Overpass, Evolved

Overpass is CS:GO’s first completely new defuse map designed with competitive play in mind. Since its release in December 2013, Overpass received seven updates based on feedback and data.

Below, we’ll discuss some changes we’ve made to the map, explain our thinking behind them, and give you some insight into what goes into creating and maintaining a map.

An Experiment

In defuse maps, the bombsites are the centers of attention. In Overpass, we experimented with a somewhat different setup: Counter-Terrorists were encouraged to defend Bombsite A away from the site. Bombsite B, conversely, functioned in a more traditional way, with most of the action being centered on the site itself.

Bombsite A

Retaking the site from the A tunnels was originally very difficult, because defenders could keep tabs on the area from many angles. Several changes were made to address this issue.

The CT vehicle was moved to provide better cover for players entering from the A tunnels. The red car was removed because it gave defenders an unfair advantage, allowing them to hold the site while only exposing their heads.

In addition, the truck (the Terrorist’s target) was moved to make hiding players stand out, and the fences defining the outer limit of the area were pushed back to give some more space to maneuver.

In the latest version, the concrete hut was opened up, giving a lone defender a safe but isolated spot to hold the site.

Bombsite B

As mentioned above, the bombsites in Overpass are quite different from each other.

Though we predicted that bombsite B would be prone to rushes, we found that the Counter-Terrorists had trouble getting to the site in time, often arriving just as the bomb was planted. This encouraged the Terrorists to continue to rush B, causing Counter-Terrorists to stack the site in an attempt to prevent an easy win.

The first update to the map addressed this issue by moving and reworking the bombsite layout, and also by adjusting the spawn positions of both teams to give the Counter-Terrorists time to set up.

The cover in the site was simplified and moved closer to the walls, improving readability in the area and making defensive positions more predictable. These positions can now be countered by smokes or flashes prior to moving into the site.

The layout of the canal area used to be very open, leading to situations where a Counter-Terrorist could push forward with relatively low risk, potentially getting the drop on unsuspecting Terrorists attempting to take the site. Combat was unpredictable, with no clear front-line.

The area was sectioned off, allowing the Terrorists to work the site with their back against the wall (and having safe areas to fall back on), and also allowing Counter-Terrorists to better predict where combat would occur and properly prepare for it.

Interior spaces

At the time of release, interior spaces were tight. They have since been widened, allowing teammates to move freely without bumping into each other or level geometry. The added space also allows players to safely navigate around corners to get a clear overview of the environment.

Faster Rotation

Thanks to player feedback, we learned that once players decided to attack a site they felt locked into that decision due to long rotation times. In response, we added two new connectors to the map.

One connects the bathrooms near Bombsite A to the upper park, enabling a single Counter-Terrorist to keep tabs on both areas and providing the Terrorist side with more options when attacking the site.

The second new route was added between the tunnels near Terrorist spawn and the Terrorist side of the Canals. The new connector cut down the time to move around the map, allowing greater flexibility in tactics.

Overpass, evolved

Overpass is still new, and there’s so much for everyone to learn. Even before the most recent updates, players were starting to find creative smokes and flashes to attack the revamped bombsites:

What have you discovered? What strategies have you developed? Make your mark on Overpass and let everyone know!

The Overpass and Cobble Process

We’re currently working on two maps: an all-new map called Overpass, and an upgraded version of the classic map Cobble. We thought you might enjoy a brief walk through our decision-making process, both in improving a classic map and designing a new map from scratch.

Upgrading de_cbble

De_cbble’s uniquely large scale meant it was a lot of fun on servers with lots of players. Our goal was to retain this aspect while making the map more interesting and viable for more intimate 5v5 play.

The original map fell out of favor for several reasons. For one, its paths to bomb sites were long and disconnected from each other, ending in tight choke points. This meant that teams were unable to react and change strategy mid-round. The same choke points that made it difficult to plant bombs made it near-impossible to re-take a site and defuse a bomb in time. The lack of strategic options made de_cbble’s gameplay feel limited and monotonous.

Our second goal was to upgrade the map to keep pace with continually evolving tactics and team strategies of CS players. As a result, de_cbble is now more fluid, offering additional tactical choices in specific situations where the old map had none.


Players in the original de_cbble felt out of scale, as if they were in a “land of giants”. While the updated version is built on the same footprint, its scale has been carefully brought back to a more human level by the addition of realistic details, and breaking up large bare surfaces. Natural extensions of the environment have been transformed to serve as many of the cover locations seasoned Cobble players expect. An architectural theme progression from tall and massive central buildings to low, partially open edges helps players orient themselves wherever they are in the level.


The old version of de_cbble featured many dark and enclosed areas, which added to the restrictive feel of the linear paths and hallways. In the new version we’ve opened up the edges of the map to let the sunlight in. We also got rid of some ceilings, allowing players to throw flashbangs and other grenades over walls before attempting to capture the bomb sites. Additionally, a new stairwell now connects the side (Long A) to the underpass.


The tunnel entrance to bomb site B was historically one of the most challenging parts of the level, as it was the only way to enter the bomb site. There are now more choices available to the Terrorist team trying to push through the choke point, including an elevated route that overlooks the main entrance and leads to a new one-way drop.


Bomb site B itself has been moved closer to the entrances, slightly reducing the time it takes players to get to the site. To make combat more interesting and varied in this area, a small hill and diagonal wall provide partial cover between the tunnel entrance and the bomb site.

Designing Overpass

Overpass is a brand new map for CSGO, featuring fast-paced gameplay in a European setting. The GSG9 have been tasked with defending a stalled military shipment on the canal overpass, and the Phoenix faction can either attack the shipment head-on or attempt to take down the overpass itself.

The map is composed of two very distinct environments, with the lower part of the map set in an open canal and the other in a public park. The overpass pillar (below) is a clear target for the Phoenix faction. CTs will have to push into the site to safely protect it. The openness of the environment means that Ts are able to smoke and flash the site before going in.


The canal (below) has several chokepoints leading to the spacious Bombsite B.


Two parallel routes lead to Bombsite A through the public park (below, next two images). One route caters to long-range combat, while the other favors closer firefights.



The design of Overpass benefited a great deal from our experiences upgrading Mirage, and from the incredibly helpful feedback we’ve gotten from the CSGO community since. This allowed us to come into the design of Overpass with some very clear goals: We wanted to keep the visibility high and the environment enjoyable to be in. We also wanted the map to offer something new for both competitive and casual players.

As always we are looking forward to monitoring the gameplay statistics closely in the coming months, which will help us to improve our maps going forward.


Congratulations to Astralis, winners of the FACEIT London 2018 CS:GO Major Championship!

Astralis have won their second Major Championship, beating NaVi 16:6 on Nuke and 16:9 on Overpass to take home $500,000 of the $1,000,000 prize pool. If you missed any of the action or want to watch the highlights, you can download all the games from the FACEIT London 2018 link in CS:GO’s Watch tab.

We would like to thank all of the teams, everyone at FACEIT, and the Counter-Strike community for making this tournament possible.

FACEIT 2018 – Grand Finals

Congratulations to NaVi and Astralis who will face off in Sunday’s FACEIT Major Grand Final!

NaVi swept the morning semifinal, beating MIBR 16:10 on Overpass and 16:5 on Dust II. Astralis took the second semifinal 2-0, beating Team Liquid 16:8 on Nuke and 16:7 on Mirage.

Tomorrow’s Grand Final stream starts at 17:10 UTC +1 (time zone converter) on Steam.tv and the official Twitch stream. Tune in to see which team will become the next Major Champion!

Normal Mapped Finishes

Normal Mapped Finishes

We have added support for normal maps on Custom Paint Job, Patina, and Gunsmith finish styles. The CZ75-Auto | Victoria has been updated with this feature, see the before and after images below.

Normal maps always use the weapon’s original UVs, since the lighting calculation requires them to be authored to fit the weapon. As always, the weapon meshes and UV sheets are available here.

Where supported, the alpha channel of your color texture may still be used to affect the durability of the paint (see the weapon finishes guide). You can use this technique to create paint that wears off the peaks of your normal map faster than the valleys.

We look forward to seeing your creations. Happy skinning!