Understanding Esports: A Complete Guide To Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The video game industry has grown over the past decade or so to become the most lucrative strand of the entertainment world, worth more than its music and film counterparts put together according to the latest estimates. The advent and surge in popularity of playing video games professionally at events and tournaments, known in the industry as ‘Esports’, has contributed hugely to this boom and looks set to continue its impressive growth in the coming months and years.
Out of all the video games to establish a professional scene, few have reached the level of success that Valve Corporation’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) currently boasts. The game has professional teams from all over the world, is the most heavily invested in by all manner of sponsors, possesses the most stacked competitive calendar in the entire industry, and attracts millions of fans every single year.
Here’s everything you need to know about Valve’s flagship FPS product.
The Aim Of The Game
Unlike other first person shooters available to play in the world of gaming such as Call of Duty or Halo, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive isn’t a game that allows for the usual ‘spray and pray’ approach. If you land in the server and start trying to run around shooting like a maniac, you’re going to find yourself on the wrong end of an ugly kill/death ratio.
Instead, CS:GO is a game that rewards teams and players that hone their communication, patience and reaction skills. The game revolves around teamwork, planning and short sharp bursts of action, with Valve successfully creating a game that is, on the surface level at least, incredibly simple to grasp, but ridiculously hard to master.
The high skill ceiling and blossoming of its professional scene has led to CS:GO becoming one of the most popular games to place wagers on at Esports betting sites such as Unikrn.com.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a third person ‘over the shoulder’ shooter that was released by Valve Corporation in 2012. It is the fourth major instalment in the series, which began life as a fan made modification for Half-Life 2, before being acquired by Valve and released as a standalone game in 2001.
CS:GO was moved to a free to play model in 2018, and saw its number of active players steadily increase, culminating in a record-breaking 2020 that saw the game smash all previous set records by eclipsing the one million active concurrent player mark several times over the course of the year.
CS:GO has a variety of game modes available for players, ranging from all out Deathmatches where all weapons are available, a unique Surf mini-game, to a Battle Royale format called Danger Zone. The most popular game mode however is the bomb defusal mode, which interestingly enough was not originally in the very first version of the very game in 2001.
The Defusal mode sees two teams of five divided into two teams: the Terrorist (T) forces and their Counter-Terrorist (CT) enemies. Each player is given their own economy to manage on various weapons, utility such as grenades and armor, and earn more money based on their performance in-game with bonuses being given for things such as getting kills or planting bombs. Managing the economy is a delicate operation and knowing the ins and outs of how the money works in the server is just one of the reasons as to why CS:GO is regarded as such a hard game to master.
Games play out over a best of thirty format (i.e. first to sixteen), with rounds lasting for 1:55 seconds each time. Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the entire enemy team, or by planting their bomb on one of two bombsites located on every map and successfully defending it until it detonates. Counter-Terrorists can win rounds in return by either killing the entire enemy team before the bomb is planted, waiting out the round timer without the bomb going down, or successfully defusing the bomb once it has been planted.
There are currently seven different Defusal maps currently in CS:GO’s official competitive pool: Dust II, Inferno, Mirage, Vertigo, Overpass, Nuke and Train, with all of these maps boasting their very own aesthetics, themes and play styles. The different interpretations and ways of playing are one of the best parts of CS:GO as a leading Esport, and watching some of the most jaw-dropping reaction times and reflex plays put out by the world’s best players makes for such an incredible spectacle.