Astralis women’s team, CS2 pros call for Valve to add default female skins to game

In a shared open letter to Counter-Strike 2 developer Valve, members of the Astralis female CS2 team stated the lack of default female agents in the game feels “unfair, unwelcoming” and supportive of the sexist that female players “unfortunately still encounter.”

The shared letter is a follow-up to a private message reportedly sent to Valve by the players back in January, in which they push for as many default free female agents as there are male agents in Counter-Strike 2. The players claimed “more women would start playing the game if there were default free female agents.”

A number of female skins were included with the addition of agent skins when the they were all added to CS:GO during Operation Shattered Web back in 2019. But since the operation has concluded, and with it the only method of acquiring agent skins without having to pay for them, players that don’t want to pay for agent skins only have access to the default male models.

The post has attracted a lot of attention, with over two million views on X (formerly Twitter) at the time of writing, but the consensus from most players and people from the professional scene appears to be supportive. It’s a small change that even in the worst case scenario would only have a small effect, but it would mean so much to the players it would matter to.

A portion of the CS2 player base, however, is using the letter to Valve to attempt to bring attention to other issues they feel are more prevalent, like the state of the game’s anti-cheat. However, fixing the anti-cheat and adding female default skins are not mutually exclusive, as it’s likely that the members of the dev team working on the anti-cheat aren’t the ones putting agent skins into the game.

An even smaller but somehow louder portion of CS players are saying default female skins would take away from the “realism” of the game, which is of course very important in a game with jumping sniper shots, surfing on flat surfaces, and pinpoint firing accuracy without aiming down sights.

Are there more ways that Valve can help combat sexism in CS2? Of course, but there’s no harm in taking an easy first step with some default female agent skins.

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