The new engine needs some fancy skins to go with it.
CS2 is still bittersweet for players, but a new operation is Valve’s best way of winning over the community. While the gameplay changes of Counter-Strike 2 are up for debate, everyone can agree that skins look great in the Source 2 engine. As small updates trickle in to polish the game’s core, it’s only a matter of time before Valve throws a bone to the casual player base. A new Operation is the perfect way to do it, but should CS2 players expect something soon?
The first step is to look back at the timing of previous operations. Nov. 26, 2023 marks exactly two years, one month, and five days since the release of Operation Riptide. This extends the previous biggest gap between Operation Hydra and Operation Shattered Web. Before Riptide, Operations generally came out every eight months with small variations.
Based purely on timing, CS2’s development resources ate up the equivalent of three operations across two years. However, the new game has also passed a second important time threshold. It all comes back to the eight-month timeline.
It’s now just over eight months since the original reveal of CS2. However, with constant gameplay updates responding to various glitches and controversies, it makes sense that Valve has put cosmetics on the back burner. Valve often outsources skin design to the community, and the recent reintroduction of the Workshop will allow that process to begin again in the new engine.
CS2’s official release date was Sep. 27 of this year. If Valve began development of a new Operation around that date, the most likely release date for the first CS2 Operation would be in May 2024. With many casual game modes still missing, a new battle pass would be the perfect way to reintroduce many of Global Offensive’s most popular features.