Valve have regularly updated CSGO with new maps and features. In the past, they have done so with CSGO operations, which introduced missions and side quests as well. Usually, fans and community members contributed with their own map designs, which were then hand-selected by the developers themselves. These maps have had varying degrees of success. Some have been forgotten in the constant stream of new CSGO maps. Others have been reintroduced, even made official parts of the game.
We have assembled a small list of the best and most successful maps from CSGO operations so far. Of course your personal opinion on this topic might be different from ours, so please don’t be too mad at our choices!
#5 – Insertion
Insertion first appeared as part of CSGO operations in 2014. During Operation Breakout, the hostage map was playable for quite a while. After that, it was reintroduced in Operation Hydra, which premiered in 2017.
What makes Insertion unique is that the players start every round outside of the map. At their spawns, they have plenty of time to buy weapons. There are areas marked down on the floor. Depending on which area you stand in as the round starts, you’ll be transported to a different starting location. This allows for intricate strategies, as the players will now have more angles of attack compared to the usual spawn layout in CSGO.
#4 – Workout
Workout was part of the Operation Vanguard. It disappeared after the end of the operation, but was reintroduced in 2019 for a limited time.
The hostage map is set in a large sports center, where the counter-terrorists have to cross through large open areas in order to get to the hostages. There is barely any chance for them to survive without long-range weapons, apart from trying to advance through the Puzzle and Toycar areas.
#3 – Seaside
Seaside has made three CSGO operations appearances in its lifetime. Most notably, it was part of the first two operations, Payback and Bravo. When CSGO introduced the Scrimmage mode, it was one of the first maps available for play there. However, at the end of 2019 Valve removed it yet again. Nonetheless, this map has spent a long time as an official part of CSGO.
Seaside features a rather large middle area, where both teams will have direct access to the sites. The CTs will be at A Site much quicker, but in return most surfaces are bangable. That makes it incredibly difficult to defend the spot from oncoming attacks. B Site, on the other hand, offers more cover for the defenders. However, it is much harder to get to, as you’ll have a hard time crossing through the middle area. On the map’s Steam Workshop page, fans are still begging for its return as late as May 2020.
#2 – Agency
Agency has a long history with CSGO operations. It was featured in the Bravo, Phoenix, Bloodhound and Hydra operations and ever since 2017, Agency was officially added to the competitive map pool.
It is one of the most enjoyable hostage maps to play. With tight corners and open spaces, it has a little something for everybody. Certainly, the CT-side will have troubles advancing beyond the choke points on the map. For this reason, Agency is considered to be heavily T-sided. But this is actually not a bad thing, since it forces the CT-side to fight for every bit of map control. Teamwork is key, as you won’t be able to run through Office or Long Hall by yourself.
These following maps were technically released as parts of (or during) CSGO operations. But Cobblestone and Train have been firm parts of previous Counter Strike games for a long time. In Counter Strike 1.6, players were already able to play the inner and outer bomb sites on Train and many memorable AWP duels have taken place there. Cobblestone was built by Dave Johnston. You might know him as the creator of both Dust and Dust 2, which have become iconic parts of all Counter Strike games. Cache and Overpass have both become active duty maps, although the former has been removed and remade again just recently. While they did technically spawn from community efforts, they have since been overtaken by the game’s developers. So we’re not considering these maps for the number one spot.
#1 – Season
While Season has not had such a long stint in the game as Agency, it dates back to Counter Strike Source. In 2007, this map was unofficially released for the predecessor of CSGO. In 2013, as part of CSGO Operation Vanguard, FMPONE remade it and added it to the game. It has appeared in one more operation. Most notably, it has remained a firm part of the FACEIT competitive pool for years and is one of the maps that is most requested to make a return to CSGO.
For a memorable highlight, we recommend watching the iBUYPOWER vs. NetcodeGuides match, which iBP deliberately threw in order to win skins. This match-fixing scandal has gone down in history and had a serious impact on the North American scene. This match was played on an old version of Season.
We hope you liked this short list. We regularly post interesting and insightful articles on the esports scene on our Bitspawn blog. For instance, you might like to check out our tutorials on how to play CSGO or how to practice smokes in CSGO. We also provide interesting features on broadcasting and streaming equipment. So be sure to stick around for more content like this!