The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive development team has been hard at work in recent weeks.
The latest CS:GO patch has dropped, bringing a host of new features, balance changes, and map updates. It’s an incredibly hefty patch that offers something of interest to any sort of fan of the game.
The biggest change for esports fans is a greater integration of professional events into the game client. A list of upcoming and ongoing tournaments can now be found in the Watch tab alongside a list of live streams from major tournament organizers, with easy access offered to HLTV’s event and team pages.
Though this is a major boon to CS:GO’s esports scene, the addition is somewhat disappointing.
Clicking on an event in the watch page yields a pop-up to the Twitch stream in the user’s default browser, with the games unwatchable through the CS:GO client in any way. There is also no built-in access to the game’s replays or statistics in the same way that is offered for Valve majors. The list of events is also fairly limited, especially when compared to Dota 2, where fans have comprehensive access to nearly every professional event.
There is certainly cause to be hopeful that greater access will be offered to notable events in time, but the current integration is quite limited.
An interesting UI addition was also made. Players looking to avoid the randomness of solo queuing for games now have more options for finding squad mates.
A“Looking to Play” feature was added to the main menu, giving players the ability to search for party members for Competitive, Wingman, and Danger Zone
The biggest change to the actual game comes in the form of a slight tweak to the loss bonus calculator. In reaction to some recent discussions among pro players, teams that hit the $3,400 loss bonus mark now lose $500 from their bonus after winning a round. Previously, teams could hit the maximum loss bonus, win a round, and then lose the next round while maintaining that $3,400 windfall. Teams that hit the maximum loss bonus will now drop down to $2,900 after winning a round.
While that is the most important in-game change, the sexiest new feature comes in the form of some additions to Danger Zone. A week after the return of the Ballistic Shield, other all-new deployment perks have been added.
The most intriguing is the Drone Pilot upgrade, which allows players to give their tablets the ability to control one of the game’s drones. This can be used to scout ahead or retrieve items from far away locations. There are also new economy-based deployment perks that give players the option to be rewarded for traveling to new areas of the map or for surviving for an extended period of time. Finally, players now have the option to start with armor and a helmet.
There was a small balance tweak added to Danger Zone that prevents players from immediately picking up a Ballistic Shield dropped after another player's death. This prevents shields from being accidentally snatched away from teammates, or being able to immediately pick a shield up and deploy it during a firefight.
New hostage map Workout received a number of minor fixes. Most of these were bug and visual fixes, but there was also the removal of a boost spot in the Kids Zone area of the map.
There are a number of other additions, so make sure to check out the full patch notes on the official CS:GO blog.
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