New maps usually means a new operation in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, so are Tuscan and Prime on their way to official servers?
Prominent Valve insider Gabe Follower has revealed that CSGO developers have opened maps Tuscan and Prime during a testing session. Follower did not provide exact details for why the CSGO team is testing these alternate maps, but it may be connected to an upcoming operation. Here’s info on the maps and speculation on why Valve is dusting them off.
The two maps come from very different backgrounds. Tuscan is a classic map from Counter-Strike 1.6, where it was created as a spiritual successor to Mill. The map was an instant hit, and for a time was among the most popular maps in 1.6. Esteemed mappers Brute and catfood have previously toyed with a Tuscan reboot, and it looks as though Tuscan may soon be added to the game.
Prime is much different. This Wingman map created by Will Granda is close to a full gigabyte in size despite being designed for CSGO’s smaller Wingman mode. It’s a stress test for the Source engine, looking to push CSGO’s graphics as far as they can go. Artist Will Granda doesn’t intend it to be played competitively, but Valve has definitely taken interest in the project. Prime is still a fully playable CSGO map, but it requires a very strong computer to run it effectively.
The actual listings state that Valve employees opened up an offline casual game session on the maps. It does not indicate how long the server stayed open or what was done on either map. Testing maps is rare for Valve, and CSGO developers wouldn’t just be doing this for fun. New maps usually coincide with a special occasion, so what exactly is Valve planning?
Will Tuscan and Prime come in a new CSGO Operation?
There must be a reason why Valve would bring maps like Tuscan and Prime into a testing environment. It could be a new CSGO operation, part of CS10, or a massive shakeup to the competitive map pool.
With the current lull in the CSGO pro circuit, it might be time for a new CSGO Operation to energize the game’s fans. CSGO’ equivalent to a battle pass adds a ton of rare skins and new ways to play the game. That means of new CSGO maps, which Tuscan and Prime could be just two of. If Valve is planning an operation, it would require testing any included maps in-house.
Valve has already given fans a preview of the CS10 celebration with a community-voted sticker capsule, but that probably won’t be the only thing. Tuscan’s status as a popular legacy map that never made it into CSGO makes it a perfect way to celebrate. Prime’s deluxe graphics can be interpreted as a look to the future.
Lastly, it’s possible that Valve could suddenly add a revamped version of Tuscan into the competitive map pool. This is the most drastic possibility, but it has already happened multiple times with Vertigo and Ancient. It’s not clear which map would get removed, but Tuscan was a competitive staple in the CS 1.6 era. This could also coincide with a new operation or a celebration for CS10.