How often will we see the latest map in the pool?

Counter-Strike's most legendary map, Dust2, made its return to the map pool recently. Replacing Overpass, the map brings out a classically T-sided meta in CS2's aggressive meta. With two big LAN events concluded with this pool, are the Spring Finals teams ready for Dust2?'s BLAST Premier: Spring Final coverage is supported by GG.BET, the international betting brand. Grab your special +200% deposit bonus with promo code ESPORTSGG.

Dust2 Statistics at IEM Dallas & YaLLa Compass

So far, two big LANs have had Dust2 in the map pool. IEM Dallas was the top teams' S-tier clash, with G2 taking the crown. That event saw Dust2 take a top 3 position in the map pool. 11 instances of the map being played out of 58 give us a decent understanding of what its status in the pool is as we head into Spring Finals.

No longer the pick in Best of Ones

Classically, Dust2 was the underdog's pick in Bo1s to allow a puncher's chance against top teams. This time around, teams are not picking Dust2 in Bo1s so far. What are the reasons behind this? One could simply be that the map is too new for teams to trust it as their one map. But I think even with experience, Dust2 will no longer hold that status as Tier-2 teams are simply better at playing fundamental CS. Also, with the sheer stacking of skill in the top teams, a map like Dust2 would actually favor them.

This trend is similarly the reason why Dust2 was the least played map in YaLLa Compass, where the format consisted largely of Bo1 games.

Dust2's effect was seen in Dallas (Image via ESL FACEIT Group) | Helena Kristiansson)
Dust2's effect was seen in Dallas (Image via ESL FACEIT Group) | Helena Kristiansson)

Does the trend change in Bo3?

Looking at Bo3s instead, the map was played in 10 out of the 21 series at IEM Dallas. That is a significant proportion, not influenced heavily by just one team. And since IEM Dallas' team lineup overlaps with BLAST Spring Finals, there's a strong chance we'll see a lot of Dust2 at this event.

How good are the BLAST Spring Finals Teams on Dust2?

Let's now take a look at the performance and veto preferences of the Spring Finals teams on Dust2.

Team Vitality - A Home Map for Spring Finals

Vitality, so far, has played Dust2 4 times, with a 75% win rate. That equals 3 wins so far, with a dominant 13-2 win over Heroic being amidst that. Their only loss was to 9z, who are absolutely loving Dust2 so far with 13 maps played. With their French IGL and Superstars, they have a history of being solid on the map. The team also got more comfortable with it as the event went on. When they faced 9z and G2 in the groups, they allowed it to be picked. Conversely, in the playoffs, the team was picking up the map themselves and taking wins.

Expect Vitality to bring out Dust2 as a solid pick at the Spring Finals with their ZywOo-led AWP dominance.

Image Credit: PGL / FaZe Clan
Image Credit: PGL / FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan - Hesitant at Best

FaZe Clan, by contrast, has had just one outing on Dust2. And with just how wrong IEM Dallas was going for the International squad, that one match against G2 also ended in a 13-8 loss. So, discounting the track record so far, here's what we know about their veto preferences. The team has never picked it themselves. While most of their opponents ended up banning it in the second rotation, even when given the chance in the second round, FaZe ended up banning it.

That likely stems from their exhaustion due to constant travel giving them limited time to prep. Is the time between events here enough for them to bring back an old faithful?

G2 Esports - Lack Success, but look confident

IEM Dallas Champions, the G2 discussion must have the obvious caveat. The team played IEM Dallas with Stewie2k as a stand-in, so take any conclusions with a pinch of salt. Their first foray onto the map saw them get destroyed by Vitality. The match against Liquid was slightly better, but still a loss. Then came two wins over FaZe and 9z. That makes it a 50% win rate across 4 maps. But two of those were G2's picks. That shows a willingness to play the map, even if the success rate isn't very high.

m0NESY can win any map on his own, but G2 will likely pick Dust2 often at the Spring Finals.

Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL
Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL

Team Spirit - Shying away from Dust2

Team Spirit has had more chances to play Dust2 with two events played so far. But thus far, they remain hesitant. Regularly, they ban it in the second rotation, but the two times other teams got it through, Spirit went 1-1. If they want to make the map a mainstay, they need a lot more time to cook up a playbook.

Overpass' removal makes them vulnerable, but skill rules supreme on Dust2 and they have plenty of it. It'll take time, but Spirit should find comfort on the map eventually.

NaVi - First taste of Dust2 at Spring Finals

NaVi is a complete unknown on Dust2 coming into the Spring Finals. The team hasn't played a single official on the map so far. But with their permaban still remaining Vertigo, it's obvious that they will end up playing it. The one time they had a choice to keep it in the pool, they were facing BIG. For newer viewers, BIG is a scary beast on Dust2, being their home map throughout tabseN's tenure. So, I don't blame NaVi for skipping the map there.

When NaVi eventually plays it, their opponent will have to figure it out on the fly. Will it be against Astralis?

Photo by Igor Bezborodov via ESL Gaming
Photo by Igor Bezborodov via ESL Gaming

Astralis - Mixed results online

device's squad has had only online play on the map so far. The start was promising, taking down BIG comfortably 13-6. As highlighted above, BIG is very comfortable on the map. But that excitement for Astralis' Dust2 was immediately punctured with a 13-2 beating they took from Liquid. That loss seems to have pushed them away from the map as they consistently banned its second rotation at YaLLa Compass.

For the time being, it may be best for the team to stay away from Dust2 at Spring Finals.

Virtus.Pro - Dust2 Disaster Class coming into Spring Finals

Virtus.Pro, in general, has been on the ropes as a roster, but Dust2, in particular, has been abysmal. They went into Belgrade, picking the map into MOUZ, and were annihilated 13-4. Against other teams, the VP usually banned it. Perplexingly, the team allows it to be the third map against BIG. And they felt the German wrath 13-5.

Virtus.Pro should stay far away from the Dust2 until they get their team sorted. Definite Ban at Spring Finals, especially against Vitality.

SAW - Online Grind proves a pattern

SAW has had, by far, the most opportunity to play Dust2. But the team has shied away from it so far. Initially, they remained open to the map, letting the opponent ban it. That was what led to their 4 matches on the map so far, with, unfortunately, just a 25% win rate. But in the EPL S20 CQ, they have regularly banned the map in the second rotation.

Open to an easy Dust2 punish pick in an already uphill battle at Spring Finals.

Stay tuned to for more BLAST Premier Spring Final 2024 coverage.