Counter-strike is perhaps the most popular and well-known fps shooter of all time. With the release of the original counter-strike back in 2000s, was an extremely popular game of that time with not only a massive fan following but professional competitive matches as well.
Originally a half-life mod which later became a standalone game which still used most of its textures, sounds and resources from half-life, meant that it was purely dependent on the last-century game and a few years later, with the release of source engine came the next iteration in the counter-strike series, Counter-strike: Source.
Even though CS:S used some half-life 2 textures, the new engine was still a step-ahead for the game.
Counter-strike: source was an immensely popular game which set the series on the right track, keeping the feel of the original Counter-strike along with improved graphics, textures while allowing game modders to work their magic and provide game-modes and customized skins.
CS:S was released 4 years after the original CS, there was a period of over 8 years before the release of the modern-day CS game; CS:GO(Counter-strike: Global Offensive) was a wild success bringing back the truckloads of the older original CS and CS:S players.
Early Rise Of CS:GO
Tens of thousands of people who received beta keys flocked the servers after the initial beta version was made public back in 2011.
After its release on August 21st, 2012 a buggy, unstable game with a horribly made UI (User interface) and CS:S type graphics and textured emerged. Even though, at the time the game didn’t seem like much of an improvement over the aforementioned CS:S, the game still had a fan following.
Quickly enough, updates and patches improved the game quite a bit, in areas such graphics, sound, textures and the ugly UI was also improved to about the level they are today.
The first operation update called the “Arms Deal” update was released one year after the public release of CS:GO in August 13, 2013. Bringing in weapon and knife skins into the game, forever changing the course of the ever-popular Counter-strike series.
With the increasing rise in popularity of CS:GO, the added skins in the game was considered a feature with players opening in-game item dropped cases with purchasable keys.
The item-drop rate in CS:GO was very generous in the beginning with items dropping left and right including weapon-skins and cases of almost all kinds (the drop rate was crippled as more people joined the game). An increasing number of weapon cases and operations soon followed with the rise in success of the skins.
Around this time, a number of professional CS:GO competitions took place, affirming CS:GOs position into the e-sport market, thus further improving the game’s popularity and bringing a lot more players into the game. Now, yearly high expense tournaments are being held all over the world with professional coverage and media attention.
The game is only $15 to buy, not an expensive purchase especially with the 50% off – 75% off on the game during sales, made this game an immensely popular and “must have” game.
Problems With CS:GO
With any multiplayer game comes a series of problems. CS:GO had a lot of them as well ; with most of its issues having arisen rather recently especially with the popularity of CS:GO weapon skins and the cheap price of the game itself.
With the skins earning valve tremendous revenue of around a billion dollars back in 2015, the increase in their popularity has pushed valve to push out weapon cases and operations faster than it was done in the past, this has not only caused a slowdown in the development of the game itself.
Quite recently, the release of the “glove case” has enraged CS:GO fans deeply, especially combined with the “graffiti” update because of which users now have to buy graffiti (or get the rather ugly ones in drops) to use it in the game, a very popular feature in counterstrike-source and the original CS perhaps ruined.
Gambling in CS:GO can be considered both a blessing and a curse for the game and introduced a whole new generation of CS:GO players, who either only play the game for skin-drops or for gambling, causing a lot of players to jump into the game with rather bad skills or no actual interest for the game as much as the items in it.
Many instances of players losing thousands of dollars’ worth of inventories full of expensive CS:GO skins to gambling, essentially either causing people who bought the skins from their parents credit card to go nuts or quit the game entirely.
Betting is another curse for the game, which not only affected the person/people involved but also the international competitive e-sports. The famous CS:GO team iBuyPower was banned from the competitive scene for purposely throwing games in tournaments, while playing the odds. For example, in a match where the odds of winning for IBuyPower was 60 – 40 in their favor, the players would bet against their own team and throw the game.
Because of the cheap price, the game has always an issue of hackers and valve has tried to resolve this issue but with no real success, even though with many implemented systems like the VAC anti-cheat and the recently implemented “overwatch” system which lets selected players to review hacking instances from demos and call a verdict on hacks.
Hacking can’t really be stopped fully. The VAC anti-cheat has been criticized for being a shoddy and underdeveloped tool which isn’t really of much use when it comes to stopping hackers other than the obvious ones. Along with the need for a better anti-cheat system, there needs to be worse punishments for hackers and possibly a price increase.
Why players Leave CS:GO
Between the rows of obvious hackers and the rising importance of skins over the game itself and the basic lack of a good anti-cheat software along with the cheap price and infestation of under-age players, the game has become something Call Of Duty had become a few years back.
Personally for me, leaving CS:GO has been caused by valve’s ineffective control on hacker and the change in mentality of the players to move more from actually playing the game skillfully towards getting more skins, betting and gambling.
A lot of legacy CS players have left and many are contemplating leaving because of perhaps valve’s ineffective policy on the game development and updates which are completely opposite to what the average-joe wants like changing sounds, introducing overpowered weapons like the R8 revolved (it got nerfed very quickly though).
Other reasons have to do with the players own lack of skill, toxicity in the CS:GO community and rise of rank boosters and smurfs, which makes CS:GO a sort of a hell to play in.
Even though CS:GO has its ups and downs, it’s still one of the most popular games out there with hundreds of thousands of players playing daily.
If valve decides to give more thought into anti-cheat and try to reduce the number of hackers in the game, as well as slow down the release of unneeded cases and skins and work on the betterment of the game itself, the game will return to its former glory once again.