Valve has announced Counter-Strike 2, god's in his heaven, and all's right with the world. The game will initially be beta tested by a limited group of players, and these are being selected based on several factors which definitely do not include skill level: I suck, but I play a lot and like to think of myself as a good egg, so I got an invite. Yes folks: I've seen smoke grenades wafted away on banana.
The funniest aspect of this is that, having been watching the CS:GO subreddit and following various Counter-Strikers on social media, lots of people are complaining they haven't got in. Now, some of these people are lovely. But I have noticed in a few cases that they're not lovely, and it made one element of the limited beta really jump out at me. Valve is not letting the assholes in.
The studio has a beta FAQ outlining the basics, and it includes this line: "Players are selected based on a number of factors deemed important by the Counter-Strike 2 development team, including (but not limited to) recent playtime on Valve official servers, trust factor, and Steam account standing."
God bless the Counter-Strike 2 development team, because trust factor and standing basically mean cheaters and toxic players. CS:GO has an excellent reporting system and, while some level of trash talking is always to be expected, players who consistently piss off their teammates are often suspended with competitive cooldowns. Cheaters, meanwhile, get the dreaded VAC ban.
Almost like it wants to emphasise the point, Valve's FAQ circles back to this:
I was banned in CS:GO. Can I use the same Steam account to play Counter-Strike 2?
No. Accounts with VAC or game bans in CS:GO cannot play Counter-Strike 2 on VAC-secured servers.
Are competitive cooldowns shared across Counter-Strike 2 and CS:GO?
Yes. If you have a competitive cooldown in CS:GO you cannot matchmake in Counter-Strike 2 and vice versa.
In other words: Eat it. And this is not just the beta. If you were perma-banned in CS:GO, you're just not getting into Counter-Strike 2.
There's something so beautifully karmic about this. If you were an asshole in Counter-Strike, you don't get to join in with the rest of us having fun and dancing around in Source 2. It feels right, and the way the world should be. I couldn't be happier about Counter-Strike 2, and this element of it is the cherry on the cake.