CS2 Pro scene calls out Valve for breaking core gameplay mechanics
Community figures around the scene took to social media to criticise the change. Tournament organiser ESL has even gone as far as to not update to the newest version for their currently ongoing Intel Extreme Masters event in Sydney.
Inconsistency fix overruled
Since the launch of Counter-Strike 2, various perceived bugs have been called out as problematic by the Counter-Strike community, not just deviating from the former version of Global Offensive, but rather changing the very nature of how the game is played.
While movement and tick rate were part of the criticism before, the specific issue in question combines both problems.
As it currently stands on live servers, an inconsistency with how the game registers inputs has been spotted, greatly randomising how actions are executed. As a result, community members were able to easily replicate issues in jump height and length, at times greatly messing with a player’s ability to deploy pixel-perfect utility that Counter-Strike requires as a core gameplay mechanic.
Players had found a workaround with so-called aliases, changing the configuration file to cause the game to read the movement on the very first tick of executing the command, therefore bringing back the desired consistency.
The update deployed on October 17 fixed exactly that as it reads “Command aliases now leverage subtick accuracy.”
However, no solution for the ongoing inconsistency issues was introduced.
A wave of criticism
As a result of the fix professionals around the scene voiced their criticism. On Twitter, shoutcaster Mohan "launders" Govindasamy first shared a demonstration of the issue, then commented on the manner. He wrote: “Valve actually went out of their way to remove a solution for a fully reproducible problem that was known since day 1 of the limited release instead of fixing the problem. That was insulting.”
Professional player for compLexity gaming, Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski tweeted: “If there WERE a proper fix and it was better for everyone sure I would understand patching the bandaid fix to remove placebo. But there wasn’t a fix for this and it is very easy to test that the movement and jumping isn’t consistent or fixed.”
The first-ever Counter-Strike 2 is currently underway in Syndey, with ESL hosting their Intel Extreme Masters event down under. The tournament organiser deemed the change so significant, as to decide against updating to the new version.
Explaining the decision, Head Referee for ESL, Michal Slowinski tweeted: "We will not be using the latest patch for today's matches at IEM Sydney; we don't want to use something untested & it also includes quite a big change with aliases that most teams are using at the event - we don't want to force teams into a change when we can avoid it."
Notably, some parts of the player base across social media agreed with Valve’s decision to clamp down on the workarounds to level the playing field across the competitive ecosystem, fearing a slippery slope of allowing these autoexec adjustments when an eventual fix is likely to come sooner rather than later.
While historically it’s also not expected of Valve, the developer has not commented on the matter at this point.