Two years after Hydra, when is the next CSGO operation?

Nick J. November 14, 2019

The CounterStrike: Global Offensive fandom has now been waiting two years for a new Operation.

November 13 was the two-year anniversary of the end of Operation Hydra. Operations, CSGO’s version of an in-game event, added a new way to progress in a game that has few other ways outside a ranking system. 

Operations included campaigns, missions, and challenges for players to take part in. As an added bonus, operations also came with an upgradable, virtual coin that players can show off on their profiles and game scoreboard when in matches, similar to the ones attached to major viewer passes. 

Operations have also contained PvE modes, where players can fight against AI opponents and complete specific challenges. Players are able to track their progress through the Operation Journal, where they could select and launch missions that reward them with experience points and weapon skins. Operation Hydra even included a full story campaign that helped to flesh out the backstory of Counter-Strike’s admittedly thin lore. 

CSGO players fondly remember the limited-time game modes. Despite the appreciation, there are no signs of Valve bringing them back to the game.

Time between operations increases year over year

CSGO released in August 2012. Between the game's launch and the end of 2017, there were eight different Operations.

Operation Hydra released May 23, 2017, and ran until November 13 of that year. Since then, the community hasn’t heard a word about a ninth Operation.

Initially, Operations functioned somewhat similar to the "seasons" currently found in games like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, with one Operation immediately being followed by another. As time went on, it took an increasingly long time for a new Operation to arrive. Days became weeks, which eventually became months. The wait between Operation Wildfire and Operation Hydra was almost 11 months.

November 13 marks a two-year wait for CSGO fans. While the game has seen small updates and a UI overhaul since the end of Operation Hydra, this pales in comparison to the effort put into Valve's other major multiplayer game, Dota 2. This fact has many CSGO fans frustrated by the apparent preferential treatment of the game.

CSGO has seen longer and longer wait times between large updates while Dota 2 sees major balance patches, new heroes, and major additions to the battle pass each year. The company even released its first new game since Portal 2 earlier this year, an autobattler Dota 2 spinoff called Dota Underlords.

Despite the lack of Operations, Valve has been putting more effort into CSGO over the last year both at the casual and professional levels.

Valve’s impactful Major tournament rule addition announced November 12 may indicate that the company is paying more attention to a franchise that recently peaked on the Steam Charts in the past weeks for the first time in years. It’s possible that things are trending in the community’s favor, but Valve’s classic silence continues.

The only thing that is clear at this point is that CSGO fans are tired of waiting for more content for their favorite game.

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