de_lite is far from delightful, and de_thrill is anything but exciting.
(Featured image by Esports Edition.)

The Best (and Worst) Operation Hydra Maps

Oct 27, 2017
(Featured image by Esports Edition.)

Operation Hydra added a handful of community-made new maps to both competitive and casual play. With Valve announcing that they plan on permanently adding the two most popular maps to CS:GO’s map pool, let’s take a look at the two worst and best maps of Operation Hydra.

The Worst Operation Hydra Maps


This map is a great example of a map that’s too big for competitive play.

de_lite is not a particularly good CS:GO map.

Now compare it to Mirage.

Mirage callout map.
(Callout map via Steam user Froosh.)

Mirage has logical and clearly defined chokepoints, and it feels large despite its relatively modest size. Lite, on the other hand, is spread out like a picnic blanket, and the different areas are far too large and exposed. This can make quick plays hard to execute, and rotations are awkward if you’re trying to get to a bombsite from an advanced position on the map. The CTs spawn right next to both bombsites, and by the time the Ts get there, the CTs have set up, drank a cup of coffee, and watched the entire Godfather trilogy.

You May Like


This map reminds me of Newke. There’s just too much going on for it to be any good.

de_thrill is visually noisy and poorly laid out, and it's easily one of our least favorite Operation Hydra maps.

The bright colors, confusing tunnel systems, and visually noisy rollercoasters are distracting. This cluttered and busy aesthetic doesn’t make the map’s strange layout any easier to wrap your head around.

Personally,  I don’t like either of Thrill’s bombsites–there are too many things to hide behind, especially on A, and retakes are frustrating.

The Best Operation Hydra Maps


Agency is a hostage map, which means it will probably never be played on the professional circuit. But Agency is pretty gud. It’s open enough that you can execute a wide range of different strategies. But it’s not too open, so it avoids the “where the fuck am I being shot from” vibe that’s a common feature of many Operation maps.

Agency is, hands down, the best Operation Hydra map.
(Callout map via Steam user WIle.)

I have two complaints about Agency. First, the map’s sterile, all-white color schemewears on your eyes after a bit, although it’s worth noting that this does improve visibility. Second, the AWPing spot after the metal detectors is a bit too T-sided for my liking. But all in all, Agency is a great map, and if you’re getting burnt out on Office, you should definitely give it a try.


This might be an unpopular opinion, but I like Austria. It’s a snowy “village” map, and the clean visuals are a nice change of pace from the drab deserts of Mirage and Dust and the factories and cityscapes of Overpass and Nuke.

Austria is, much to my surprise, one of the best Operation Hydra maps.
(Image courtesy of Mapcore/Radix.)

The tight corners on Austria are mostly well-designed, and set the stage for some intense gunfights, but in some cases, they’re a bit too tight. Austria could benefit from some de-cluttering to streamline navigation. In its current state, you’re constantly running into boxes, corners, or doorways.

Which Operation Hydra maps are your favorite? Hit me up on Twitter at @H3nleYCSGO.

Operation Hydra Rotating Map PoolWhy does Valve keep shipping useless cosmetics like StatTrak Music Kits?
Oct 9, 2017
When should you be aggressive on CT side in CS:GO?
Sep 29, 2017
CEVO is one of several third-party matchmaking services for CS:GO, but these days, it's not in great shape.
Sep 25, 2017
Would adding a Live Overwatch system to CS:GO help catch more cheaters?
Sep 6, 2017
Esports journalist with a passion for writing. Won't stop until I get to the top. Has previously worked with other organizations such as Denial eSports, Echo Fox, GAMURS and GosuGamers.
What do you think?

ayy lmao









Previous articleEsports Edition Launches Its Own Discord Group
Next articleWhat Happens to CS:GO’s Map Pool after Operation Hydra Ends?