Counter-Strike fans have been eagerly anticipating the next version of the game, and according to veteran esports journalist Richard Lewis, it may be arriving sooner than expected. The beta version of Counter-Strike 2, which is set to use the updated Source 2 engine, is due to be released as early as March 2023.

While rumors of a new version of CS:GO have been circulating for years, a recent NVIDIA driver update revealed an executable file named “csgos2,” providing the first concrete evidence of a Source 2 upgrade for Counter-Strike. Lewis’ sources have confirmed that the new game is “ready to go,” with a beta version expected to be released in March, and no later than April 1st.

Valve, the developers behind Counter-Strike, have reportedly prioritized the Source 2 version of the game, with one insider claiming that “The big priority is getting this out and then polishing it, fixing any bugs and bringing it up to the level people expect from CS.”

One of the most significant changes players can expect from Counter-Strike 2 is the use of 128 tick servers, a feature that has long been requested by fans. The game will also have an improved matchmaking system, which may reduce the need for third-party matchmakers like FACEIT and ESEA.

According to sources, a group of professional players have already had the opportunity to test the game at Valve’s headquarters in Seattle. However, it remains unclear how the new release will affect the competitive top level of CS:GO, and whether it will impact the existing skin economy.

The future of the CS:GO skin economy is a concern for many players, with billions of dollars collectively held in player accounts and on trading websites. Valve has yet to provide any information on how the upgrade will impact skins and stickers, which are a significant revenue source for the company.

Valve leaker ‘Gabe Follower’ has revealed that the new game will not be called Counter-Strike 2, but will instead be CS:GO running on the Source 2 engine. While this may ease concerns about the skin economy, it still raises questions about how the game will be integrated with the existing competitive scene.

In conclusion, Counter-Strike 2 is expected to bring significant changes and improvements to the game, with a beta release coming as early as this month. Players can look forward to enhanced servers, improved matchmaking, and a potential integration with the competitive scene, although questions remain about the future of the skin economy.