The CS:GO community was in shock when Valve released a huge update on 3 May, that replaced Train with a new map Ancient in the Active Duty Map Pool. The swap had caught everybody off guard, as all rumours and speculations till that moment had pointed towards Mirage being the next map on its way out of the competitive map pool. Even the arrival of the new map Ancient was initially frowned upon, as the community was patiently awaiting the return of the refurbished Cache. While the community was busy criticizing Valve, CS:GO statistics website ‘Leetify’ came forward with some data to show why Train might have been removed by the developers instead of any other map.
The CS:GO community was not at all pleased when they learned about Train’s departure from the competitive map pool. But while everyone was busy pointing fingers at Valve, ‘Leetify’ got to work trying to figure out the reason behind this decision. Well, the data collected by them gives quite a detailed insight into why it might have been the most probable candidate to get axed.
Taking a quick look at the complete matchmaking data from April we find out that Train was the least played map, with only 4.17% of the total matches being played on it. This clearly shows that among the casual userbase, Train is obviously not a popular pick. This could have been a huge factor when deciding which map to be removed from the Active Duty Map Pool.
Though Vertigo had an even lower pick rate, with only 3.57% of the total matches being played on it. Valve would not be removing this map anytime soon, as it is the most recent map to join the competitive map pool, having replaced Cache in March 2019.
Moving on to check the matchmaking data of FACEIT from April, things seemed to improve for Train with an 8.54% pick rate out of the total matches played. It was above Nuke, Vertigo, and Cache, with the last 2 out of the contention Nuke did give it a challenge but once again Train was the odd one out.
Apart from this as part of the matchmaking data sample, the new map Ancient had just a 0.55% play rate. To give it a push in the right direction and see how viable the match is, Valve has put it in the competitive match pool. Now over the next few months, Ancient will be undergoing a heavy amount of fixing while Valve tries to collect as much data on the map as possible.
This is very similar to how Vertigo was inducted into the Active Duty Map Pool, the reaction from the community was similar. But over time, the map got polished and actually makes for some brilliant gameplay. Only time will tell if Ancient lives up to become a good competitive map or simply fades away, calling for another emergency swap.