According to a tweet from FACEIT’s director of esports, Roald Van Buuren, players will not have the option to use the new agent models. The decision was made in partnership with the Counter-Strike Professional Player’s Association.
While the initial reactions to Operation Shattered Web and its new models were positive, things have changed over the last few days as both professional players and casual fans have encountered issues. This stems from some of the new skins serving as camouflage in certain areas, which can bestow a serious advantage in pro play.
While Team Liquid‘s Jonathon “EliGE” Jablownoski has offered ideas to help fix the problem, other visible figures in the scene are frustrated with what feels like a half-cocked rollout for such a large feature.
Other upcoming tournaments, like EPICENTER 2019 and the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, have no made an announcement regarding whether they will allow the new models. Valve also hasn’t commented regarding their use in the upcoming 2020 Spring Major, which will reportedly take place in Brazil.
Valve has dealt with similar visibility issues in the past, particularly surrounding the introduction of new maps. This is the first time that Counter-Strike players have had the option to customize their character models since Counter-Strike 1.6.
This is a bit of a surprise from Valve. In a GDC 2014 Conference, the company explained that new character models could confuse the player base during gameplay. Evidently Valve believes that this concern was unfounded, or that they now have the resources to curb its effects.
The ECS Season 8 Finals start on November 28 and run though December 1. The tournament features some of the best teams in CSGO, including Team Liquid, Fnatic, Evil Geniuses, and Astralis. Other participants like AVANGAR, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Sharks Esports will also comete for the $500,000 prize pool in Arlington, Texas.