Hah, I’ve found it. Such culture, such history untouched by the shallow pursuits of the modern age Oh. [WarOwl theme song] Greetings, hi, the WarOwl greets you Instead of waiting for the next operation, which *whispers* shouldn’t be too long now, Valve has released a new map into the Reserves Group of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive… de_canals And it’s certainly is a NEW map Canal throws away the established formula for what makes a Counter-Strike map work.

It gives us a completely different experience. So, is this map just for fun or is it meant to be taken competitively? Is canal a map that we should concern ourselves with or is Valve just dredging the “canals” of Counter Strike? Let’s DIVE right into… de_canal which is probably a bad idea considering the water level is shallow enough to walk in. Canal is a visually appealing map. It has a lovely aesthetic design that really captures the essence of Venice and fortunately this isn’t at the expense of processing. I rarely had any framedrops anywhere on this map. It’s a well made map, BUT is it a well designed map? Remember when we talked about the “Four Square” method of map design in our Dust 2 video? And how competitive Counter-Strike maps tend to follow it? Here is a representation of the pathing in canals ASSUMING it conforms to that design philosophy. So, does it follow the “Four Square” method? It don’t do that When first playing canals, it can be a bit overwhelming because of the prevalence of passageways on the map. There’s a lot. As you play the map more you’ll develop more of a sense of where the passageways go and where the enemies can be.

A lot of people, their first time trying out the map will FREAK out because they think it’s too big or they think there’s too many passageways or they think it’s just not good, but it just takes a little bit of time to get used to it and it’s still is a far more COMPLEX map then ANY of the other defusal maps in all of Counter-Strike and introduces concepts, that aren’t really used in any of the other maps For example: How many Global Offensive competitive maps can you think of, that utilize vantage points where you can see and shoot but not travel through them? The only one that comes to mind to me is the window on cobblestone. I may be overlooking some- er, write in the comments In canals, this is a critical point on the map. It’s where you can watch for the players, who go behind A and wrap around. You can also watch A bomb site, the only way into the bomb site, as well as the Courtyard. KEY positions on the map. Think about getting a terrorist player here after the bomb has been planted.

He can watch it. There’s NOTHING they can do. There’s NOTHING they can do. The most stark difference between canal and any other defusal map is the bomb sites. Both bomb sites are tiny, cramped little positions, that don’t give you very much room nor choices on where to plant. I think this betrays the fundamental aspect of strategy in Counter Strike. On a normal map, when you reach a bomb site you have a DECISION. You consider where your teammates are, where the enemy can come from and how much time you have, then you decide where to plant, so your teammates can watch after it’s planted and you can plant it without getting SHOT. So there’s safe plant positions, there’s positions that are little bit more out in the open, but it’s easier to watch. There’s a risk-reward going on there and you have an important tactical decision to make.

This doesn’t really exist on a map, where the entire site can be neutralized with a single molotov. Bomb sites are the most interesting points on a Counter-Strike map. They are where the most intense combat takes place. They are the heart of the map, also what I generally use as the thumbnails for videos. The most recognizable and iconic points. Just looking at them for me, elicits an emotional response but that’s because I am king… of the nerds Canals don’t do that The map has conflicting extremes: The wide open, drastic, long ranged A site and the LONG canal going to B and the rest of the map, which is a series of cramped, winding passage ways.

It seems like the designer of canals really was not to fond of the AK-47/M4 meta, that’s been around for the past 17 years. AWPs as always are very strong for the long ranged positions, where Shotguns and SMGs are good enough for the close range ones. The thing is, Counter-Strike isn’t designed for this kind of gameplay. Everything else in the game, from the shooting mechanics all the way to the economy and the kill rewards for the specific weapons don’t really work with canals. Now there’s some smokes and flashes which are useful, we figured out a bunch of stuff like that but when you have cramped, windy corridors with closed off ceilings as a huge portion of the map and the rest of it is just very wide open, I don’t see where the tactical play comes in.

I can tell, that thought was put into the meeting points of the map because at full sprint players will run into each other at key positions. One criticism I’ve seen is that the terrorist get control of the canals first and that the developer should move the CT spawn closer. I actually disagree with this. The terrorists need to have control of the canals otherwise the terrorists wouldn’t be able to rotate across the canals They’d be pretty much committed to B, if some of their players decided to go that way.

Because the terrorists get control of the canals, it makes it more possible for the terrorist to rotate away from B towards A through the passage ways provided. This is one design decision, that I really like in the map. It allows for more strategic gameplay, so it isn’t just a rush map. Even though every game I’ve played so far, played like a rush map, that just might be people getting used to the map. We may see more rotates and interesting play in the future, if people actually take the time to learn this map. Also the canal itself is tricky for the CT to cross. It’s a chore. The terrorists can get to a variety of positions to watch the cross. FAR from where the CTs get anywhere near it, even positions, that are completely obscured by the cover inside of the canal. The way that I’ve found to reliably cross it, is to smoke the water in the canal and then cross through the water at the far side of the bridge.

It forces you to use that smoke every round. Hm, that sounds a little bit similar to me, we’ll catch up on that later. But even then though, what are you limited to once you get to the other side? You can either jump over and flank the terrorist through the back alley or get stuck in the tiny little staircase, where again the terrorists get there first. Every chokepoint, that isn’t the giant open area of A is a thin, narrow hallway Didn’t we just have Inferno completely reworked because of thin, cluttered passage ways? But enough about Inferno, he get’s all the attention these days. Let’s take a trip to the graveyard of Dust 2. The “Gold Standard”, the “Bare Minimum”.

Mid is similar to the canals, where the Ts get control first and the CTs have to cross– but it’s a tiny little gap on Dust 2 compared to the gaping maw of the Canal. Think about the areas of the map, where combat usually happens on Dust 2 before the bomb is ever planted. It happens in very interesting locations, the exception of the B tunnels, where the CTs have various options and the Ts have to use tactics in order to get past the chokepoints, in order to fight on an even footing. Think about Ts pushing Short A to fight players on A site. It’s always exciting! Think about Ts pushing out middle to fight the cross at B in CT spawn or entering into the B site from two different sides and flashing over and smoking Long A to take a position there to set up for an A split but just think about the after plant fights. The sites are very interesting and dynamic. Retaking B site is very difficult but requires on the fly flashes, smokes, molotovs.

A site is just… it’s really interesting and there’s all kinds of decision making that has to happen. Where are those darn terrorists hiding? I don’t know man. I don’t see any of this on canals. It’s just not as interesting. Let’s look at where combat happens on canals: This staircase. This hallway. This bomb site. Ah, it’s a little bit interesting. I like that *noises*. This hallway. It’s just not as interesting. Sure, it’s different which has a novelty to it but i think, over time, it will prove to be… not very fun The most interesting thing to me at this point is just flanking.

Trying to find out where the CTs just aren’t and sneaking by and this may go away once people figure out how to play it better. There are also some very puzzling design decisions. Let’s take ‘Courtyard’, a relatively interesting part of the map. I actually kind of like how the Courtyard works but at the critical meeting point, the most important part of the map, they drop a statue right in the way. It’s absolutely ridiculous, if I’m a CT and I want to hold this area, so I can watch the entrance to the Courtyard and I can contest the bomb site, if need be.

Oh, look. Statue. WHO PUT THE STATUE HERE? YOU SMACKED IT RIGHT IN THE WAY. THIS IS LIKE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE FREAKING… I know what you’re thinking. *mocking voice* But WarOwl, you’re just an elitist neckbeard. You don’t like things, that are new and different And I know what the other half of you are thinking about the first half. *different mocking voice* You’re just a Valve fanboy casual noob.

Get outside and get a tan and uninstall, bruh. I wanted to take an objective look at the map, so I took time going through it with a bunch of people looking at the meeting points, the smokes and the flashes, the molotovs that you can throw, the different positions, the angles. We ran tests on a bunch of different positions, who has the advantage here, how to take certain positions and all of this stuff. And… I have to say after all of that ’cause I wanted to have an objective view of it, like I wanted to have an informed opinion about the map that I could bring to this video I don’t hate it. I actually kinda had fun in the games that I’ve played on it.

I enjoy the novelty of something completely out of left field… BUT as you can tell by the tone of this video and everything that I’ve said previously, I don’t think it’ll work… as a competitive map and I don’t think there’s a lot of patches or changes, that you can do to actually make it fit the mold of a competitive Counter-Strike map, one that could be played in the pro scene or the amateur scene. Uhm, but it’s okay. I like it as a matchmaking map, that you can play for fun. I just hope they don’t force it on us. Now, Valve has proved me wrong about this on Cobblestone, which they’ve patched and turned into a relatively good map. And they’ve proved a lot of people wrong about Overpass, which is now one of the premiere Counter Strike competitive professional maps and originally there was a lot of resistance to it ’cause Valve kinda threw it out there and said: ‘This is our map.

We’re forcing it onto you and you must play this.’ And over a lot of patches Overpass has really shaped up into an okay map. So,… there’s hope… but I don’t think so. Now, I try to think of some feedback, something I could offer, something I could give here in this video to try to help this map be better ’cause I’m a positive guy. So, I’ll leave you with this: GET RID OF THE STATUE [WarOwl jazzy theme song version] Greetings, hi, the WarOwl, greets you *weird noises*.

As found on Youtube