With Vertigo entering the competitive ecosystem after an extensive revamp, it’s worth taking the time to remember those who have fallen or at least taken a massive step back to the shadows. Many of the original Global Offensive maps are no longer even playable in Competitive matchmaking, and it honestly makes sense in certain cases. Most of these maps were quite clunky to play or remained unbalanced over the years – and not even necessarily for a lack of trying. Seriously though, unranked MM when?
It’s interesting that most new players will only know of this map’s existence because of the name of the most popular one in the game. The original Dust used to be a pretty big deal but was completely overshadowed by its “sequel”, boasting a much more balanced layout, better timing and somewhat less omnipresent sniping spots. At least we’ve still got Shortdust to mess around with.
Quite similar to Dust in many ways, the brutally one-sided nature of the Aztec map in CS:GO and the many chokepoints could not be fixed despite very aggressive redesign attempts, which meant the map with perhaps the coolest aesthetic out there was also canned on November 13, 2017 alongside Dust.
The only map on this list that was added to the game after its launch and made it to the competitive pool, the medieval castle has seen multiple redesigns in a bit do make CT rotations less cumbersome and to remove most of the verticality of its layout. The end result still remained bloated yet full of choke points, an extremely one-sided experience that most players – especially those on Astralis – and fans alike were happy to see go from top-tier play. We’ve recently received a fancy Halloween version of the map but that’s probably just enough of it for most of us, isn’t it?
All but one of the Hostage maps were removed from the competitive map pool over time (with Office being the exception). Italy’s winding streets and lovely architecture made it an interesting map to traverse but a nightmare to move the hostages in and out from. Amusingly, the map veterancy achievements still remain – an odd quirk of CS:GO’s development and a memorial of what the game once was.
Released with the 1.1 beta, Assault was one of the most popular maps in the history of the game, though perhaps one that hasn’t adapted well to the CS:GO era. With CT players trying to storm a two-story warehouse, it’s almost impossible to use smokes effectively or to cover your angles before entering. Vent-crawling and odd sniping spots on the other side of the map made it even more of an odd gameplay experience, and as the focus on the esport scene and defusal mode kept increasing, it was moved to the exclusive Hostage group instead of remaining a part of the competitive matchmaking options.
Another one of the classic Hostage maps, there’s probably a bit too much crawling and cheese involved to keep it around in a semi-serious setting, and the map feels somewhat larger than most other CS:GO maps, but it was still fun to occasionally queue it for a round of matchmaking. Like Cobblestone, the Militia CS:GO map also received a holiday version quite recently.
Lol. (The map was released over two years ago. Feeling old yet?)
It would be impossible to list all the old maps in CS:GO because the game has such a thriving modder community that has released an unquantifiable number of maps and many years of history behind it. However, we can trace all CS:GO competitive maps, starting from 2013. Competitive CS:GO started with five maps, which were Dust 2, Mirage, Train, Inferno and Nuke in 2012 and at the inaugural Majors, with Cache, Cobblestone and Overpass to follow in 2013. It took until 2019 for Valve to add a new map to the competitive pool, though they did remove a couple of the old maps from MM in the meantime. Vertigo replaced Cache in 2019, much to the consternation of many, and Train, one of the oldest CS:GO maps, was replaced by Ancient in May 2021.
The CS:GO matchmaking map pool saw a lot of changes over time, especially during the time when Operation maps were temporarily introduced for a duration of an event. The list of "formerly official maps" read: Abbey, Austria, Aztec, Biome, Dust (the original), Insertion, Ruby, Seaside, Shipped, Shorttrain, Subzero, Workout and Zoo. Canals, for whatever reason, is still around even in 2021.
Any modern esport needs changes to keep things fresh and interesting, and Counter-Strike ironclad core gameplay loop is just not something to be messed around with. This means the devs will mostly have to resort to gun changes and map adjustments to keep things new and exciting, which Valve are not particularly fond of doing. The changes to the competitive map pool mostly revolve around facelifts for existing classic maps and the occasional one-for-one swap in the competitive pool.