Flagging only slightly behind the dust the duology, de_nuke is one of the most famous and regularly played maps of classic Counter-Strike. It’s been a part of the game since the earliest versions in 1999, and one of the very limited sets of maps considered good enough for professional play across the game’s lifespan. Valve have been updating the CS:GO version for some time and today, along with a meaty patch, reintroduced it not only to the game, but to competitive matchmaking queues as well.
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The updated map is arriving as part of Operation Wildfire, the latest patch and micro-transaction update for CS:GO. Along with de_nuke’s return it introduces a host of new missions, gun skins and crates to open. It has its own mini-site for you to look over if that’s your jam.
As for nuke, it’s definitely back, but has a few more tricks. Sadly it’s not a map I ever got around to memorising in my CS:S days, and was already gone from CS:GO by the time I renewed my interest in it, so exact changes and impact are beyond my comprehension. However, Valve say their intention is to buff up T-side options while maintaining the map’s key, competitive-friendly simplicity and making it clearer visually.
This included adding whole new attack paths, both from the outside and through new doors in the interior of the facility. There’s also smaller changes, like easier routing through previously possible but difficult areas, and the ability to block line of sight through vents by pressing the use key on them.
As seems to be the Valve CS:GO way, they’ve gone whole hog and just enabled it in the competitive matchmaking mode. This ensures it won’t be ignored, but might put the community on edge. ESL’s next large tournament, their invitational event in Barcelona, will also be using the map in its pool. The event has a lot of cash on the line, but uses a new format where each time a team loses they sacrifice one of three lives. Hit zero and you’re out, the winner is whoever has lives left at the end. It certainly sounds like a more casual event, but with top teams and big money, it’s a controversial place to debut a map just a couple of days after release.