Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionals have already aired their feelings about the new map Vertigo, but some have been locked in a debate about its current sound issues.
The game’s developer, Valve, made a huge change to the CS:GO active duty map pool with the game's March 29 update as they removed Cache and replaced it with Vertigo - a surprising decision as Vertigo has never before been part of Counter-Strike's competitive map choices.
Adding Vertigo has been a controversial change, with plenty of pros, analysts, and fans complaining about its inclusion. Others, like Natus Vincere’s Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev, have just gotten on with the task at hand and adapted to Valve’s changes.
However, that doesn’t mean that a majority of pros have accepted the changes. Plenty of players have remained vocal about the issues with the map - with the sounds of the map now coming into question.
The sounds have been compared to Nuke, which has a somewhat similar vertical layout with its two bomb sites being so close together. While changes have been made to Nuke to help rectify the long-standing sound issues, no changes have yet been made to Vertigo.
Some fans, however, don’t believe there are problems with Nuke - sparking a wider debate between pros.
CS:GO analyst and esports historian, Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields tweeted: “[Of course] morons on Reddit think the sounds on Nuke aren't an issue, when I have personally spoken to dozens of active pros who still have issues with them to this day.”
Ofc morons on reddit think the sounds on nuke aren't an issue when I have personally spoken to dozens of active pros who still have issues with them to this day.#FanLogic— Thorin (@Thooorin) April 3, 2019
Thorin’s statement started a debate between some current players within the professional CS:GO scene, with some supporting his claim while others believing that the ‘issues’ can be resolved with practice.
Ghost Gaming in-game leader Joshua ‘Steel’ Nissan added: “I think there's a list of stubborn pros who won't switch to the 3D audio processing. Without it, directional sound is impossible. Legit every time someone can't figure out if something is above or below or behind or in front I'll ask if they have 3D audio on and they'll say no.”
I think there's a list of stubborn pros who won't switch to the 3d audio processing. Without it, directional sound is impossible. Legit Everytime someone can't figure out if something is above or below or behind or in front I'll ask if they have 3d audio and they'll say no— steel (@JoshNissan) April 3, 2019
However, North star Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangså disagreed with Steel’s reply, adding that all of his team's players use the 3D audio processing setting and still have issues with Nuke.
The Danish rifler also added that a LAN environment can also mess with the in-game audio, as a loud arena can overpower some noises and give advantages in certain situations.
We all play WITH the 3D Audio setting and I can't even tell you how many times we've had issues with the sound on Nuke - and other maps in general :/— valde (@Officialvalde) April 3, 2019
Mousesports’ young Estonian star Robin ‘Ropz’ Kool disputed Thorin’s original claim, adding: “It's actually very easy if you take your time to experiment the sounds (materials, hearing difference from a distance, behind a wall etc). It just comes from experience and we played the map quite a lot.”
It's actually very easy if you take your time to experiment the sounds (materials, hearing difference from a distance, behind a wall etc), it just comes from experience and we played the map quite a lot.— ropz (@ropzicle) April 3, 2019
It remains to be seen just how long Vertigo stays in the Active Duty map pool. Pros will likely want changes to be made, not just to the sound but to the whole thing, if the map stays for the long-term.
However, any decision on the map pool is made by Valve and Valve alone, even if they do take feedback from pros on a regular basis. Tournament organizers like ESL have already updated their Pro League map set to include Vertigo, but like the players, they are beholden to Valve's wishes.