What does Vertigo’s addition to the map pool mean for the pro scene and for the game itself?

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To finish March’s series of updates, Valve released in 28th a map pool change that generates quite the buzz in CSGO’s scene. Replacing Cache in the ‘Active Duty’ map pool, the pool used in professional matches and the Major enters Vertigo.

This was somewhat surprising, yet expected as Valve kept working in Vertigo for months anteceding this update. Still, Vertigo, which has been part of the Counter-Strike series since 2001, was never considered a competitive map.

So, what Vertigo addition means for CSGO? Why this change is so big? Let’s understand everything below.


Why Vertigo is a controversial map

Vertigo layout was never considered to be viably competitive. After all, it’s verticality, while not as impactful as Nuke’s, still plays a heavy factor in the map design.

Players don’t have an issue with verticality itself, instead, they aren’t comfortable with how the sound system works in maps with different height levels. Still, even taking Vertigo’s double floors out of the count, there’s plenty of negatives about the map.

For one, it’s a map that gives CTs a lot of advantage, even after Valve adjustments. As the terrorist spawn is set in the lower level of the map, reaching a bomb-site can prove to be quite a challenge as flanks can come from multiple angles.

Even worst, rotating from one site to another as a terrorist in mid-game is expected to be a real challenge. The defending site can cover a lot of the upper level and make many mid-round calls that we often see in Inferno or Mirage unusable.

All things considered; Vertigo has a reason to be so controversial. It still needs adjustments and initially, it can be a rare played map. Valve will be counting on player feedback to make it a competitively viable map, and players’ frustrations are understandable.


How impactful Vertigo is expected to be in-game?

At this point, it’s clear that Valve has a lengthy roadmap of radical changes to CSGO, and they’re coming in quickly.

Apparently, though, we just saw the tip of the iceberg as weeks ago, Valve introduced big changes for the economy side of the game. Now, they introduced the first new map in the competitive pool since Overpass and Cobblestone introduction back in 2014.

What’s is next is not clear, but it’s not hard to imagine what is in Valve’s plans. For example, shotguns are slowly being more used in professional matches, and Valve has shown interest in tweaking those.

So, Vertigo means that Valve wants to see CSGO changing overtime more than it did in previous years. How those changes will fair with casual and pro players is yet to be seen.

It’s interesting to note though, that Vertigo hadn’t a competitive backstory until now. Now that it’s proven that Valve is willing to put new maps in the pool, they might look into Aztec.

A classic map just like Vertigo, Aztec was actually professionally played in the early years of Counter-Strike. Still, just like Vertigo, Aztec’s current iteration is unbalanced, but Valve might be looking at it next as they search the next map to be replaced in the pool.


Vertigo impact in the professional scene

Just as its controversial, Vertigo will be making quite an impact in the professional scene. Vertigo is replacing Cache, a map that was far from its peak but still was played by teams like Fnatic, MiBR and FaZe.

For teams that dislike Nuke, like MiBR, Vertigo introduction is a nightmare. After all, in the Brazilians’ case, it’s taking their map with the highest win rate and replacing for one that has a close structure to the one they chose to ban permanently.

For FaZe and NiP, it takes one map out that they had mixed results and adds one that can be used as a trump card in a BO3. However, they also have to consider that most teams will be trying to dominate Vertigo, and that could possibly blow in their faces.

For the best team in the world right now, Astralis, it can either mean nothing or give them even more strength.

Cache was the map that the Danes had as their permanent ban, and should they pioneer Vertigo, it will be almost impossible to start a game without a disadvantage against Astralis. If they can work out Vertigo, they can just have it as their new permanent ban.


Vertigo has already been played by pro players in the last weekend

It didn’t take long to online tournaments set Vertigo instead of Cache in their map pools to reflect the update. The open qualifiers for DreamHack Open Tours used Vertigo and so did Loot.Bet Season 2.

Only a couple matches in Vertigo have been played, though. The first one was AGO against Nordavind, where Nordavind picked Vertigo as their map pick and won it by 16:5.

The second one was Windigo against GamerLegion, where GamerLegion also picked it and won by 16:7.

Fortunately, StarSeries hosted a show-match with Vertigo being the map featured. There, fans watched the first death by fall in Vertigo in a official match as coldzera couldn’t keep himself in solid ground.

Of course, tournament organizers are already getting ready to add Vertigo in their tournaments. ESL announced that the change will be effective in their tournaments after IEM Sydney.

BLAST has also announced that they will be using Vertigo after their next tournament. Dreamhack also did an announcement that they will use Vertigo for DreamHack Open Rio, but hasn’t announced if they plan to introduce it in their DH Masters series.


Vertigo is quite a change, but is CSGO ready for it?


In the following weeks, fans and analysts will be eagerly waiting to see how Vertigo fairs in the professional scene. While it received a lukewarm reception by players and media channels, it’s yet to be seen how teams will make use of it.

What’s your opinion on it? Is Vertigo too big of a change for CSGO at this point? Let us know below!

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