In recent times, official in-game Counter-Strike events—Operations, as they’re known—have grown rare. Valve only created/curated one in all of 2016. Today, though, without any real warning, they’ve kicked off a new one. It’s called Operation Hydra.

Operation Hydra is set to run for 18 weeks. It adds new community-created maps, an Operation pass with a full Guardian mission campaign, an upgradable Operation coin, event XP and leaderboards, and Operation weapon drops and cases. Business as usual, for the most part. What makes Hydra more than just a scaly, green re-skin of what’s come before, however, is a series of new modes called Hydra Events.

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Hydra Events are special game modes that pop up on a week-by-week rotation. There’s Wingman, a 2v2 best-of-16 match that’s all about companionship and resisting the urge to scream at each other when the pressure’s on, Weapons Expert, a 5v5 best-of-30 match where any weapon you purchase can’t be used again for the rest of that match, and War Games, which is a grab bag of outlandish game types; you vote on which you’d like to play. Your War Games options are as follows:

  • Heavy Assault Suit: Bomb defusal, except you have the option of purchasing a big ol’ suit of armor.
  • Headshots Only: Deathmatch, but only headshots get the job done. Good luck.
  • Hunters-Gatherers: Every player drops a dogtag when they die. You’ve gotta collect ‘em all... or die trying. Or die without trying. Whatever you wanna do, really.
  • Stab Stab Zap: You’ve got a knife and a recharging taser. Go nuts.
  • The Flying Scoutsman: Low gravity. Need I say more?
  • Trigger Discipline: Everyone takes damage for each missed shot. If you have good aim, shoot the other guys a lot. If you have terrible aim, just run away until they kill themselves trying to catch you.

That skims the surface of it, anyway. For more on the update, check out Valve’s FAQ over here.

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