New trademarks by Valve sure do seem to be hinting at something. But what ever could it be?
Text on white background saying Counter Strike and CS2.

March really started off with a bang for Counter-Strike fans when Nvidia included references to something called Counter-Strike 2. Specifically, the drivers starting with 531.18 included profiles for "Counter-strike 2 (cs2.exe)" and "Counter-strike 2 (csgos2.exe)."

Since that time, the Counter-Strike community has gone a bit rabid in their desire for a Source 2 update to their favorite gaming series. People have been actively monitoring the SteamDB update history for changes made to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. There has been a ton of activity there these past few days, that much is certain. However, as none of those changes have made their way to the public by way of an update or patch. Oh look, there's another specific reference to "cs2" made just 14 hours ago there.

The Counter-Strike 2, or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 2, or Counter-Strike: Source 2 fervor peaked again this week when it was discovered that Valve has filed for a few new trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Four new trademarks have been filed by Valve. Two of them are for the trademark of "COUNTER STRIKE" while the remaining two are for "CS2." You can find each of the listings at the following links:There are two filings each for both COUNTER STRIKE and CS2 because each covers a slightly different area. I am not at all knowledgeable about how trademark filings are handled, but you can see that the descriptions, classes, and "good, services, and codes" all cover different aspects between them.

Some of you may have already noticed a few peculiar things with these new trademarks. First, it's just Counter Strike without any hyphen. Second, it's not Counter Strike 2. When Valve filed for various Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trademarks in 2015, they included not only the usual hyphen but also the full name of the game.

Is Valve planning on releasing this mythical Counter-Strike 2 or the Source 2 update for Global Offensive simply as "Counter Strike?" Maybe. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to ditch the numbering or subtitles and just have Counter Strike (or Counter-Strike) become this all encompassing platform that can forever grow and change without the need for a completely new game name.

Several people have speculated that Counter-Strike on the Source 2 engine will be released before the end of the month, at least as a beta. So far, we haven't heard anything concrete about this happening. Valve is doing their usual thing of remaining silent while also stoking the fires a bit. They also again changed their Twitter banner yesterday, which has led to some wild speculation once again.

It would be funny if they updated the banner again today so that it only shows four of the icons, then on Sunday it's down to two icons... because jokes.