Female CS2 pros claim Valve is ‘supporting sexism’ with male-only default characters

Calum Patterson
astralis female cs2 team and default male agent

The female Counter-Strike 2 team representing Astralis has penned an open latter to Valve, requesting that they add female character models that can be used for free in CS2. They argue that having only male characters available for free discourages women from playing.

CS2 replaced CS:GO in September 2023, and as part of the transition, all default T and CT agents were made uniform across every map. Both of the default agents are male, and while there are female agents available to purchase, there are no default (free) female agents.

On February 28, Astralis player Josefine ‘Josefine’ Jensen published a letter signed by herself and her four teammates, explaining it was a follow-up to a message they had previously sent privately on January 24.

The players say that while they love the game, “Unfortunately, we currently feel we are only guests at the party.

“Using a female agent skin costs extra, while default skins are all male. We don’t know why it is so, but we know that it strikes us as being both unfair and a bit unwelcoming. It certainly feels that way and in some way it supports the sexism that we unfortunately still encounter.

“There should be no difference between agents. There should be as many free female agents as free male agents,” the letter states.

The players also argue that this change would encourage more women to play Counter-Strike 2.

However, the response to the open letter on social media has been mixed. Dona, a female Counter-Strike streamer, responded that she “couldn’t care less about female default skins,” and would prefer Valve to prioritize other issues.

She also suggested that a live support function that would punish toxic and sexist players would be more beneficial, as it is the main reason for “many girls to not play CS.”

Others argued that “nothing bad can come out of this idea,” so “why not?”. Another explained: “It doesn’t matter how good you are compared to male teams like some people seem to be eager to point out. It’s about the message and the importance of equality.”

Esports host and interviewer Frankie Ward backed the letter, stating: “I honestly think having access to a variety of playable characters in video games encourages a wider variety of people to play those games.

“I used to be sceptical and now I’m a believer so totally support this letter about @CounterStrike agents.”

At the time of writing, there has been no public response from Valve to the letter.

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