Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) Premier Explained

Updated: Jun 4, 2024
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The most significant change we’ve seen after CS2 replaced CS:GO is the increased popularity of the Premier matchmaking system. This guide explains everything you need to know about the new competitive mode.

CS2 Premier Summary

If you’re short on time, here are the most important things to know about CS2 Premier:

  • Premier has become the primary┬ácompetitive matchmaking mode in CS2, though the old Competitive mode still exists.
  • Players must have Prime Status to play Premier matches. You can purchase a Prime Status Upgrade in the Steam store.
  • Before each Premier match, players vote to ban maps. The last map remaining is the map on which the match is played.
  • Premier matches are won by the first team to win 13 rounds.
    • If a match reaches a 12-12 tie, overtime is played until one team reaches 16 round wins.
      • The match ends in a draw if overtime ends in a 15-15 tie.
  • Premier matchmaking uses a new CS Rating Elo rating system to create matches with players of similar skill.
    • CS Rating ranges from 0 to 35,000.
    • You must win 10 matches to receive a CS Rating. Before receiving a CS Rating, you can’t queue with players who already have one.
  • There are global, regional, and friends leaderboards.

What is CS2 Premier Matchmaking?

While Premier was launched in CS:GO, the new competitive mode really took off following the launch of CS2. The old Competitive mode still exists, but Premier is the best way to play highly competitive matches with fewer cheaters (without using 3rd-party solutions like FaceIt).

CS Rating

Premier uses a new Elo rating system called CS Rating. CS Ratings range from 0 to 35,000.

After winning 10 games, players will receive their initial CS Rating.

You can compare your CS Rating using the World, Regional, or Friends leaderboards.

CS2 Premier Leaderboard

Here are all the CS2 Premier Leaderboards:

  • Friends
  • World
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • China
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America

CS2 Premier Leaderboard Options

Though there aren’t traditional ranks likein Competitive mode, your CS Rating will be displayed in different colors depending on how high it is. Here are the CS Rating colors:

  • Grey - 0-4999
  • Light Blue - 5000-9999
  • Dark Blue - 10000-14999
  • Purple - 15000-19999
  • Pink - 20000-24999
  • Red - 25000-29999
  • Gold - 30000-35000

When approaching a new color group, you’ll get stuck one CS Rating off from the new rating group and have to win a promotion match to move up. For example, if you win a game in Grey at a 4995 rating, you’ll only rank up to 4999. You’ll need to win another match to get promoted.

Match Details

In Premier, the first team to win 13 rounds wins the match. After 12 rounds, teams switch sides between the Terrorist (T) and Counter-Terrorist (CT) sides.

Matches that reach a 12-12 tie will go to one overtime. In overtime, the first team to reach 16 round wins will win the match. The match will end in a draw if overtime reaches a 15-15 tie.

Map Ban/Pick Phase

Unlike in the traditional Competitive mode, where you can choose which maps to queue for, players go through a ban/pick process to determine which map in the Premier map pool they’ll play. The map pool usually consists of 7 maps.

This pick/ban phase happens before every premier match and works similarly to how maps are picked in professional CS2 matches.

Here’s the process:

  1. Team A bans 2 maps.
  2. Team B bans 3 maps.
  3. Team A chooses which map to play of the remaining 2.
  4. Team B chooses whether to start on T or CT side.

You Must Have Prime Status

To play Premier matches, you must have purchased a CS2 Prime Status Upgrade from the Steam store or be playing on an account that had Prime Status in CS:GO.

Buying Prime Status is a one-time payment, NOT a monthly subscription.