Counter-Strike 2, the long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is official. As one of the most popular and iconic FPS franchises, there is a lot of excitement for this sequel – but what is the CS2 release date?

Despite being over a decade old, and Counter-Strike itself over 22 years old, CS:GO has continued to grow in popularity. As of April 2023, it had almost 30 million active players and hit a new peak player count of 1.8 million.

But Valve knows the game is becoming outdated, and so has been working on the sequel, Counter-Strike 2, which uses the new Source 2 engine, and it’s finally ready for release.

The Counter-Strike 2 limited-test beta went live in March, but it was far more limited than anyone expected. Estimations put the figure at around 0.2% of CS:GO players currently with access to CS2, and many of these are professional players or community figures.

Is there a Counter-Strike 2 release date?

Counter-Strike 2 will release in Summer 2023, Valve has confirmed. This would place the release somewhere between June 30 and September 30.

Some rumors have suggested a CS2 release date of June 14, after data miners found that CS:GO is marked as “out of scope” for new reports starting on that date.

However, a new update for the limited-test build was just released on June 6, adding in Mirage as a map. It’s unlikely that this period of testing will only last one week.

Our best estimate, based on all available information, is that CS2 will release sometime in August. CS:GO itself released on August 21, 2012 – it would be a neat easter egg for CS2 to release on the same date in 2023.

With any release date decision, Valve may need to be conscious of the esports calendar. There are still some big CS:GO events on the horizon, such as BLAST Fall Groups in July.

However, data miner and leaker Aquarius has speculated that Valve may not worry too much about interrupting these events, as an optional CS:GO depot could still be made available, if needed.

What’s in CS2?

In the limited-test beta version of CS2, there is still only one map available, Mirage, which replaced Dust2, and limited modes and features (for example case openings are not possible, or casual matches).

Of course, upon the full release, we can expect a much more complete slate of maps, modes, and features.

The full list of maps confirmed for Counter-Strike 2 can be seen here, and it includes classics like Nuke, Inferno, and Overpass.

All skins and other items will also transfer over seamlessly to CS2. Although, in the test beta, many skin enthusiasts have noticed a number of errors or differences between their appearance in CS:GO and CS2.

Valve already issued some updates to visuals, and more might be on the way, but don’t be totally surprised if your AK-47 or knife skin looks a bit odd at first.

We can also expect pro players to make a quick transition over to CS2, and hopefully see some of the first official events held later in the year.

The next Counter-Strike Major will be played on CS2, to be held in Copenhagen in March 2023, hosted by PGL.

What is sub-tick in Counter-Strike 2? | All smoke changes in Counter-Strike 2 | Can you play Counter-Strike 2 on Linux or macOS? | Can banned CS:GO players play Counter-Strike 2? | What will happen to my CSGO skins? | Will Counter-Strike 2 come to Steam Deck? | Everything we know about Counter-Strike 2