On March 28th, Valve announced that Vertigo would be moved to the active duty map pool, replacing Cache. This was a pretty shocking move, as Vertigo has never been a part of the active duty map pool, although a change in the pool was likely moving into this year. FMPONE, the creator of Cache, has been working on an updated version, which means we will likely see it back in the map pool in the near future. But for now, Vertigo is what we’ve got. What does this mean for the CS:GO scene, and for us as esports bettors?

“Trophy" Who’s Been Buffed


The number one beneficiary of this change are the Danes, unfortunately for anyone who was hoping to gain ground. Cache was their permaban, which makes their map pool even deeper. They have played every other map in the pool at least 10 times in the last six months, with a win rate over 60% on all of them.

What makes Astralis really scary after this change is their willingness to adapt. If they get comfortable playing Vertigo, which I think they will, they become easily the most difficult team to pick ban against. Any team who had a permaban other than Cache will be forced to either pick up a brand new map in Vertigo, or start playing their traditional permaban and banning Cache instead. If Astralis are even comfortable floating Vertigo, that gives them a massive advantage, and means they never have to play on a map they have a less than 75% win rate on, which is absolutely absurd.


With Zeus in the lineup, Na’Vi have played Cache a total of 28 times. Ever. That’s compared to Mirage, which has 251 plays. Zeus has never liked Cache, and has almost unilaterally refused to play the map, on Na’Vi or on Gambit. Removing Cache means Na’Vi will likely permaban Vertigo or Nuke, where either option greatly improves their options in a best of three against a top tier team.

Zeus is one of the most acclaimed IGLs in the history of the game, but I’m not sure if he’ll want to tackle a brand new map at this stage in his career. He’s talked about retiring semi frequently in the past couple months, and it’s looking increasingly likely this next Major cycle could be his last. My money would be on Na’Vi ignoring this map almost completely, which means their outlook isn’t as great as it could be. Luckily for them, plenty of other teams in the scene will be ignoring it as well. Zeus will at least be able to float the map in pick bans, giving them a little more flexibility.


ENCE is another team with Cache as their permaban. As I’ve already said, the change is a net positive for anyone who doesn’t play Cache, by the nature of their being other teams that did. ENCE can change their permaban to Vertigo if they want, and still receive an edge over the competition.

The Finns are another team that I don’t have a good read on, as far as picking up a brand new map. Aleksib isn’t exactly an acclaimed IGL, and he’s only 22. He doesn’t have a proven track record in adapting to new maps and new situations like this. ENCE are good on Nuke, which is a good sign. Aleksib’s youth might also help him be adaptable, which is a necessity when a shift like this comes along.


Mousesports are in an interesting spot right now. They don’t really have a map pool right now, on account of them being such a young team. Karrigan has been one of the five best IGLs in Counter Strike within the last year or so, and I’d imagine they’re currently just boot camping together. If he were smart, Karrigan would be theory crafting on this map, and learning the ins and outs. Vertigo could become one of their signature maps, which would be a big deal for them. While they’d be unlikely to play it a ton, due to most teams banning it, there’s also an opportunity for them to be the best in the world at it without too much effort.

If Mouz were the best Vertigo team in the world, everything else would be much easier for them. They already have one of the best collections of talent in the world, and a map pool advantage like this would make it much easier to get in the top 5 in the world.

“Trophy" Who’s Been Nerfed


Cache was Liquid’s best map, with a 77.8% win rate over 18 games. Granted, this wasn’t terribly useful against Astralis, as they banned it every time, but it certainly helped against other teams in the top 10. With Cache removed from the map pool, Liquid will lose a lot of their edge in pick bans. Teams don’t have to be worried about ending up on Liquid’s best map, which means they can ban to protect themselves from their worst maps, instead of worrying about ending up on Cache.

Liquid has traditionally banned Train first, which is obviously going to be a problem. Train is a fairly popular map with the top tiers of CS:GO, and if they don’t ban it, they will have to play it against teams like Astralis and MIBR.

I don’t know if Liquid is going to be able to add Vertigo to their map pool. They weren’t fast to add Nuke to their map pool, and still have a poor win rate on the map, at 37.5%.


The Brazilians certainly aren’t happy about this change. Cache was a middle of the road map for them, their permaban is Nuke, and their map pool isn’t all that deep to begin with. Picking up Vertigo will be almost a necessity for them moving forward if they want to remain competitive and have a shot at beating Astralis in a best of three.

FalleN is another hall of fame IGL, although he’s certainly in the back half of his career. A resurgence from his is something I’ve been pulling for and showing that he can still innovate and conquer a brand new map would be a great way to show that he’s back, and can still run with the top tier.


Cache is in the bottom half of FaZe’s map pool, being one of their least played maps. With any other team, I’d say this isn’t a huge deal. But FaZe isn’t just any old team. I continue to have an almost complete lack of faith in their ability to play high level CS consistently, due to their lack of a real IGL. The odds of FaZe tackling Vertigo and innovating on a brand new map is almost zero, unless YNK does all of the dirty work. I’d imagine it’s more likely they learn to play their current permaban Nuke, which would mean FaZe has almost no chance at all of beating Astralis in a best of three. Astralis will stomp them on Nuke, and within the next couple months, they’ll likely stomp them on Vertigo too.


This is one of the more interesting cases. Historically, Cache is BIG’s second most played map, which is pretty strange seeing as how it’s such a puggy map. Removing a map that’s so good for them is obviously a major disadvantage, but it may be one that Gob B could turn into a big oppourtunity.

The Gob-father is largely considered one of the best tactical IGLs in the scene, and one of the all time great theorycrafters. If anyone could push Vertigo to its fullest in CS:GO right now, it’s him. Although BIG is still trying to integrate a player that doesn’t speak their language, which may make introducing a brand new map difficult, they may find it worth it to add Vertigo to their pool.

The addition of Vertigo is going to shake up the Counter Strike scene for sure. It will provide intrigue over the next couple months and will likely be a big difference maker at the next Major. For up to date betting advice, remember to check in with us here, and check out our how to bet on esports article for more info.

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