How many teams are practicing Counter-Strike 2?

Only four top 30 teams were comfortable telling us they had started practicing the new iteration.

Counter-Strike 2 is imminent, with Valve teasing a possible release as early as this Wednesday. For the competitive scene, this presents an issue: Do you switch to the new game early, or do you prioritize the upcoming tournaments that are expected to be played in Global Offensive?

Most teams are playing it safe and have not switched yet — that's what they have told us, at least. fnatic, Complexity and Liquid all mentioned ESL Pro League as an immediate priority, and Apeks are also still on CS:GO out of an expectation that IEM Sydney will come too soon for CS2.

This data is not as bulletproof as we might like, given that it relies on teams being honest with us in a situation where secrecy might be seen as an advantage. Some teams tried to deny playing CS2 when others reported that they had already started, and others chose not to comment or respond when asked which game they were prioritizing.

Not playing as a team does not mean individual players are not getting used to the new game, too. Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool has been streaming CS2 for hours on end, often with teammates, but FaZe told us that they have not officially begun practicing the new game as a team.

This is true of most teams, with players free to practice the new game in their off-time. Some players avoid it to keep their GO form, but it is often a decision left to individuals rather than one that comes from above out of the teams we asked.

What about the teams that have switched, then?

Ninjas in Pyjamas coach Daniel "⁠djL⁠" Narancic created a practice group for CS2 on the 18th of September, a few weeks after their elimination from ESL Pro League. GamerLegion and Monte practice both games, but have put more of an emphasis on CS2 than most top 30 teams. Vitality were tight-lipped, but eventually confirmed they "played two games" of CS2 in practice on the 22nd of September.

The reality for these top 30 teams is that, even if they wanted to gamble on CS2's release, it is worth keeping more than an eye on CS:GO. EPL and IEM Sydney are hugely significant, with Intel Grand Slam points on offer in addition to huge prize pools and ever-important ranking points.

lollipop21k's team have completely switched to the new game

This is true at tournaments smaller than the $850,000 ESL Pro League, too; rankings are even more important now the Valve ranking is used for RMR invites (and, in the near future, for regular tournaments). A slip in form in Global Offensive could be costly no matter the advantage a team may hope to gain from switching early.

Still, it is a more palatable gamble for teams outside of the top 30. Early adoption can still fuel hopes of sticker money, and it should be no surprise that Major-cycle specialists Bad News Eagles have begun practice in CS2.

There are also teams like Betera, who switched completely when Premier came out on the 4th of September. It is these smaller sides that hope to pack a serious punch at the start of the new game, but the size (and duration) of their advantage remains to be seen.

Even if they find a quirk, it will not be long until tier-one teams use their significant resources to scrape strategies and optimal practices from the tier below. Teams can hide what they have found, but that leaves the risk of a Valve patch or other teams figuring out the same thing. Early adoption does not guarantee an early peak.

This is the logic behind so few teams switching early. Global Offensive is here for a while yet, and events should finish in our current game even if CS2 releases.

NIP gained a real advantage from switching to CS:GO early while many of their peers lingered in 1.6 and Source

Our figure of four top 30 teams is doubtless impacted by teams wanting to hide what they are up to, but there is only so much you can do without other teams hearing about it. Good practice requires good practice groups; scrimming your academy in CS2 might be good for keeping things secret, but how much can you really learn about the new game?

As attractive as an early switch might seem from the outside, the reality is that CS:GO's best teams should be able to catch up quickly. It is true that Ninjas in Pyjamas's 87-0 streak in 2012-13 was helped by their early adoption of CS:GO, but many in the 1.6 and Source communities did not believe they would ever switch to the new game.

This time around, there will be no split community. There is
also not as big a difference between GO and CS2 as there was between previous games. The big teams in GO should maintain most of their edge in CS2.

There will be surprises, as there always are with a change of games. But the current top 30, if they have been honest about not switching yet, are confident of catching up in time for PGL Major Copenhagen.

Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Yugoslavia Aradia
2023-09-25 15:26
Csgo was special
2023-09-25 15:27
9 replies
2023-09-25 16:08
Netherlands daboiii
it will be remembered as cs:goat
2023-09-25 17:30
6 replies
United States Phamous3k
2023-09-25 18:13
1.6 will always be the goat regardless of any future versions
2023-09-26 11:25
3 replies
+1 CSGO got as many things wrong as it got right. 1.6 is not perfect, but about as close as it gets.
2023-09-26 11:58
2 replies
Finland de_suomi
Condition Zero is the real GOAT.
2023-09-26 16:06
1 reply
Ugh, not really
2023-09-26 17:53
+1 just barely behind 1.6
2023-09-27 11:11
Lmao no. It took years to be playable, let alone enjoyable, and after a decade it still wasn't close to 1.6 It's sad we're gonna go through this process again. At least this time CS2 is already way better than GO was at the same development stage
2023-09-26 15:55
2023-09-25 15:27
I feel sorry for the players, now write an article where you interview them about how crappy CS 2 feels compared to CS 1.6. .. I mean CS:GO
2023-09-25 15:29
1 reply
they did
2023-09-25 15:43
NiP stop practicing, you're still gonna be terrible
2023-09-25 15:31
4 replies
every player in NiP except headtr1ck is currently below a 1.00 rating now :DDDD
2023-09-25 15:33
3 replies
botr1ck would've been even lower if not awp
2023-09-25 15:36
1 reply
Don't worry, in CS2 he'll fall below too
2023-09-25 16:05
headtr1ck holding on due to AWP abuse
2023-09-25 15:41
cl_righthand 0 when? tell me valve amk
2023-09-25 15:31
if the teams in current HLTV top 30 didn't respond, then they're likely scrimming CS2. And for any team that's been eliminated from EPL already or aren't in the top 30, they're likely set to head onto CS2 as well (once the eliminated teams are back home or are already back home), giving them a decent head start.
2023-09-25 15:35
9 replies
Don’t know man. Everytime I Watch pros stream. Least in Europe, they are playing csgo not cs2. Could be scrimming cs2 but I doubt. Game isn’t ready for comp.
2023-09-25 21:20
8 replies
United States chokyy
Teams will always try to find an advantage.
2023-09-25 23:21
7 replies
I don’t disagree. I just notice majority of the pros don’t even play cs2 and I don’t blame them. The game isn’t ready for competitive play and barely playable as is.
2023-09-26 20:50
6 replies
United States chokyy
Most pros have definitely tried it out though. The thing is, is that most pros are already busy with csgo, which means that there would be no time to play cs2, even if they wanted to play it
2023-09-26 22:35
5 replies
I Just don’t think pros want to play cs2 in its current state. The game isn’t bad but it isn’t good. It is quite a way from being ready for an official release let alone competitive play. I know pros have definitely tried but I don’t think most of them like it.
2023-09-26 22:43
4 replies
United States chokyy
Ah yes, because ropz is the only pro
2023-09-26 22:58
3 replies
? Who said anything about ropz lol
2023-09-26 23:20
2 replies
United States chokyy
I assume you're new? Just in case, ropz criticized cs2 on his twitter. I've never seen a lot of pros openly criticize cs2 as a whole, which means that there are obviously flaws in your argument.
2023-09-26 23:44
1 reply
I’m new? Lmao no I just don’t pay attention to a game that is miles away from being ready to release. I’ve seen ropz criticize the game along with s1mple and quite a few other pros. It’s not really that hard to understand.
2023-09-27 04:02
cph major gonna be biggest fluke oat
2023-09-25 15:33
3 replies
United States Phamous3k
I feel the game will evolve to a good esport by major. Sure, I’m optimistic but, what other choice do we have.
2023-09-25 18:13
1 reply
Hey Phamous Fuck the Copenhagen crowds. They are like the Brazilian crowds but for danish teams. I just don’t think the game is close to being ready for a full release let alone competitive play. If Valve rushes the game, they will lose players especially in its current state.
2023-09-26 22:46
Argentina Aleeee
imagine what people will say when sprout wins grand final against 9 pandas in a full tier 2 play offs
2023-09-25 19:51
Vit feels good enough on csgo that they can practice cs2 leisurely Monte wants to test how effective their radar is on cs2 the other two are so bad on csgo that they want to just move on
2023-09-25 15:34
1 reply
Poland t0ma5h
this xDDDD
2023-09-25 15:44
2023-09-25 15:34
Let’s goo Legion
2023-09-25 15:35
vitality already practicing cs2 and farming csgo trophies in the meantime, respect
2023-09-25 15:35
1 reply
North Macedonia kek23
focusing on only one game too ez for the goat (apEX)
2023-09-25 15:37
practicing what?? is that a game or a wannabe?
2023-09-25 15:37
respect for vitality, they already completed csgo so thry switched to cs2
2023-09-25 15:42
France Guilsz
Vitality coming for that early NiP CSGO legacy on CS2 the world ain't ready
2023-09-25 15:51
Whilst there are ongoing high value tournaments it would be a mistake to practice cs2 to the detriment of your CSGO skill, muscle memory etc as there are small differences. The moment they are knocked out of their last tournament they will be practicing CS2 for sure.
2023-09-25 16:00
Isn't IEM Sydney going to be on CS2?
2023-09-25 16:03
2 replies
considering current state of cs2 highely likely no
2023-09-25 17:05
2023-09-25 17:08
Ez head start for lolipop. Repeat of NIP dream run incoming
2023-09-25 16:04
Joke article. OG aint praccing shit
2023-09-25 16:10
Faze bootcamped last week just to play 1 last series in csgo. Makes sense.
2023-09-25 16:12
first months of cs 2 will be fiesta for sure, gonna be fun to watch, and the major will be called mickey mouse one
2023-09-25 16:13
Slovakia VladO.
NiP another era inc. (yes, flair) they'll manage to figure out a new game before anyone else does, just as they did in CS:GO
2023-09-25 16:14
4 replies
eraa is not joining
2023-09-25 16:51
You dont play against plumbers with 100 dollar salary in 2023
2023-09-26 10:59
1 reply
Slovakia VladO.
You did not in 2013 either. They were all on the same page, coming from either 1.6. or source, salary being irrelevant back then, as the scene was not developed.
2023-09-26 13:07
Asia refmonster
2023-09-26 13:04
I dont wanna play that trash game, Valorant way better
2023-09-25 16:25
2 replies
then go to valorant hltv, what ure doing here
2023-09-25 16:52
then just play valorant, its free and you can just play it right now
2023-09-27 02:10
2023-09-25 16:30
vitality gigachads scrim in cs2 but be still the best csgo team
2023-09-25 16:35
Europe Asviix
Vitality throwing PL imo especially in such good shape, should wait until atleast the end of the tournament
2023-09-25 17:07
2 replies
nothing is guaranteed in CS:GO b/c all teams are pretty good now and can win but if you remember when NIP transitioned over to CS:GO earlier from 1.6 or source whichever, they maintained a healthy lead over all teams for a while might just be that esports was different in 2012 but CS2 will be pretty big
2023-09-25 20:03
1 reply
Europe Asviix
1.6 source was a much bigger change than CSGO-CS2 tho
2023-09-25 20:48
nip bout to get that 82-0 record again
2023-09-25 18:09
1 reply
Andorra mopGOD420
Not 87-0?
2023-09-26 12:48
csgo will be missed
2023-09-25 18:15
Sweden Vrede
Csgo >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> cs2
2023-09-25 18:22
nip thinking theyre about to repeat 2013 with this shitty roster
2023-09-25 19:08
Game is unfinished, lots of bugs and things that must be improved for pro scene ... even pro players complain about it. This major is going to be a joke
2023-09-25 19:32
6 replies
That’s 6 months away, plenty of time to make adjustments
2023-09-25 19:41
5 replies
Poland KamilAmrah
they had 10 years to add 128 tick matchmaking and after 10 years they just remove 128 tick and force 64 XDD valve is a joke why do people believe them in anything
2023-09-25 21:32
3 replies
France Akry
Because they created your favorite video game to play and watch? Lets not forget who created csgo in the first place...
2023-09-26 02:49
2 replies
Not volvo
2023-09-26 10:59
6 months won't be enough to perfect this game for the major. Valve had plenty of time to create this game, and as you can see the result is underwhelming.
2023-09-25 21:48
Vitality top1 cs2 ez
2023-09-25 19:39
Netherlands Hiding
2023-09-25 20:23
Denmark FrozenVAMO
what heroic still want to cook in cs i wanna know
2023-09-25 20:31
"NIP gained a real advantage from switching to CS:GO early while many of their peers lingered in 1.6 and Source" The difference between CSGO and CS2 is minimal, so no need to rush to a beta and invest time in there. Source and 1.6 were completely different games from CSGO lmao
2023-09-25 20:42
1 reply
France Akry
Yeah that's what the article says: "There is also not as big a difference between GO and CS2 as there was between previous games. The big teams in GO should maintain most of their edge in CS2."
2023-09-26 02:55
Probably none lol. Game is a literal downgrade from csgo. Hopefully they just leave csgo.
2023-09-25 21:20
India Faze0089
When cs2 releases teams like g2 should not attend 1-2 events and start practicing cs2 until katowice and they will dominate cs2.
2023-09-25 21:34
Sweden deadvein
NiP 87-0 incoming
2023-09-25 21:56
1win 87-0 incoming
2023-09-26 02:59
United States RAF_SIMONS
Common Gamer Legion W
2023-09-26 03:12
Malaysia Rich1eG0h
Saw ropz and Twistzz playing CS2
2023-09-26 10:35
Counter-strike 1.x mod Counter-strike 1.6 commercial release Counter-strike Source Counter-strike Global Offensive Counter-strike.... ??? Anything but 2 This alone tells me valve is just being pretentious.
2023-09-26 11:04
Argentina damik1ng
Cs2 is not yet ready, lacks a lot of things...
2023-09-26 13:45
Luxembourg 2000
I aren't know this, thanks for the info.
2023-09-26 21:57
Cloud9 and Heroic can prepare CS2 NOW!
2023-09-27 06:30
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