Following our look at how buying patterns of weapons have changed over the course of the season, this is a review of how map choices have developed. All data is taken from events that we took detailed statistics from which are all lan tournaments of high level teams.
We can start with a very basic graph of the share of map picks from lan tournaments we’ve covered.
I think the takeaway from this is that there is a core of 4 staple maps in Train, Mirage, Inferno and Cobblestone and below those key maps the Overpass, Cache and Nuke are less and less important.
This graph shows the % share of all map picks in each month for each map.
It’s a pretty chaotic affair and while it’s difficult to pick out individual maps and their pick rates this in itself tells us that the rates at which maps are picked is chaotic. Looking at pick rate deviation we can see which maps have the most varied picking rates.
Overpass has swung wildly around all year, dropping to lows in the Spring and Autumn but proving popular in the Summer and Winter. It’s possible the proximity of Valve Majors to these times is related to this, but at the same time there’s no clear reason why that would be the case.
At the other end of the scale Train has been a consistently picked map, and as it’s pick rates tend to be high it’s consistently popular as well.
Putting together the data from the 3 graphs above we can see that Mirage’s usual pick rate is actually a little below Train’s but it’s overall popularity was boosted by being picked a lot in May which is reflected in it’s high deviation score.
Inferno is an interesting map, as we can see that even though it has no picks in January before it entered the pool it has a low pick deviation and is also one of the most popular maps. Given that it came into the pool in January and became popular it has probably displaced one or more maps.
Nuke’s drop in popularity to the least picked map in the pool almost mirrors Inferno’s rise, so there is a case for Inferno specifically pushing Nuke out of the map pool. The debate on which map the returning Dust II should replace has already begun and Nuke is one of the favourites as it’s pick rates are incredibly low.
Another possibility is Cache which also has a negative relationship with another map over time
It seems that as Cache waxes or wanes in popularity Mirage mirrors it’s moves. Both these maps have been around for a while so the correlation is potentially spurious, it would be interesting to see how teams success rates at playing the two maps and whether there is an element of substitution going on there.
Switching the last of the triumvirate of unpopular maps, one of which is surely headed for the chop, Cobblestone also has a pick rate mirror image
Neither map is particularly popular but as they year has gone on Overpass has probably trended upwards a little while Cobble has definitely declined in popularity.
Speaking entirely selfishly I’d like Nuke gone so some more of the positional experiments in relation to bomb sites and location data work better. Technically their inaccuracy might be more my failing than the map’s, but anything that makes my life easier is welcome
In part 2 I’ll look at some team and map data