Matt Szymanski
Title Level designer
Aliases ■ Pantera

Matt Szymanski is a level designer for Counter-Strike. He is the creator of Highrise.


When he was a kid, Matt Szymanski felt that he wanted to create video games.[1] Matt got into level design when he got Half-Life while still in high school as he felt it was the best way to realize this ambition.[1][2] However, he quickly discovered Counter-Strike and became increasingly interested in level design for the game as he loved the concept of the game.[2]

While Matt had picked up level design for Counter-Strike at around the time Beta 2 had been released, he felt that he didn't get good at it until around the time Beta 6.5 was released.[2] Szymanski used various video games, movies and television shows as inspiration for his designs.[1] The first map he completed, Highrise, would be included as an official map with Beta 7.0.

For Counter-Strike 1.1, Szymanski finished an update for Highrise and also created a new embassy map.[1] However, the embassy map was never made official and as Highrise was removed in the patch, the updated version never entered official rotation.

Following his venture into Counter-Strike mapping, Szymanski had plans to try out mapping for other mods.[2]

List of maps

Official maps

Map name Game(s) Responsibilities Year
Highrise Beta Level designer 2000

Custom maps

Map name Game(s) Responsibilities Year
US Embassy (cs) Cs t Level designer 2001


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Counter-Strike Revolution - MattS Interview. Archived from the original on 2001-04-06.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 STOMPED - Counter-Strike Map Interviews, Part 3: Matt "Pantera" Szymanski. Archived from the original on 2000-12-13.