Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s legendary map Dust 2 has once again landed into the spotlight after professional players pointed out the flaws in its off-meta design.
The map has been a part of all major Counter-Strike titles since 2001, becoming an iconic location both in casual and pro games. After being removed from active duty for over a year, the map returned as Dust New featuring much-needed graphical changes in 2017. However, the current game meta calls for more changes, and it seems the old design may have run its course.
A set player base in CSGO wants the map gone from the active duty, but a significant portion only plays the game for the sand-coated arena. Dust 2 is synonymous with CSGO, making it a permanent part of Valve’s shooter. Despite all the flaws, the map is the heart of Valve’s shooter. However, some tweaks may help it become more cut-throat on a higher level of pro play.
Dust 2 sees less playtime on a higher level of CSGO due to its “puggy” design. Teams rarely need complex strategies to come out on top of Dust 2. Whoever has the better aim takes the cake on the legendary location, and it’s usually the team who’s better at executing hard-rushes on the terrorist side. This imbalance could be attributed to the poor mid-area, recently criticized by Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski .
One of the critical flaws of Dust 2 lies in its spawn-based design that puts counter-terrorists at a massive disadvantage. The unforgiving middle doors put CTs in a clear line of fire in the first few seconds. To get across safely, the defenders must invest in utility in each round, which is not only eco-breaking but highly unfair.
It’s easier for T-side to shop an AWP in initial rounds due to cheaper rifles, making it a tall order for CTs to reach B site unscathed. With an AWP scouting their every move in spawn, Ts have intel-advantage and higher chances of getting a man down in the beginning. This broken design on mid makes this map a pain to play as CTs.
Putting the map tweaks aside, CSGO’s current map pool is perfectly arranged. With maps like Overpass and Inferno, high-skilled players can enjoy the complex strat-reliant play. With maps like Mirage and Dust 2, casual pug players can run around and put their headshot skills to the test.
Currently, the map pool has something to offer for all players, meaning removing Dust 2 entirely from the comp will possibly have a negative impact on the player count. A large chunk of CSGO players returns to the game for the sake of nostalgia. The map doesn’t need to be removed, but it requires a bulk of updates to remain a suitable part of the map pool.