Counter-strike Global Offensive is by now one of the most successful games ever. Not only has it been going strong since launch in 2012, but it looks like its getting somehow bigger and bigger, 8 years into its life. The entry of Valorant into the competitive FPS window has somehow not affected the game as much as many predicted it would, meaning we are poised to experience a brilliant head to head between these two massive games, striving for the bigger player base and, consequentially, the bigger prize pots.
CS:GO has been on the summit of competitive shooters for a while now thanks to its extremely solid base. The mixture of gameplay, economy, and simplicity of the game modes has built a community that always features over 800,000 concurrent players. The introduction of loot boxes in an update a year after release featured the opportunity for players to earn skins. Completely optional and only cosmetic, these skins began doing the rounds on social media purely because of how rare some skins are. Adding nothing to the game but a little color was, in fact, a phenomenon that gamers loved, so much so that spending money on loot boxes became normal.
In this day and age of free to play games with microtransactions, this is not something out of the ordinary, but back in the day, it was a relatively new concept. These loot boxes can not only be purchased with real cash but also earned by simply playing the game. This presented players with an opportunity – grind the game as much as possible, earning rare skins and sell them on the marketplace for cash. Some skins go for a couple of quid, but some of the rarest ones make serious money. And you can even bet your skins against other players, with the winner taking what can likely be an expensive prize. This is known as pink slipping.
A skin for an AWP rifle once sold for over $60,000 making it the highest ever cost for a CS:GO (and probably any other game) skin. Other than appearance, some skins could also be used to “make a statement.” I remember a time where everyone who wanted to be someone in the game would have the Karambit knife. It is a really cool knife skin but spending almost $300 on an in-game item is ridiculous, especially when it does not provide any gameplay superiority.
Other than skins, Counter-strike Global Offensive has another ace up its money-making sleeve – and a huge one at that; Esports betting. Starting up relatively recently, esports betting is slowly getting bigger and bigger, and similarly even the rewards. The system is already a working one, with live odds and multiple websites offering the service. Some sites offer only esports betting exclusively, tailor-made for the gaming gambler. Since this is a game, after all, the odds may not be as reflective as the odds in a football match as CS:GO is a game heavily based on momentum, but you still find plenty of people taking a chance and placing money on the line.
Now with plenty of events currently going on such as the ESL Pro Tour, Dreamhack, and the Blast Premier series about to begin, it’s a good time as any to try your luck and win some big money through Esports betting. Obviously one needs knowledge of the scene and how the game works in order to be able to be successful, but just like real-world sports, there are sites offering their help, in exchange for cash obviously, providing tips as to what team is favored and by what margin. It is helping in creating an ecosystem based on one single game, outside of the game itself, which is incredible when you think about it. Taking into consideration the type of map is crucial as some teams have better records on some than others.
It boggles the mind how Counter-strike Global Offensive started out with the objective of being a top Esport and is now a huge franchise. The in-game features are already good enough to sustain the survivability of the game over the long run even now in 2020, but the operations happening outside of the game world are projecting CS: GO into both the short term and the long term future. The game might never get a sequel at this rate, considering how great Global Offensive is faring. That is, for now. Obviously no one will be able to know what the future will hold, but the present is a very strong one indeed for Counter-Strike.