In the early months of 2017, Valve adjusted the map balance to their popular and competitive first person shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In this balance, Valve replaced the classic Counter-Strike map, Dust II, with Inferno in their CS:GO active duty playlist (a set of maps used specifically for e-sports). While still available for online competitive play, the iconic map, having been a competitive fan favorite since 2001, was not available for tournament play. After eight months of the map being shelved, Valve released a small updated and announced beta testing for the newly revamped Dust II for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In the announcement, Valve hopes that the open-beta testing will help “improve player readability throughout the map,” “refine movement around the world including cover,” and “upgrade the visuals to be in line with modern maps.”
The most noticeable update to Dust II is the graphical improvement over the previous CS:GO iteration. With the aesthetic changes also comes much needed balances to the map. Design layout changes have now eliminated dark spots on the map that once concealed hiding enemies. Now, natural light flows into these areas and prevents easy concealment. In addition, minor obstructions have been removed to improve corner peeks, or using a corner to quickly analyze the battlefield, shoot, or throw a projectile. It will now be much less of a hassle to utilize this technique during play on this map.
Cover has also been adjusted, with popular cover spots being shifted or removed to promote increased player flow while traveling around the map. These changes are also to help competitive players read and predict player movement and help new players have a better chance against veterans. Along with this, certain physics based objects have been replaced with new static-interacting objects to avoid wonky physics with the game’s engine.
With all of the map updates, Valve has also decided to treat fans by overhauling the villains of Dust II, the Leet Krew. Through redesigning the team and giving them new high-resolution textures, Valve hopes to make the Leet Krew fit into the new design of the map while also remaining easily identifiable.
Dust II is available for testing for all CS:GO owners, and users can opt in for the beta through their Steam library.