When CS2 will come out? CS2 release date based on leaks and official information
CS2 entered its limited beta test in March and took the minds of fans, professional CS:GO players, and event tournament operators. The official Valve statement promises release to happen in summer 2023, but most analysts agree that it might not be the case with the current progression. We tried to identify the likely release date based on various sources.
CS2 supposed release date
It's not easy to blindly trust Valve's announcements when it comes to dates. After all, we have the famous "Valve Time" meme for a reason. The company prefers to take its time and to not hurry.
At this point, we saw CS2 beta test running for 2.5 months. On June 7, Valve added Mirage, along with other improvements, and most in the community agree that the developers must test at least seven maps to start running tournaments. Of course, Valve might run events while still in beta, as they did in Dota 2, but the esports schedule still seems like the best starting point to guess the release date.
So, let's look at the upcoming big events:
- BLAST Fall Groups — Jul 13-23
- IEM Cologne 2023 — Jul 25-Aug 6
- Gamers8 — Aug 14-20
- ESL Pro League S18 — Aug 30-Oct 1
- IEM Sydney — Oct 16-22
- BLAST Fall Finals — Nov 22-26
What would be the first tournament to run on CS2?
July seems to be unrealistic since it's clear that professional players weren't notified of possible changes. And they would need five more maps to be tested in beta and trained professionally. Apparently, ESL had hopes for IEM Cologne to use CS2, but it was later dismissed by smooya, who also shared some inside about the actual release date being before or after EPL S18.
I had a bit of a leak again. Apparently, the big brief is that Cologne is CS:GO, 100%, while I thought it would be CS2. It was briefed in the last 48 hours. The game will not be released until all seven maps [will be tested].
And the expected date [for CS2] is after the next Pro League. No, it's around October time. <...> It could be before the Pro League, maybe early August or after, when CS2 is likely to drop. I heard it from someone on the top-3 team that Cologne is CS:GO.
October looks like a more reasonable time. At the end of the month, IEM Sydney will take place, with 20 days for the teams to prepare for it. Dexerto journalists asked the ESL representative if the TO plans to run the event on CS2.
CS2 will be part of the event, obviously, even if it’s free for play like in DreamHack Melbourne, at [IEM] Dallas, we had a show match. So whether it takes the form of the whole event runs on CS2? I don’t know about the likelihood of that, to be honest. <...>
Valve, as the publisher, has to decide when their game is released and when it can be used in something like a competitive tournament. And then, for ESL, it would be deciding what we think is going to be a better fit for an event if we have Valve’s approval.
However, maybe ESL knows a bit more than that. Previously Argon Esports player Deeptanshu «Marv» Sanghani asked ESEA support about the start of Season 46. The response was that the league is awaiting CS2 launch. The "odds for it starting in July are extremely low," responded ESEA.
Note that the ESEA S46 isn't connected to Pro League S18 but works as a road to S19. But for how long can ESEA postpone their league?
Based on these speculations, we'd think Valve is going to drop CS2 not in summer, but after the ESL Pro League or even after IEM Syndey as soon as they finish to leave some room for teams to practice. We'd guess that October 2 and October 23, are the most likely dates.
Update, September 2: The summer has gone, and there's no CS2 release yet. However, Valve recently added Inferno, which means all the competitive maps for professional play have been released. Additionally, Valve launched the biggest beta access invitation wave to date, trying to add "as many eligible players as possible." In game terms, it sounds like we went from a closed beta to an open one. These can last from a few days to a few months, but on average, it's about one or two months. So, our guessed dates from above should still stand true.