Many changes have come as a result of Counter-Strike switching to Source 2, but the one change that’s dividing opinions the most is the move away from MR15 to MR12. Players of CS 1.6 will be familiar with this format, as it was the default all those years ago, but its return is going to take some getting used to.
What is MR12? – How many rounds are there in Counter-Strike 2?
MR12, abbreviated from Max Rounds 12, means there will only be a maximum of 12 rounds for each half played. Players transitioning from CS:GO will be more familiar with MR15, but those taking the leap from VALORANT will already be used to this format. Whilst it’s six rounds less than the game previously had, it seems Overtime will remain the same.
How will MR12 change Matchmaking? – MR12 vs. MR15
CS2 Matchmaking, also known as Premier Mode, is played in an MR12 format. For those of you with a winning attitude, these games now include Overtime when a game is tied. The only caveat to this is that you only get to play Overtime once and the game can still result in a tie. Besides that, you can expect to set aside less time when you want play a game of Counter-Strike 2.
How will MR12 change professional play? – Max Rounds 12 in esports
The biggest changes will be game length and the importance of pistol rounds. The amount of gun rounds could add to these, but for the time being Valve haven’t made any changes to the economy that would make this happen. What might come as an odd feeling for those transitioning from CS:GO is the ability to directly tie a half, which means we may not always have a team in the lead at the break.
As mentioned previously, fewer rounds will be played than we’ve previously seen at CS:GO tournaments. This means a map will be shorter than what we’re used to, and as a result so will an entire series. This will make scheduling more friendly and keep games from playing into the late hours of the evening. It may also make best-of-fives a more viable option for a final, both from the perspective of a spectator and a competitor. Overall, I think this will be a good change for the health of players, but it may result in tournaments being shorter overall. This could have an impact on sponsors who won’t want to invest as much for fewer hours of stream time, but if engagement and viewership rises from having to invest a shorter amount of time into watching a game, this might counteract this.
Due to shorter rounds and the impact pistol rounds already have in CS:GO, they will become even more important in CS2. Winning a pistol round, in most cases, sets you up with a three round lead. Winning both pistol rounds in a game of CS2 gives you just under half of the rounds required for a win. Many teams will have to work on pistol rounds, but also on their eco rounds and anti-eco rounds. Not only will it become more important to secure the follow-up after a pistol round win, but it will require great tactical depth from the losers of the pistol round to try and win the follow-up. Start practicing your pistols, you’re going to need them more than ever before!
- Read: Roles in CS2
Will Majors be MR12?
Valve have already announced that they will run their Major events as MR12. Whilst this will be the default for the biggest events in the CS2 calendar, it doesn’t seem like it will be forced on tournament operators to implement this, at least not initially. This means we could see BLAST or ESL using MR15, however it’s unlikely they would if Valve use MR12 for Majors.