It’s been almost a decade since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive struck the competitive domain. A decade through, and the groundbreaking first-person shooter is still shipping out oceans of content with each passing month. Of course, as with any shooter with such high calibre, CS:GO does have quite the impressive player count and hefty prize pools to boot. Even today, the competitive world surrounding the long-standing title hosts roughly 24 million monthly active users.
Among the many eSports factions on the market, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is definitely one to keep an eye on. Not only does the multiplayer hit employ a staggering amount of players each month — but also quite the bundle of internationally recognised tournaments, too. However, with so many players on the board and an endless flurry of leagues to wrap your head around — stacking against the odds can be a little tricky. That said, combing through the history of the franchise and understanding the nooks and crannies of the platform can definitely sway the tide in your favor.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: In a Nutshell
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive first launched back in 2012 on Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with Linux later being added to the fold. However, among all of the platforms that the game has latched itself to, the PC version has led the way into the eSports community and beyond. Unfortunately, the console ports of the game never quite made it up to bat, with zero patches being sewn into the structure since birth. And so, with that, the PC unit has established the grounds for the multiplayer sensation.
Similar to other first-person shooters, CS:GO pits two warring factions on a map and has both teams battle it out over a series of objectives. As per the usual routine, one unit must thrash it out and obliterate the enemy — and, you know, vice versa. Of course, there is a lot more to Counter-Strike than mindless slaughter matches, though only one type of mode is typically played rather heavily in the competitive domain. But we’ll summarize that without sinking into too much detail.
Primary Game Mode Explained
Typically, competitive matches will revolve around the classic 5v5 mode, where one team will assume the roles of a terrorist organization, and the second team filling the shoes of an anti-terrorist unit. As the former, players must plant bombs at one of two sites, whereas the latter will have the task of either preventing them from being planted — or defusing them if already placed. If the bomb detonates after the 35-second timer, the terrorist faction claims the round. A single round lasts 1 minute and 55 seconds. There are 30 rounds in total, with a team changeover after the 16th bout. These tournaments usually last upwards of an hour, depending on the players and the team abilities.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, although available on older platforms, is best served on PC. At least, that’s where the eSports community flock to for the biggest tournaments. Of course, as with most games that fall under the PC domain, CS:GO is played using a pre-approved mouse and keyboard, both of which can alter the gameplay itself depending on the specs of the kit. The PC version also receives frequent updates to the base game, unlike earlier console versions that has yet to receive a single patch. And so, looking at that — it’s safe to say that CS:GO is primarily a PC title, with very little wriggle room for ports.
Tournaments & Prize Pools
The one thing CS:GO isn’t exactly short of is tournaments and local bouts. With that said, 2018 and 2019 raked in some of the biggest prize pools the game has seen in quite some time, with some winners clawing upwards of $500,000 out of a million-dollar bucket. With Valve backing the front, boasting such figures isn’t that uncommon when it comes to Counter-Strike, though the likes of Dota 2 is still pulling in much higher numbers. But that’s a story for another time.
As of 2021, CS:GO will see plenty of new tournaments fall into the chamber, with PGL Major Stockholm alone bringing a total of two million dollars to the table and a roster of top-tier teams. Apart from that, other noteworthy leagues include IEM Cologne 2021, as well as ESL National Championships — all of which boast six figures and above. For the latest updates on upcoming bouts, as well as a general overview of 2021, you can view the yearly agenda on HLTV.
Stacking Against the Odds
As with any competitive sport, the best way to gain an edge is to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the ins and outs of the platform. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, as a unit, has conquered quite the space on the multiplayer front over the years, and is very much a go-to title for both viewers and influencers. And by having that in mind, it’s pretty easy to uncover the spools of online content that shroud it.
With the web at your fingertips and an ocean of it dedicated to CS:GO, finding the material you need is never far from reach. However, for the best odds of harnessing a win, watching broadcasts on YouTube, as well as tuning in to the odd exclusive interview with seasoned players will definitely put you on course to victory. Of course, by picking up the game and sinking into a few matches yourself — those odds are only likely to increase as you explore the nooks and crannies of the mechanics and game modes.
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