After over a year of waiting, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fans are finally going to get a look at the update to popular map Cache. It has been a long and arduous process, with the update going from a few minor tweaks to something much larger.
Fans were initially teased with screen grabs of small changes which eventually gave way to videos of major overhauls. As time went on, the existing version of Cache was put on the shelf in favor of a returning classic, Vertigo. That change was poorly received, a fact that increased fans’ appetites for the update.
This also seemed to light a fire under map creator FMPONE, as he gave fans much more frequent updates after Cache was removed.
Throughout the process, he has stoked fans’ curiosity on what changes may be inbound. While he has kept players abreast on how far along the rework is, details on which exact changes have been made are scarce. Even those early teases have reportedly been overhauled beyond the point of recognition.
But all those mysteries will be solved in just one week’s time.
The updated version of Cache is set to be revealed to both fans and pro players at ESL One New York. The event will feature a show match on the map, and will also have it available for fans to play.
Given how long this has been in the works, it is worth taking a look back at how the development came along and what might be in store.
Map creator FMPONE has been teasing a rework of Cache since early 2018, but it is difficult to pin down how serious those plans were and how many of them moved past the idea phase. He posted some screenshots and occasionally made reference to his work on the map.
It wasn’t until October 2018 that fans knew for certain that a major overhaul of Cache was coming when FMPONE tweeted out an early concept of a redesigned A-side bombsite. This was followed in November by a video that showed off new features to the area including a widened path in front of truck and light posts that players could climb on for a higher vantage point.
FMPONE has since suggested that many of those concepts have been done away with, but details were scarce and development felt slow. It wasn’t until Cache was removed from the active duty map rotation that things really picked up.
When 2019 came, FMPONE stopped posting early screenshots of his development in favor of pictures of the mini-map with checkmarks over specific areas to signify that they had been completed. Progress reports became more frequent in April following the addition of Vertigo to the active duty rotation, with more checkmarks appearing each time.
FMPONE revealed in August that the Cache update was complete, which was followed by the announcement that the first look at the map would come at ESL One New York. The show match involving the map is slated to take place on September 29 and will be followed by the tournament’s grand finals.
The show match is set to include a number of top CSGO stars including Audric “JaCkz” Jug and Kenny “kennyS” Schrub from G2 Esports, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold and Tarik “tarik” Celik from NRG Esports, and four members of Team Liquid. Also participating is Joshua “steel” Nissan, who most recently played for Ghost Gaming.
The map will also be available to play for fans at the event at the ESEA booth. These should combine for a comprehensive first look at the Cache update.
What comes after that is uncertain.
The most likely course of action would be that the map is then officially launched in CSGO. The Scrimmage Map feature that was added in July was designed for precisely this situation, allowing new or experimental maps to be tuned in a relatively competitive environment without requiring players to put their ranks at risk. It is also possible that the Cache update goes directly into competitive matchmaking as a replacement for the existing version of the map, which is still available in ranked play.
Whether it returns to the active duty rotation that is used in professional play is another matter entirely.
Valve came under fire from CSGO fans and pro players when it added Vertigo to the active duty map rotation so shortly after it was introduced. The map underwent a number of significant overhauls in the months that followed and remains one of the lesser played maps in tournaments as a result.
Odds are that Valve won’t want to repeat that mistake and will take its time in evaluating and perfecting the map before a possible professional debut.
Fan interest has been dialed in on the Cache update for months, in large part thanks to the early fan pushback against Vertigo. FMPONE has still been quite tight-lipped about what’s in store, though.
One possible hint did come September 19 when FMPONE retweeted a photoshopped image from a fan musing about the long wait for the Cache update. This was preceded by a post by FMPONE that showed someone asking for screenshots of the new map. The image shows a few different areas with various tweaks including a new set of barrels outside of the sun room and an A-side bombsite that does not appear to have a squeaky door.
In terms of the map’s overall direction, the previous updates seem to suggest that FMPONE is looking to make the map more CT-friendly.
During its time in the active duty rotation, Cache was generally one of the most T-sided maps available. FMPONE seemingly tried to combat this by making it harder to smoke off key angles that might block off the CT side.
It’s uncertain whether the map maker ultimately decided to stick with those plans, but odds are that he sought to make the map a bit more balanced than it previously was.