As a consolation prize, would-be Counter-Strike 2 players equipped with non-supported hardware will get access to a special legacy version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which was taken offline forever when Valve launched Counter-Strike 2. It’s a “frozen build” of Global Offensive, offering all the same features except for official matchmaking. Support for this version of the game will end on 1st January 2024, however. CS: GO’s legacy version will still be available after that point, Valve say in a Steam post, “but certain functionality that relies on compatibility with the Game Coordinator (e.g., access to inventory) may degrade and/or fail.”
If you’re one of the affected players above, and you’ve already bought a Counter-Strike 2 Prime Status upgrade (which bestows exclusive matchmaking privileges, item drops and the like), you’ll be able to apply for a refund under certain conditions. If you’re a DirectX 9 and 32-bit Windows user, you can claim a refund providing you signed up for Prime Status between 22nd March 2023 – the launch of Counter-Strike 2’s Limited Test – and 27th September 2023 – Counter Strike 2’s 1.0 launch date.
If you’re a Mac user, meanwhile, you can get a refund providing most of your Global Offensive playtime was on macOS (Valve don’t give an exact percentage of play hours), and you played Global Offensive on a Mac between 22nd March and 27th September, regardless of when you bought the upgrade.
All refunds must be claimed before 1st December 2023. Players who acquired their Prime Status upgrades in the form of CD keys or gifts are not eligible for a refund, and nor are banned players.
Valve’s statement adds that players using DirectX 9, 32-bit operating systems or macOS “represented less than one percent of active CS:GO players”. Dumping these platforms makes sense from that perspective, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow for the Macintoshers amongst us or those who, for whatever reason, play on very old PCs. One bizarre outcome of this development is that the much-honed and expanded Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has sort of risen from the dead, which might interest the legions of players who think Counter-Strike 2 isn’t a patch on the old warhorse. (Technically, all players can still access CS:GO at the moment by picking certain beta options, but it only gives you the option of playing private matches against bots.)