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Valve has quietly and quite suddenly dropped all previous pretenses about whether or not they will be releasing Counter-Strike 2 and released an announcement this afternoon that proves it really is happening.

What is the release date?

While no release date was confirmed, players have been told that it will be available to the public sometime in Summer 2023, with other select players having limited access starting as early as today.

Players are selected to take part in the Limited Test based on a list of things, such as recent playtime on official Valve servers, their trust factor, and Steam account settings. If they are selected, they will receive an in-game notification telling them that they are able to jump in and start the enrollment process.

How will Counter-Strike 2 be different?

Valve focused on making sure that players knew that they would be experiencing “upgraded and overhauled maps,” a more comprehensive system for smoke grenades that were described as “game-changing,” a better player experience thanks to tick-rate-independent gameplay, and of course, an overhauled audio experience.

This follows a month or more of rumors swirling across the internet, with large Counter-Strike voices like caster Richard Lewis saying that Valve was preparing to make the announcement and data-miners seeing NVIDIA drivers starting to be injected into player setups ahead of this announcement.

Counter-Strike 2 will be the 5th title in the juggernaut FPS title, with Global Offensive being the last released title in the series that hit the market way back in 2012. CS:GO was released on the Source game engine, something that is being vaulted for Source 2 with the release of Counter-Strike 2.

Even though CS:GO is over a decade old at this point, it still sits atop Twitch viewer numbers and has even recently hit another all-time peak for concurrent player numbers, seeing a peak of 1.3 million players all online and playing at the same time back in February of this year.

This is a developing news story and will be updated as more information is released.