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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's seasonal update brings new maps and deadly gifts

Like a drunken uncle, CS:GO is going to be offensive this Christmas. It'll be making lewd jokes, swearing incoherently, and... oh, the other kind of offensive? I guess that makes sense. In that case, the Winter Offensive update will bring a new case of weapons skins, a new e-sports crowd-funding case, and - in a limited format - two new maps. All in all, it's not very wintry. But is it offensive?

Valve say they want to make the new maps "as fun and balanced as possible". To that effect, rather than release them to the general public, they're being restricted to community servers and offline play, as well as trialled for a limited through official matchmaking via Operation: Bravo. Here are the new arenas:

As for the seasonal part of this update, Valve explain the gift-giving connection: "The Winter Offensive Update is shipping with three types of gifts for the giving: the Gift Package, which will give a random item to one random player in your match; the Pallet of Presents, which will give random items to up to nine people in your match; and the Audience Participation Parcel, which will give random items to up to 25 viewers watching your match."

Head over to the Winter Offensive micro-site to see the new weapon skins. For more on the new maps, take a look at this post on the CS:GO blog.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.