duty map pool. You could still queue up to play it in its own load out if you were happy to keep playing it over and over again in casual or add it into your competitive map selection. Professional eSports have not been running the map since it was removed and the reworked version of Inferno was re added to the active duty map pool.

On Tuesday the 10th of October CSGO Dev tweeted a teaser with a screenshot of a similar desert looking wall to that in backyard of T spawn with a large poster reading Dust 2 across it. The tweet was accompanied by the announcement that the new updated and refined map would be coming soon for testing, dropping with the next CSGO beta depot for players to try it out.

Since CSGO’s release back in 2012 Valve has been updating maps consistently with bug fixes and other small improvements. There has only been 3 maps that have been completely reworked since their release including Nuke, Inferno and Train with Dust 2 now adding to that list. With Nuke, Inferno and Train, the maps were removed from active duty and replaced with a map from the reserves group, this time however, Dust 2 got it’s own group.

Being the game’s most popular and most played map, making too many changes may have angered the player base. During eSports play, many have said they find the map becoming boring as everyone knows the smokes, the angles and there’s never any new exciting plays coming out. The drastic changes that we saw in the reworks of other maps made for entirely new strategies to be thought out and executed in game.

The beta depot dropped on Wednesday for people to opt in to the test servers and try it out. To opt into this beta you must go to properties of Counter-Strike on steam and click on the beta tab, from there you choose the 1.35.0.7-rc1 option from the drop down box.

The map has had quite a visual upgrade, with much lighter colours and textures as well as many out of map and landscapes changes. Here are some side by side before an after shots from images released on Counter-Strike’s blog.

Before and After Backyard
Before and After Backyard
Before and After Tunnels
Before and After Tunnels
Before and After B Site
Before and After B Site
Before and After Mid
Before and After Mid
Before and After Catwalk
Before and After Catwalk
Before and After Short
Before and After Short
Before and After A Site
Before and After A Site

Some more comparisons of the Counter-Strike 1.6 and Source versions of Dust 2 show the evolution of the map since its release back in 2000, feel old yet?

Before and After A Site 1.6 and Source
Before and After A Site 1.6 and Source

Fans of the game have even gone as far as permanently inking the map onto their body. This artwork is based off the Counter-Strike Source version of the map’s A Site.

Dust 2 A Site Tattoo
Dust 2 A Site Tattoo

The Terrorist character models from the Elite Crew, also known as the ‘Leet Krew’ or ‘Durah’ even got a makeover and look ready to cause some havoc once again.

Before and After Terrorist Models
Before and After Terrorist Models

The noticeable changes that have been made include mostly visual changes with most of the map structure and layout staying the same. There have been small changes such as shrinking boxes to push out snipers from camping spots and the change of location of a telephone pole in mid from in front of the barrels to the start of Catwalk. The roof of upper B tunnels has also been removed which may allow for more grenade executes in game and a more T side friendly area.

You can opt into the beta now and try out the new Dust 2 until it will replace the current version in a later update. Once updated the map may be re added to active duty for everyone to play and also return to the eSports map pool. There has already been speculation about the next map that will get a rework with suggestions it could be Mirage’s turn, but we will have to wait and see for that.

Video game and chocolate lover from Adelaide, SA. Currently studying a combined Bachelor of Psychological Science and Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at Flinders University. Addicted to games since I was a kid, from MMORPG’s to First Person Shooters and MOBA’s. Big fan of the eSports scene and have met pro players from Counter-Strike and Overwatch, however their abilities haven’t seemed to rub off on me.. yet.