Broken Fang is almost over and seems to have left hints about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s next chapter out in plain sight.
CSGO knows easter eggs. From the game’s many QR codes to the Portal cameo on Blacksite, Valve seems to enjoy it. So while Operation Broken Fang wasn’t a big surprise, developers still had some hints in store for players.
Valve wasn’t shy about putting both Mirage and Ancient in the spotlight in Broken Fang’s final cooperative mission. Players fought through waves of Phoenix soldiers before they suddenly emerged into wooden training ground of Mirage’s B site. It was an interesting map to pick, especially when developers had trotted out CSGO’s newest map, Ancient, alongside it. As players finish up, they can also find surveillance pictures of Mirage in the bunker, hinting that the map will play a role in Operation 11 as Valve continues to build out CSGO’s story. But besides the in-game references to Mirage, the real website for Broken Fang might hold a hint, too.
Each time CSGO ships a big content patch, Valve adds an announcement page to the game’s website. These slick pages are filled with screenshots, gifs, and clips of the update in action that let players know about the game’s new features. For Broken Fang, it looks like Valve left at least one about what players can expect from the game’s next big update.
The video clips CSGO developers chose to use for Broken Fang website were all about the operation’s stat feature. In one of these videos, developers listed Mirage twice. The section was for competitive stats, meaning that the second Mirage wasn’t for the map’s scrimmage version. When the developer mouses over Mirage, it’s shows a win rate of 0-2. One conclusion we can draw from this is that it’s a new version of Mirage, listed separtely from the previous version.
It may seem like a stretch, but Valve has done things like this before. Last year, the CSGO blog posted an update showing off the game’s new animated main menu. One of the screenshots saw an icon representing a graph that wasn’t on the menu at the time, but players should recognize it now as the icon for Broken Fang’s statistics page. Whether purposeful or not, this was an early sign of Broken Fang’s arrival, and this latest image may have the same meaning for a new version of Mirage. Whether Valve intended the tease or just let it slip through is anyone’s guess.
Developers at Valve are big fans of leaving hints for players to find. It’s a win for the fans that find them, and the hype that the excitement creates is also a win for Valve. With Broken Fang scheduled to wrap up almost exactly one year after CSGO teased the operation’s statistics feature, maybe it’s time to get excited about something new again.