Sharks are SO en vogue this year.
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Despite Steam apparently being super mega down right now for a significant portion of us in North America, that didn't stop the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team from releasing a new Operation for players. Meet Operation: Riptide, the latest major push of seasonal content that brings new maps, an overhauled mission system, and "new ways to play your favorite game modes."

This new Operation comes alongside a new title update for the game.

Now, the Operation Riptide site says that the Operation Pass is available for purchase right now, but I'm not seeing it up yet. In fact, the link they provide currently just takes you to the main Steam Store page. I'm assuming it's because, again, Steam servers are having some issues right now. For all I know, the link I put in the beginning of this paragraph will work by the time you read it and this explanation will be confusing and outdated.

Operation Riptide brings to the table the ability to privately queue with friends on "Premier" Valve servers. You can team up with others or just solo queue and "let the matchmaker sort it out." There is also a Steam Group private queue that allows "established Steam Groups to host their private Premier matches on Valve servers."

Valve says that the missions in Operation Riptide have gotten an overhaul. What they mean by that is that you can now select your own missions and complete them in whatever order you want to. You can do scavenger hunts, graffiti missions, and more. There is also a "race to the finish" which says y ou can "work your way through a series of checkpoints in order to complete your mission," whatever that means. You can even complete missions faster by "satisfying a challenge condition."

Some new modes have been added to the game with Operation Riptide, including a free-for-all deathmatch, and Team Deathmatch.

You can now drop grenades for teammates to pick up. The M4A1-S now does more damage to the body while the Deagle does less. The Dualies are now also cheaper to buy.

Valve updated maps like Dust 2 by blocking the visibility of mid from the T spawn.

There are also some updates to Demolition and Arms Race. Demolition is now faster-paced while Arms Race has a different sequence for the weapons you'll get.

New community made maps featured in Operation Riptide include:
  • Extraction
  • Insertion II
  • Basalt
  • County
  • Ravine
There are new cases to earn and new weapon skins to unlock. There is a new Riptide sticker collection. There is the 2021 Train Collection of skins. There are patches to earn. The 2021 Mirage Collection. There is a Riptide Surf Shop sticker collection. There's the 2021 Dust 2 Collection. The 2021 Vertigo Collection.

I guess if you like skins, you'll like this update.

There is a bunch more information on the Operation Riptide landing page. I don't even know what Counter-Strike is anymore these days. Stickers? Patches? Sharks? Have they jumped the shark? Is that what this is? Where's Dust? Give me Dust. And Aztec. Those were great maps. Get the hell off my lawn, all of you.

Changelog for September 21, 2021

  • Introducing Operation Riptide, featuring new maps, new missions, and new ways to play your favorite game modes! Activate an Operation Riptide Pass and complete your missions to earn rewards including all new agents, weapon collections, stickers, and patches.

Private Matchmaking Queues
  • Generate a Queue Code and share it with your friends to create a private Premier match on Valve servers
  • Or, select one of your Steam Groups and play a match exclusively with other members of that group

Short Competitive
  • Added the option to select a preference for match duration in competitive Matchmaking: Short (MR 16), Long (MR 30), or No Preference.

  • Added the option to select Classic Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch (first team to 100 kills wins), and Free-for-all Deathmatch (all players are enemies).

  • Reduced max rounds to 10 and eliminated half-time team swap.
  • Reduced round time
  • Adjusted weapon progression

Arms Race
  • Adjusted weapon progression
  • Players now receive a health-shot after three kills

  • Grenades can now be dropped just like weapons.
  • Vision after death reduced from 3.0s to 2.0s (vision by headshot reduced from 1.0s to 0.5s).
  • Deagle
    • Reduced body damage
  • M4A1-S
    • Increased body damage
  • Dual Elites
    • Reduced price to $300
  • Riot Shield
    • Added the Riot Shield heavy weapon to the buy menu, currently purchasable by CTs in Casual Hostage map groups.

  • County has been added to official matchmaking in Danger Zone game mode.
  • Basalt and Insertion II have been added to official matchmaking in Competitive, Casual, and Deathmatch game modes.
  • Ravine and Extraction have been added to official matchmaking in Wingman game mode.
  • The following maps are no longer available in official matchmaking: Grind, Mocha, Pitstop, Calavera, Frostbite.

  • Slight visibility tweak from T spawn through mid
  • Improved visibility into B back site from upper tunnels

  • Made gate at top of banana solid
  • Revised 1v1 layout
  • Minor bug fixes

  • Increased size of plantable area in both bombsites
  • Fixed bullet penetration on plywood surfaces
  • Further optimizations
  • Added 1v1 arenas