As the saying goes, when you're tired of Train, you're tired of Counter-Strike. Okay, that's not the case at all. The truth is there are a wealth of amazing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive mods and maps to try away from the competitive pool. None of them are quite like Red Bull Flick, though, a brand new two-on-two CS:GO tournament like no other, with custom-designed maps, new rules and one of the most entertaining game modes you've ever seen: Hold The Flag.
The competition sees teams of two try to capture a point on the map and hold it, similar to domination game modes in other titles. This all takes place on custom maps made especially for the event and they can be played at any time by anyone, thanks to the magic of the Steam Workshop. From playing in the Himalayan mountains to battling in the matrix, these maps are unlike anything we've ever seen before in the world of CS:GO.
We've been hard at work on these new levels for months, so here to tell you more about them is Brian 'Epitaque' Hoy, who helped bring our ideas to life.
Back in November 2018, out of the blue, some random person added me on Steam. It turns out it was a Red Bull employee who saw one of my Dota 2 game modes. When I was initially hired to create the Red Bull Flick game mode, we weren't really sure what we wanted the game mode to be, but after some brainstorming, the idea of a capture point really stuck because it hasn't been done before in CS:GO, to my knowledge, and sounded really fun to play.
We started designing each map, except for Himalaya, by thinking of a unique feature we wanted the map to have. For example, Speedway's unique feature is the surf ramps. Then, I made a top-down sketch and made a first draft of the layout in the map editor, Hammer. We then went through many iterations and the final one always looked completely different than the first. For example, below is a screenshot of an early version of Castle, compared to how it looks now. After finding a layout we were happy with, I passed it over to the graphics team, who did a great job giving the maps a nice aesthetic.
All the maps are somewhat similar: your number one objective is to get to the capture point in the centre of the map. However, each map has its own strategies for getting there. In Matrix, for example, you might send one guy up to the sniper tower to clear the point for you. In Speedway, you might use your surfing skills to land right next to, and surprise, your opponents.
A very good strategy is to have your team-mate act as a sniper for you while you capture the point. In addition, I think as players learn the grenade spawns we'll see them being used more. When the pro team BIG tested our Castle map, I noticed they would use the smokes to hide themselves on the point.
We just thought it would be more interesting to base each map around a different theme, rather than using the same textures and props for every map. Everyone chipped in their own ideas and we went with the coolest ones.
Speedway is my favourite map. The development process started off shaky, as I didn't really know how to integrate surf ramps into a competitive map, but I'm really happy with the final result. I can't really describe why, but I just always have a lot of fun whenever I'm playing it and it seems like people are picking it a lot in the qualifiers.
There is a fun little minigame on Speedway and the clue is that soccer fans will like it!
Just download the map off the Workshop and try to find how you can use each map's layout and quirks to your advantage.
To find out more and register to compete, visit the Red Bull Flick event page.
Cover image credit: © RED BULL FLICK
Written by Mike Stubbs
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