CS:GO is almost a decade old, and Valve continues to tweak the ever-popular competitive FPS even in 2021. This latest change comes as a bit of a shock though, and it will have a major impact on certain modes. Basically, the developer has removed AI bots from the CS:GO competitive and wingman game modes.
Prior to this change, bots would replace players when they either dropped out of a lobby or disconnected. That will no longer be the case, and if teammates leave, you’ll be stuck with less players. If a whole team leaves, one idle bot will be there for the taking at spawn. We assume this is to let these matches conclude properly.
The removal of bots seems to be a controversial move. Replies to the announcement on Twitter aren’t exactly kind, with players questioning Valve’s direction. Some have spoken up about the need for bots to be adjusted in how they function, but straight removal seems to be a weird call. However, a tactic can be deployed where a team kicks out a lower-skilled player to replace them with a bot. Valve could be trying to address this issue.
The fine print
CS:GO bots being removed is of course taking all the headlines, but this patch is quite substantial in other key areas. The ping system has been altered, with pings now staying put when players walk over the highlighted location. Valve has made another removal too, as you can no longer ping weapons in competitive matches.
There’s been some map updates as well. Ancient, Cache, Engage, and Guard have all seen significant changes including fps optimizations, altered shooting angles and even added routes for better map flow. It looks like we might have to learn some of CS:GO all over again, almost 10 years on after release.
The full patch notes are available on the CS:GO website.