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Astralis women’s team, CS2 pros call for Valve to add default female skins to game

In a shared open letter to Counter-Strike 2 creator Valve, members of the Astralis female CS2 team noted that the lack of default female agents in the game felt “unfair, unwelcoming” and supportive of the sexist behaviour that female players “unfortunately still encounter.”
The published letter is a follow-up to a private communication allegedly given to Valve by the gamers in January, in which they advocate for as many default free female agents as there are male agents in Counter-Strike 2. According to the gamers, “more women would start playing the game if there were default free female agents.”

When agent skins were added to CS:GO during Operation Shattered Web in 2019, a handful of female skins were included alongside them. However, now that the operation has ended and the only way to obtain agent skins without paying for them is no longer available, players who do not wish to pay for agent skins are limited to the default male models.

The message has received a lot of attention, with over two million views on X (previously Twitter) as of writing, however the consensus among most players and those in the professional scene appears to be positive. It’s a minor alteration that, in the worst-case situation, would have little impact, but it would be significant to the players.
A segment of the CS2 player base, however, is using the letter to Valve to draw attention to other concerns they believe are more widespread, such as the game’s anti-cheat system. However, correcting the anti-cheat and introducing female default skins are not mutually exclusive, as the members of the dev team working on the anti-cheat are unlikely to be the ones adding agent skins to the game.
An even smaller but more vocal group of CS gamers argue that default female skins would detract from the game’s “realism,” which is obviously critical in a game featuring jumping sniper shots, surfing on flat surfaces, and precision fire accuracy without aiming down sights.

Are there any other ways that Valve can help combat sexism in CS2? Of course, there’s no harm in starting with some basic female agent skins.


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