Video games have become the talk of the town today with the rapid growth of the industry and its popularity. The youth is obsessed with video games and it has come to a state where video gaming can also be considered as a career path. The industry is larger and worth more than the music and the movie industry combined. When it comes to video games, another noticeable subsidiary industry is the esports industry. Esports is the competitive part of the ever-growing universe of gaming and is worth over $1 billion US Dollars as of today. Currently esports has the mainstream attention as other sports and leagues like NBA or FIFA with a viewership of millions over the internet and other medias as well.
So, ‘what are these electronic sports’ one might ask. Electronic sports or esports are the most competitive games played by the best athletes in the world. If a game has a good player base and a spectating method, it could easily be an esport. Currently the esports scene is built upon a few really famous and competitive games including first-person shooter games, MOBA games and fighting games. If you dig a little deeper into the history of esports, you can easily find out that the most famous first-person shooter esports game in the world, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is among the main and leading esports titles in the world.
What is CS:GO?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is an online multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) video game. It was developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment and was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in August 2012. The game has been an iconic game in the gaming world since then, making records and winning awards. CS:GO has been the most successful game by Valve and has the highest number of players for any game on steam.
When taking a glance at the gameplay of this extremely successful game, it resembles the gameplay of any multiplayer FPS game out there today. The players are put into two teams, the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists where both teams are tasked to eliminate the enemies while playing for the objectives. There are nine game modes and depending on them the Terrorists must either plant the bomb or defend the hostages while the Counter-Terrorists must either prevent the Terrorists from planting the bomb, defuse the bomb, or rescue the hostages.
Looking deeper and in-detail into the game, just like Counter-Strike series’ previous games, CS:GO is also an objective based multiplayer game. If you’re new to the game or haven’t played the game at all, you might feel like that killing the enemies is the main objective but when you get experienced in the game, you can clearly see that the gameplay is mainly focused on the main objectives rather than just killing. This can be clearly observed in pro matches where teams play for objectives rather than just kills. The game basically flows according to the objectives given in each game mode.
CS:GO also introduces another great feature to the game which makes the game competitive and harder even more; an economics system. The players are awarded with in-game currency after each round which they can use to buy new weapons or gear at the start of each round. More cash is awarded for winning than losing and objectives and kills also chips in extra cash at the end of each round. The economics system also plays a great part in the games competitive nature as managing the in-game currency efficiently and effectively wins you games passively.
There are five categories of purchasable items, where four of them are guns and the other one, utilities: rifles, sub-machine guns (SMGs), heavy-machine guns (LMGs), pistols, and grenades. All of the different types of guns have their unique attributes to affect the gameplay styles. For example, the different types of pistols act in different ways where more damage is dealt by low fire rate guns like the Desert Eagle or the Revolver and wise-versa. All of the other guns have their own unique attributes to match the situation and gameplay style. The utilities include hand grenades which deals damage in a small radius, smoke grenade which puts up a screen of smoke to shroud yourself or enemies, decoy grenades which emulates the player’s gun to trick enemies, flashbangs to stun or blind the enemies looking towards it and finally Molotov Cocktails or Incendiary grenades which set a small part on fire dealing damage to anyone walks through it.
CS:GO Game modes
Another feature that makes the game stand out from the rest of the multiplayer FPS games is the different game modes the game offers. There are nine main game modes: Competitive, Deathmatch, Casual, Arms Race, Demolition, Wingman, Flying Scoutsman, Danger Zone, and Weapons Course.
This game mod is considered to be the most formal and most competitive type where two teams consisting of five players each, goes head to head in a thirty-round match. The winner is decided when a team scores sixteen rounds/points. The match is evenly balanced where the teams switch sides on the half-time, being fifteen rounds and each round is one minute and fifty-five seconds long. This game mode strictly sticks to the professional rules and one cannot switch sides during a match unlike the casual mode.
Casual mode is as similar to the standard competitive mode but with a few changes. Ten players can join each side and the game ends when a team scores 8 points/rounds awarding them the victory. The economy system is different compared to the competitive mode as all players are awarded with an income evenly throughout the game, making the game mode user friendly for player who play for fun or beginners. Players can leave this mode or change sites as much as they want without consequences.
Deathmatch mode is a great way to get yourself familiarized with the game’s movements, controls and weapons. Sixteen players are put into a single game where they can choose any gun of their choice and improve on them. Still the players are divided to 2 teams as usual.
This game mode isn’t as famous as the rest but you can experience a whole new level of competitiveness, specially if you’re duo-ing with a buddy. This was introduced in 2017 and the game takes place on much smaller maps limiting the player count to two each team. Apart from it being two versus two and in smaller maps with a best of sixteen round limit, the gameplay is similar to the competitive mode.
Arms Race is a really fun game mode to play, similar to the Gun Game mode in the Call of Duty titles. Similarly, the player starts with an SMG and has to climb the rank killing 2 enemies with each gun to finally get the golden knife. This mode is really good if you’re looking to show off you weapon skills and have some fun at the same time.
Demolition is arguably the least popular mode in CS:GO. This mode is sort of a mix of bomb defusal and Arms Race where players can purchase weapons as they perform more. This mode also features totally different maps and most players might find this mode unentertaining, boring and ‘alien’.
In this mode, players are given only the SSG 08 and a knife with no option to purchase any other weapon. The “flying” part of the mode’s title is derived from the reduced gravity element in it. Players can jump higher than usual and this mode is a really fun way to kill some time with your friends.
This is the latest game mode in CS:GO, which was released in 2018 and is a fast-paced battle royale mode. Just like any other BR game, players have to scavenge for equipment and survive to become the winner. The mode is available in solo and duo modes as well.
Well the title is self-explanatory. In this mode players can test out weapons and get familiar with them freely without a competition.
History of CS:GO
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the sequel to the previous FPS game of the CS series, Counter-Strike: Source. CS:GO’s development was actually unintentional at first when the developers tried to port CS: Source onto consoles just before the game officially died. Valve then decided to make it a full game and expand the series and the game further by developing CS:GO into a separate title. The development started in March 2010 and was announced to the public on August 12, 2011. The closed beta stage started in November 2011 and the game was finally released on August 21, 2012 for all platforms including Windows, Xbox 360, OS X and PS3, except Linux.
Over the years, valve have been giving updates regularly giving new game mods, maps, graphics updates and other major and minor changes to the game. Arguably CS:GO is the most successful game Valve has ever created and it has the most players and the highest peak concurrent players on all the Steam games. Another reason for CS:GO to be notoriously popular on the internet is its in-game cosmetics. The "Arms Deal" update released on August 13, 2013 introduced a cosmetic system into the game where players could buy and get CS:GO skins for guns, characters, etc. The craziest part about this is that it led to people selling skins to other players who are willing to buy and CSGO gambling, skin betting and trading sites were also started due to this. The most expensive CS:GO item ever sold is an AWP skin name Dragon Lore, which was sold for a whopping $61,052.63.
Other updates such as “Operations” were introduced over time and in October, 2014 “music kits” were introduced. This has added value to the game overall and has persuaded a huge number of players to buy the game or stay loyal to the game by continuing playing. Finally, the game was made a fully free to play game in December 6, 2018 along with the introduction of the Battle Royale game mode. The users who had already purchased the game before that received a ‘prime’ status which granted them improved matchmaking and other bonus stuff.
Professional Counter-Strike gaming scene dates way back to 2000 where tournaments were held for previous titles of the CS series. The first ever major championship was held in 2001 at the Cyberathlete Professional League Winter Championship and was won by Ninjas in Pyjamas. As the time went by, more CSGO tournaments were hosted by Valve or other third-party organizations which gave a lot of attention to the CS:GO esports scene and even the whole esports industry in general. The release of CS:GO changed the previous competitive scene of Counter-Strike.
In 2013 started the most important CSGO tournament series, CS:GO Major Championship. The first CS:GO major was held at DreamHack Winter 2013 with a community funded prize pool of $250,000. Since then, the CS:GO Major championships have expanded significantly, with prize pools exceeding over $1 million USD and features more than 20 teams from around the world. These tournaments have also made world famous teams and organizations like Fnatic, G2 Esports, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, Ence and Astralis strengthening the esports scene even more.
CS:GO Gambling and betting
Finally, it comes to gambling. Skin gambling has been a major issue and a topic on the internet regarding CS:GO. Gambling sites were created and there has been a lot of controversy around loot boxes and these skin gambling practices. You can find plenty of skin gambling and reselling sites on the web.
Another great aspect of the game is the compatibility for betting. For fans and players who are actively following the game’s esports scene, betting is a pretty fun and a profitable way to earn up some cash. With the increasing number of major tournaments and the frequency of these well-organized tournaments have made esports betting a reality and a simpler experience. By the day, you can see more betting sites, including leading online betting sites, adding esports tournaments as a category and specifically giving a good spot for esports among them. So, if you’re looking to wager a little on your favorite teams, there is no other better time than this!