Counter-Strike is one of the world’s most famous first person shooter franchises in the entire video gaming industry. The series began its life as a fan-made modification for Valve Corporation’s Half-Life 2, one of gaming’s greatest ever releases, before the popularity of the game mode led to the company acquiring the rights and releasing a fully fledged title in 1999.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) was released in 2012 as the fourth major entry in the series, and has gone onto become one of the most acclaimed and successful titles of its day. The game exploded in popularity in 2018 when it was moved to a free to play model, seeing a surge in its player base and investments from sponsors.
CS:GO now has one of the most stacked and lucrative competitive calendars in the entire Esports industry, with teams and partners coming together from around the world to compete in tournaments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Here’s everything you need to know about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve’s flagship FPS franchise.
How To Play CS:GO
CS:GO has a number of game modes ranging from Hostage Rescue missions to a Battle Royale-styled Dangerzone feature, however the most commonly played and competitive of these is the Bomb Defusal mode. Defusal revolves around two teams of five competing against each other in a best of thirty (aka. first to sixteen) round format. Rounds last for 1:55 and see the groups of five split into the Terrorist (T) forces against the Counter-Terrorist (CT) forces, with the teams changing sides at half-time.
In the game, the Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the entire enemy team within the 1:55 timeframe or planting their bomb at a bombsite on the map and defending it from the Counter-Terrorists until it explodes. Counter-Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the entire enemy team before the bomb is planted, waiting out the round timer without the bomb being planted or defusing the bomb within forty seconds of it being planted.
The game has a diverse range of official maps designed by fans and Valve that players can play on; these maps are based off exotic locations around the world and can wildly influence the CS:GO odds at Esports betting specialist sites such as Unikrn.com, with each map having their own feels and win percentage rates for either side. Every single map in the Defusal mode however has two bomb sites , named ‘A’ and ‘B’ and a set spawn location for each team that remains the same every round.
Economy Management And Strategy
Each and every player in the game is given their own economy to manage over the course of a series, with funds being used to buy or upgrade weaponry, as well as purchase into various bits of utility such as armour for head or body, defuse kits for Counter-Terrorists and the four different types of grenades available in the game: smokes, decoys, frags and molotovs.
Funds are given to both side at the end of each round, and players can earn money money based on their performances in the server with extra bonuses being given out for good achievements such as netting kills or planting/defusing the bomb, and penalised away for killing teammates and other toxic actions.
The management of a team’s economy can require precise communication with teammates and planning with a reasonable level of foresight; for example, it is often worth saving funds and stomaching a lower buy one round to be able to save up for better guns in the round after that.
And this level of communication, planning and strategy is right at the forefront of what makes CS:GO such a unique title, and a game that has established such a high skill ceiling to allow a professional scene to really be carved out. Unlike rival shooter titles such as Call of Duty, CS:GO requires precise thought processes, good awareness for tactics and strategy as well as short, sharp bursts of action rather than an all-out ‘spray and pray’ approach to gaming.
According to Steam’s official charts over the course of 2023, CS:GO broke past the one million active concurrent player mark for the first time in its history. With the return of the spectacles and jaw-dropping moments of action that come with LAN events looming on the horizon over the course of the remainder of 2023, there’s never been a better time to get involved with the action!