Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a game that comes jam-packed full of strategy. As opposed to the ‘spray and pray’ titles such as Call of Duty, CS:GO is a game that rewards careful planning and precise bursts of action, giving it a huge skill ceiling that makes it the world’s most popular Esports FPS title. One of the biggest factors behind this skill ceiling is the game’s collection of maps. With the competitive pool undergoing one of its biggest shakeups, check out how things are looking with the most popular CS:GO maps heading into 2023 at Gamelevate.
Out With The Old
Counter-Strike has always been a series with maps that are as beloved as they are competitively viable. However, it was following the release of Global Offensive in 2012 that Valve found themselves becoming a leading light in the Esports world.
Inferno, Mirage, and Nuke have all been mainstays in the CS:GO competitive map pool, but it was the legacy of Dust II that really put the game on the map. Becoming the face of the game, the map’s basic three-channel layout has been replicated in everything from Fortnite to Valorant, redefining what makes a viable scrimming map.
In total, Dust II has been played competitively 13,932 times, making it the third-most popular pick of all time. However, 2022 only saw the map played 1,804 times, putting it down in fifth for the most popular map. This apparent shrinking in popularity might have been the reason behind Valve’s decision to remove Dust II from the competitive pool for the first time since 2017 in November 2022.
New Maps Making A Splash
It’s a trend in the Esports industry that maps that have been in their titles’ respective pools longer tend to be the ones that are picked the most. And for good reason too. With fine margins often being the difference between tens of thousands of dollars, teams generally fall back on the picks they know better and have a more complete strategy book on.
This was illustrated nicely in CS:GO back in 2019 when Vertigo was first introduced, only to be picked 604 times across the year. That number made it the least popular map in CS:GO, a whopping 1,339 picks behind its nearest competition.
But, in 2022, it looks as though that trend is beginning to change. Anubis closed its first full year in the CS:GO competitive pool with 1,748 picks, only 280 behind Nuke’s tally. One of the biggest reasons behind this growing readiness to pick new maps is how much more consistent these maps play out.
With a round win percentage of 57.2% favoring the CT side, Ancient is the most lop-sided map in the pool. Not only does this allow savvy CS:GO betting fans to get ahead of the game with a little knowledge of the map, but it also means teams aren’t going in blind as to what they can come to expect from a match.
What’s more, in Anubis’ first outing since being moved into the pool at the 2022 BLAST World Final saw it finish as the third-most picked map, only behind Inferno and Mirage.
What Was The Most Played Map In 2022?
Whilst it was a bad year to be a Dust II fan, the two other staples in the map pool have once again shown themselves to be the most popular CS:GO maps. Because they are the two most well-known maps, Inferno and Mirage are often left over as deciding maps in a competitive series, be it a bo1, bo3 or bo5.
To date, Mirage is the most played map in competitive CS:GO with 22,513 picks compared to 20,554 for Inferno.
However, it’s the latter of these two that is set to round out the year on top. Inferno has been played 2,649 times across 2022, with Mirage coming in at second place with 2,503. Nuke was the only other map to hit over two thousand picks with 2,028, whilst Vertigo was once again bottom of the pile with just 1,631 plays.
By The Numbers: CS:GO Maps Played 2022
- Inferno – 2,649 Matches
- Mirage – 2,503 Matches
- Nuke – 2,028 Matches
- Overpass – 1,886 Matches
- Dust II – 1,804 Matches
- Ancient – 1,748 Matches
- Vertigo – 1,631 Matches
- Anubis– 21 Matches