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CS2 Info

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Counter-Strike 2 Brief

EPIC40 will use Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) as its game title for our headline tournament. With the launch of CS2 at the end of September, we've been working to make a CS2 tournament possible within the limited timeframe and resources currently present in the game, which are lacking compared to the third party support and extensive development history from the old title. 

With this comes some temporary solutions and changes around how we operate the tournament. This document aims to demonstrate these changes and keep players informed about what is different. Whether you've been to an EPIC.LAN before or are coming for the first time, we advise you read and understand the contents of this page. The admin team will also be on hand to help where necessary, and to provide a new player briefing on the Friday morning before the tournament starts.

This change may come with undiscovered problems out of our control, so please be patient and work with us to make it a great event. We're sure everyone wants to see the first CS2 LAN succeed. 



Tournament Platform

As always, the CS2 tournament will run on this tournament platform. Your team information, user account, how you view and interact with scheduled matches, stage data and more remains here. Nothing about the website interaction changes, as with any other tournament that isn't Counter-Strike. 




Dating back nearly 10 years, EPIC.LAN has utilised a proprietary plugin in-game to handle various aspects of match configuration, automation and admin interaction. With the release of CS2, this plugin is no longer usable (everything under the !epic command). Whilst we will introduce these features again in the future, it's going to take time to get them ready for CS2. The framework the plugin is built on also relies on other third parties to update, or in this case, completely re-write their tools before we can make meaningful progress. Furthermore, these also rely on various features within the game itself to be operational/available, which many are not. 

This means for a CS2 tournament at EPIC.LAN to work, some featured and round by round management have to change, which we've summarised in the table below. 

Much of the useful information to changes around automation can be found in our Guide to Tournaments, such as submitting a match result.


Automated score reporting Unavailable
The game server will no longer automatically submit or track your game result to the website. The game server effectively works independently to the tournament platform, similar to how any other game we host functions. Players from both teams will need to manually submit their score to their match page to confirm a result.
Changing the map (players) Alternative in Place

Previously, players were able to vote to change a map via the plugin. Instead, we've configured the in-game "Call a Vote" system to allow players to vote to change level with a custom map group (Active Duty). The vote requirement for this is 70% of connected players.

Pause game > Call Vote... > Change Map...

Swapping teams Alternative in Place

Because information about your round and match, such as team names, isn't passed through from the tournament system to the game server, there isn't a requirement to be on the correct side that displays your team name; they will simply display as "Counter-Terrorists" or "Terrorists". So just select the correct side your team is meant to be playing on after your veto by using the pause menu. 

Pause game > Choose Team > Select a side...

Ready up & infinite warmup Unavailable

In CS:GO, a match would not start unless a vote was called to end the warmup phase. In CS2, the servers will be configured to have a 10 minute warmup phase to allow players to do their vetoes in game chat (as normal), change map, etc. 

If all 10 players connect, this warmup period is dropped to 45 seconds. Players must be attentive and ready to complete a veto and change the level early in the warmup phase. 

In a scenario where a match starts prematurely, you can still veto/change map after the initial warmup period ends.

Knife rounds Unavailable Knife rounds have always been handled and initiated by the EPIC.LAN plugin. There is currently no solution to knife rounds. As a result, we've changed our required veto process to eliminate the need for a knife round (Valve style). Read more on this in our Rules section. In short, there is no longer a need to decide who starts each side in a BO1 or BO3 decider by knife round.
Tactical timeouts Remains the Same

The amount of tactical timeouts and their length is configurable natively and in-line with our CS:GO rules (4x30s). Instead of using !epic, use the in-game "Call a Vote" system.

Pause game > Call Vote... > Call a Tactical Timeout

Technical timeouts Alternative in Place

Technical timeouts as handled by the EPIC.LAN plugin paused the game on the next freezetime indefinitely. CS doesn't have this natively but does have commands that achieve a similar result. 

We've configured the servers to use an autopause feature if a player disconnects (sv_matchpause_auto_5v5 1). This means if a team requires a technical timeout, a player from either team needs to disconnect from the server and the game will pause on the next freezetime.

We advise this is done by a player that has already died in the round to prevent admins needing to intervene and restore a round. Once the technical issue is resolved, the player can rejoin and the freezetime is cancelled as normal. 

This affects a previous rule where we allow 4v5 matches to go ahead if an individual has a personal emergency. So as standard going forward, matches will need to have 5 players on each team at all times by default. The admin team can assist if a 4v5 is necessary, but it isn't possible without admin intervention.

Calling an admin Alternative in Place

There is no in-game solution to calling an admin. We have no way of a "ping" to come through our dashboard about a specific server call. The solution for quick help is to "ping" the CS2 admin team directly using the #admin-help-desk channel in our Discord server.

To help make this as efficient as possible, please have your game information ready (Team X vs Team Y), seat number from our seating plan and your server information. The server name can be found by typing status into console whilst connected.

An admin will either connect to your server directly or come and find you physically in the Arena to help. A basic description of your issue should be included.

Restoring last round (vote) Unavailable

The player-based vote to restore the last round via backup logs is not possible. If a round restore is required due to a technical problem, this will need to be requested so an admin can remotely restore the last round. Round restoring is still possible, just not by players. 

Automated BO3's Alternative in Place

Because sub-match information is not passed through from the tournament platform to the game server, the server works independently from the type of match you are in (BO1, BO3). The server you are provided for a match will simply loop back around/restart once 1 map is completed back to the 10 minute warmup phase. This will allow you to vote to change the map as required and begin map 2 or 3.

Because there is no Ready Up system, this will just continue until a technical pause is forced, however, if a player is disconnected, this will still provide a regular 10 minute interval/break between maps. Recommended procedure for a BO3 is to have 1 player disconnect at the end of each map to allow the 10 minute warmup phase to complete its countdown and allow players to go to the toilet/get some fresh air etc. before play is resumed.



Game Configuration


  • Tickrate/Subtick

All of the rate and tick variables that third parties modified to adjust things like tickrate have been removed from CS2 and hardcoded by Valve. This means that for the foreseeable future, our tournament servers will run at a base 64 tick with CS2's subtick system. Having tested this on our end and at very low ping, the responsiveness is extremely crisp. You are very unlikely to encounter deaths from behind walls etc. on LAN, as there is no interpolation/lag compensation due to ping variance with everyone on the same network.


  • Competitive Mode

With the move to CS2, we will adopt various format changes within 5v5 competitive that the main game has adjusted. The Rules tab will go into detail on each specific setting, but this does include things like the move to MR12. One of the few variables we will adjust to our tournament standard is freezetime and round end time.

There are some game configuration settings which currently do not seem to function at all on community servers, including displaying player colours on the HUD. Any other host that has this working isn't doing so natively. 

To briefly summarise some key points around gameplay

    • Matches will be played using MR12
    • Group Games will use Premier-style overtime (Overtime limit of 1 on MR3) with ties still enabled on a revised points system
    • Vetoes will use Valve-style veto to remove the requirement for a knife round
    • Freezetime will be to the old standard of 15 seconds
    • Tactical timeouts will be to the old standard of 4x30s
    • All elimination matches will be regular BO3 with unlimited overtime
    • The Grand Final will remain a BO3


  • Scheduling

Our schedule has always allowed an hour per map; we will not be changing how our initial schedule works to allow for the extended warmup where required. The average game time on MR12 isn't extremely different and in a case where games do end earlier, players will have around a 15-20 minute break between rounds instead of a 5-10 minute break.


  • Format

Our format over the last few events has been consistent: a group stage round robin into a double elimination BO3 bracket. We will not be deviating from this format. This tournament will see many changes, but we want an element of consistency this time around to compare against. The only minor alteration is to the group stage points format as mentioned above.


  • Updates & Maps

CS2 doesn't currently have the same version compatibility features of CS:GO, so in the case of a game update that changes critical aspects or if the Active Duty map pool changes/a map is majorly updated, we have no way of rolling back. This is a compromise of using CS2 in its current condition and we'll have to persevere with whatever the game version and Active Duty map pool is just before or even during the tournament.


  • Coaching

Currently CS2 does not have any coaching functionality (coach t/ct) so coaches are unable to join the server to spectate in any way. We have no expectation from Valve as to when it will become available. Coaches are still welcome to stand behind their team within our normal coaching rules


  • External SourceTV IP's

We currently cannot guarantee external SourceTV/CSTV IP's will be available simply due to server load. This may change in the future when Valve update App 740 and release the proper dedicated servers. Players are still welcome to stream their point of view with delay from their own PC's subject to permission. In order to get permission for game streaming please fill out our streaming form. We'll have an official stream of 1 game in each round of the tournament as per usual. 



CS2 Bugs

With a new game version there are bound to be many new bugs possible during gameplay. This can include things such as new boost spots; elevator glitches that allow players to walk on the skybox; object clipping allowing players to see through walls. It shouldn't have to be stated that you will be penalised for exploiting any newly-discovered game bugs or glitches. The new ESL Pixel Walks List is a good place to review what's new and isn't acceptable, but of course please raise anything you find directly with either Geo or MischiefCS for review before attempting it in a tournament match. Also, ensure you read and understand the descriptions within the Rules tab on this.

Beyond intentional exploits, there are going to be scenarios where the game doesn't behave as expected. We'll do our best to mitigate these circumstances but please understand some of the problems with this new title are out of our control. 



Demos & Statistics

Match demos will be recorded and be available for players and content creators as normal through our demo repository The key difference is that the plugin does not initiate the recording when the match starts. Instead, it will start recording as soon as the server is loaded - this means each demo will have 10-15 minutes of warmup content at the start. 

Player statistics rely on us being able to parse demos and extract the necessary data. Currently we do not have a build of Demo Manager or an alternative to be able to parse CS2 demos. We are working on getting a build or something similar available, but as of writing (October 4th) tournament stats are unavailable. We will have demo files for the foreseeable future so these stats can be released at any time after the event. 




HLTV have notified us that the way they operate currently hasn't changed when compared to CS:GO. With the addition of logaddress at the start of this month, they should be able to log game data and have a scorebot as normal. We will still have to apply for this event to be featured on HLTV, which is required to be done around 10-7 days prior to the event starting. So, we currently do not have confirmation it will be covered, but we will apply as normal. 



Performance Guide

This section aims to be a guide to CS2 performance and what you should do before attending EPIC40 to ensure you don't run into critical problems that delay the tournament running. 


CS2 minimum system requirements

OS: Windows® 10
Processor: 4 hardware CPU threads - Intel® Core™ i5 750 or higher
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Video card must be 1 GB or more and should be a DirectX 11-compatible with support for Shader Model 5.0
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 85 GB available space


Windows version

Make sure your system is operating on either Windows 10 or Windows 11 and that whichever you are using is fully up to date. The latest version of both operating systems is 22H2. Assistance for updating Windows can be found here.


GPU Drivers

It's important you have the latest version of your graphics card drivers if you're using an AMD or an Nvidia GPU. 

Latest Nvidia game ready drivers

Latest AMD GPU drivers


Launch Options

We recommend removing any deprecated or old launch options under Counter-Strike 2 on Steam, as much of the advice from the last 10 years is now useless in this regard. The only thing you may want in your launch options is an autoexec.cfg. To remove launch options: go to Steam > right click Counter-Strike 2 > select Properties > and at the bottom of the General tab > clear the Launch Options text field. 


Video Settings Advice

Below are some video settings that may net you better performance and still maintain good visibility. If you are still struggling with performance, try enabling different settings under FidelityFX Super Resolution. Also, CS2 now lets you define your refresh rate directly in Video settings. Sometimes when changing resolution this will default back to 60Hz. So if your game feels choppy, make sure this setting matches your monitor's highest refresh rate. 



Nvidia Settings Advice

Below are some settings for your Nvidia control panel courtesy of @fREQUENCYCS for a balance of performance and visibility. Leaving your Nvidia settings as their defaults is recommended if you are unsure about what any of these settings do to your system/game.

These are set under 3D Settings > Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings > cs2.exe





If you've made it this far, a final thank-you from us for your feedback and the help from the extended EPIC.LAN team with server testing. With NSE starting on CS2 beginning October 15th and ESEA Season 47 doing the same on October 17th, the only relevant game to be playing at the end of October for everyone is CS2. We're really excited to see how the first UKCS2 LAN tournament unfolds. We appreciate any patience over any problems during tournament week as we all get used to handling CS2 a little bit differently. GLHF.