Valve blocks CS:GO map that displays Russian invasion of Ukraine

Valve, the company behind Steam, has blocked a special Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map — de_voyna, which was putting on display countless atrocities Russian soldiers caused in Ukraine. The block is only active for the Russian players. It was first mentioned on Reddit and later reported by Visegrád 24.

What is the de_voyna map about?

  • The de_voyna map was created by Helsingin Sanomat, the largest newspaper in Finland, who paid two map designers to create a map with a hidden room detailing the horrors of the war in Ukraine. It was released on May 2, 2023.
  • For some time, the map was one of the most popular custom-made map in the CS:GO workshop. Up until the block, de_voyna was downloaded over 24,000 times.
  • Now, Steam has removed the map for reasons unknown. It is not clear whether the map violated any real community guidelines, or was it mass-reported by pro-Russian Steam accounts (which are plenty), or did Steam simply not like the idea that Russia’s illegal actions were put on international display.

Why does it matter?

It’s no news that Valve often faces community backlash from its dedicated users, and more often ignores them completely. It seems that the company would rather focus on making blunt profit, demonstrating their lack of moral agency. No wonder the Steam platform is home to many far-right communities, including Wagner terrorist group sympathizers.

Although, it’s somehow strange that Valve would block a map that displays the war horrors that groups like Wagner brought to a peaceful nation of Ukraine. And for some reason, these radical communities still thrive on its platform.