Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (also known as CS:GO or CSGO) is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. The game itself was released in August 2012 as the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series.

CSGO gained popularity really fast because the developers already had a great recipe that was widely accepted among the fans in the previous games from the franchise. They made a similar game to Counter-Strike Source. Except for some minor changes, the gameplay stayed intact and the only thing they did change was making the graphics better. We here at CSGO Tips will cover all the main topics such as CSGO predictions and CSGO news.

This is what we’ll provide you with in this piece:

  • History of Counter-Strike
  • Gameplay
  • Game Modes
  • Weapons
  • Skins
  • Maps
  • Professional Esports CSGO Scene
  • Tournaments

History of Counter-Strike

Have you ever wondered about the early beginnings of Counter-Strike? How was this game made and how did it become so popular? It all started as a multiplayer game mod for Half-Life.

A small group of amateur programmers, later known as CS team used the software of a popular video game Half-Life to create a free downloadable multiplayer mod.

On the first day, only 50 people downloaded it. Those 50 people were amused by the game and they told their friends about it, their friends told their friends and so on.

The game popularity started to grow exponentially. They also had the community behind them to provide feedback and report bugs. CS Team was able to create the first beta version of the game.

During the year, they were constantly improving the game and they made 17 beta versions in total. The game became so popular that even the creator of Half-Life, big gaming giant at the time, Valve was interested in it. 

Eventually, Valve bought the game from CS team and made the first official version of Counter-Strike in November 2000.

Valve & Counter-Strike

Valve continued to do exactly what the CS team did before. They were constantly upgrading the game and as many of you know, Counter-Strike 1.6 was the final major software update the game received.

Next game in the popular franchise was Counter-Strike Condition Zero, released in March 2004. Only a few months later, November, to be more specific Counter-Strike Source was released.

That game was widely accepted by the fans and Valve took their time to make a new one. Eight years later, in August of 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) was released.

This is the final version of Counter-Strike, although there are some speculations that Global Offensive 2 may be replacing CSGO now that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is now free-to-play.

What do you think?  CSGO has been online for a while now. Is it time for a new engine that would support more than 32 players, especially in the battle royal mode, Danger Zone?

CSGO Gameplay

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is a first-person shooter video game. We can clearly say that CSGO is a fair game. There are certain levels but they don’t affect the gameplay whatsoever.

A total noob ( noob= word used by the gaming community for beginners) can kill the professional player and win a duel against the professional player.

This scenario would most likely never happen, professional player will always come on top. But in theory, it’s possible. They both have the same amount of starting health and money. Players can use that money to buy certain equipment like kevlar, helmet, weapons and grenades.

Your primary task is to kill your opponents and stay alive in the process. Although it sounds simple, CSGO is a very complex game.

The game itself isn’t just based on individual skill. In order to be a good player, you must have the right map knowledge, you must know how to grenades, how to position yourself, and so much more.

Furthermore, you should know the basics of the economy in the game. If you want to read more about the CSGO economy and how to improve, you should read our piece on how to get better at CSGO.

CSGO Game Modes

There are a total of 6 modes in the game currently. However, not all of these modes are popular. For the sake of it, we’ll mention all of those modes. Certain modes are for casual players. On the other hand, competitive mode is the most popular and most of the CS:GO community is playing this mode.

Competitive Mode

This mode is the bread and butter for everyone who is seriously playing CSGO. There are levels to this mode, hence why we have different ranks that are transparent to players’ skill level. When it comes to gameplay, competitive game is played mostly in the active duty map pool.

This includes seven maps:

  • Dust 2
  • Inferno
  • Mirage
  • Nuke
  • Vertigo
  • Overpass
  • Train

All of these maps are played in the defusal mode. Furthermore, there are a total of 30 rounds played on each map. After the initial 15 rounds have been played, players will switch sides and keep on fighting.

After one team wins 16 rounds, the match is over and the team with 16 rounds to their name won the match. In case the match ends up with a 15-15 scoreline, the game will end with a tie.

Casual Mode

This is basically a light version of a competitive mode. So if you’re not a competitor, you will definitely have fun playing casual CSGO mode.

Numbers are doubled in this mode and don’t be surprised if you are playing against 10 opponents. Furthermore, another difference between casual and competitive mode is that the casual mode only has 16 rounds, compared to the 30 rounds that are played in competitive mode. Lastly, in casual mode, each player gets kevlar and helmet for free, which isn’t the case in competitive mode.

Deathmatch

This is probably a worldwide known game mode. CSGO isn’t different when it comes to deathmatch. A lot of people will spawn and shoot each other to death.

You don’t have to buy anything in this mode as everything is free. However, CSGO uses points in their deathmatch. Sometimes, certain weapons will reward you with more points, and that is considered as a bonus. To conclude, a player with the most points wins.

War Games

War Games is a series of different modes that have been introduced to the game with the Hydra Operation. Even though this was meant to be a limited mode, Valve decided to fully add it to the game.

There are three different game modes around War Games, and all of them are really fun to play.

Arms Race

This is a really interesting mode to have fun on. Basically, each player spawns in with a random weapon. Once you killed someone with that weapon, you will progress to another one.

After you killed enough players, you will have a final objective in front of you, to kill someone with a golden knife. This is the last kill you need, and once you were able to knife someone, the game ends.

Demolition

The least played mode in War Games. This CSGO mode is a mixture of casual game mode and Arms Race. Players are split into two different teams, and there is a total of 20 rounds being played.

You can’t buy weapons in this game mode. Each player will receive a random weapon at the start of each round.

Flying Scoutsman

This is by far the most entertaining game mode in CSGO. There is barely any gravity in this mode, and the only thing you can play with is SSG 08, better known as the Scout.

You’re jumping in the air to fight other players. Overall, a great game mode to have fun on.

Wingman

If you’re not a fan of a competitive mode where you team up with 4 players, then Wingman is definitely your sweet spot. You will only have one teammate, and the maps you are playing are smaller. There is also only one bombsite where you can plant the bomb on.

Given the fact that this is a 2v2 mode, it has a lot of players playing it. That is why Valve added ranks to Wingman, just to make it more competitive. You can either play Wingman for fun or play it competitively.

Danger Zone

The latest addition to the CSGO game modes. Given the fact that battle royale genres are so popular, Valve decided to create one themselves. Even though this isn’t a typical battle royale mode, it definitely has a lot of similarities.

There are also some differences like drones, money, and radar. You can order a certain weapon, ammo, radar upgrades or any other stuff that comes to your mind.

However, ordering weapons, utility and upgrades isn’t free hence why you’ll have to collect cash. Lastly, you can see if there are any enemies around you on your radar, and you can easily upgrade your radar in order to get an advantage over your enemies. 

CSGO Ranks

As we mentioned above, there are levels to CSGO. Certain players will play this game on a level above everyone else, and that is why they have to be placed on top of the chain. They also have to be matched against the people with similar skill level. That is the main reason why competitive ranks were introduced to CSGO.

These are the competitive ranks in CSGO.

all csgo ranks in one place
CSGO Ranks in 2020(Image Credit: csgo-strats.com)

It is pretty obvious which ranks belong to the most skilled players in CSGO. Only a small percentage of CSGO players achieve The Global Elite status, but it is really hard to earn that Silver I status as well.

I know it seems like it is easy to be bad at the game, but trust me, it’s really hard to be so bad.

Here is the picture of CSGO ranks distribution in 2020:

CSGO ranks distribution in 2020
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Ranks Distribution in 2020

CSGO Weapons

There are several types of weapons in CSGO. Weapons are divided into 4 groups; Pistols, SMGs, Rifles, and Heavy weapons. A single kill with each kind of weapon awards a different amount of money. What does this mean? Basically, a single kill with a particular weapon would award:

  • Pistol kill + $300
  • SMG kill + $600
  • Heavy Weapon(Shotgun) kill + $900
  • Rifle kill + $300
  • Knife kill + $1500

CSGO Skins

CSGO skins have been added to the game in late 2013. To be more precise, “The Arms Deal” update sparked everything related to CSGO betting, trading, gambling, and collecting.

There are several different grades of skins, 8 to be precise. Each of these grades represents the rarity of a certain skin. For instance, covert skins are much more popular and in most cases more expensive than other skins in the collection.

Each CSGO collection is based on a certain case. A couple of times throughout a year, Valve releases new cases, which contain new skins. Logically, each case contains different grades of skins.

This is the list of all different grades of CSGO skins(sorted by rarity):

  • Consumer Grade – GREY
  • Industrial Grade – LIGHT BLUE
  • Mil-Spec – DARK BLUE
  • Restricted – PURPLE
  • Classified – PINK
  • Covert – RED
  • Exceedingly Rare – GOLD

As mentioned above, Covert and Exceedingly Rare CSGO skins are the most popular and most expensive ones. Furthermore, Exceedingly Rare skins present either knives or gloves. Not all of the skins have to be obtained via a key you will pay for.

You can also earn skins simply by playing CSGO. In most cases, you will be rewarded with cases, which you can open, but only if you purchase a key. At times, you’ll also get a skin drop, but in most cases, you will get either Consumer Grade or Industrial Grade CSGO skins.

Exterior

Each CSGO skin has its own exterior. There are barely any skins that have exactly the same “float”. You can find various sites on the internet that will check the float of your skin.

Basically, you can have more insight into your skins. Furthermore, you can also learn if you are a holder of something rare and unusual.

There are 5 different types of CSGO skins exterior:

  • Factory New
  • Minimal Wear
  • Field-Tested
  • Well-Worn
  • Battle-Scarred

Exteriors are easy to learn. Factory New skins are the best looking ones, and usually, they are the most expensive. On the other hand, Battle-Scarred skins look like they have been through a lot, and in most scenarios, they are totally worn out.

Minimal wear is the closest thing to Factory New. In most scenarios, these skins look really good, and there are only minor details keeping them away from being Factory New.

Field-Tested skins are the most usual ones. They are in the middle of everything. These types of skins aren’t looking really bad, but they aren’t looking as good as Factory New CSGO skins.

Lastly, Well-Worn skins are looking really bad, and there is barely any difference once compared to Battle-Scarred ones.

StatTrak™

Alongside exteriors, some skins will also have StatTrak™ attached. These types of CSGO skins will count your kills. A lot of people enjoy having these types of skins since they can get personally attached to it.

Usually, StatTrak™ skins are a bit more expensive once compared to the same exterior skin that does not have StatTrak™ feature included. Keep in mind that souvenir skins can’t have StatTrak™ feature.

Souvenirs

You are probably wondering what are souvenir cases? Each Major has its own souvenir cases. Viewers that connected their steam accounts to twitch, or CSGO players that are watching Major tournaments can be rewarded with those cases. There are over 30 of those cases available.

However, each souvenir is related to the map you watched. For instance, if Astralis and FaZe competed on Inferno, and you decided to watch the game, you can only be rewarded with the Inferno souvenir case. As we mentioned above, skins included in souvenir cases can’t have StatTrak™ feature.

They have golden stickers of two teams that played the game while you were watching. You will also be rewarded with the golden sticker of the round MVP.

At the moment, the most popular souvenir case is definitely the Cobblestone one. The only reason people open this case is that of the Dragon Lore. This is the most expensive and the most popular CSGO skin ever. Take note that one of the souvenir Dragon Lores was sold for over $40,000. Lastly, Cobblestone souvenir case will cost you around $75.

CSGO Cases

Ever since “The Arms Deal” update, CSGO players and enthusiasts have been collecting various skins and patterns. As more and more cases were released, collectors had over 500 skins to choose from.

That means that the game itself is becoming crowded with different types of skins. This is why CSGO skins gambling is still so popular. At the moment we have over 20 cases in the game, and all of them contain certain amounts of CSGO skins.

This is the list of all CSGO cases that are available to us:

Prisma 2 CaseShattered Web CaseCS20 Case
Prisma CaseDanger Zone CaseHorizon Case
Clutch CaseCS:GO Weapon CaseCS:GO Weapon Case 2
CS:GO Weapon Case 3Chroma CaseChroma 2 Case
Chroma 3 CaseeSports 2013 CaseeSports 2013 Winter Case
eSports 2014 Summer CaseFalchion CaseGamma Case
Gamma 2 CaseGlove CaseHuntsman Weapon Case
Operation Bravo CaseOperation Breakout Weapon CaseOperation Hydra Case
Operation Phoenix Weapon CaseOperation Vanguard Weapon CaseOperation Wildfire Case
Revolver CaseShadow CaseSpectrum 2 Case

CSGO Map Modes

There are several types of maps in CSGO. Each map is defined by a certain sign and the bottom dash(_) before the name of the map.

  • cs_(name) – (counter-strike) 

Cs maps are based on hostages.
Counter-Terrorist have to save the hostages or kill the entire T-side in order to win the round.
Terrorists have to prevent them from saving the hostages or kill the entire CT-side to win the round.

  • de_(name) – (defusal)

De maps are based on 2 sites, site A and site B.

Counter-Terrorist have to protect the sites, defuse the bomb or kill the entire T-side in order to win the round.
Terrorists have to plant the bomb and wait for it to explode or kill the entire CT-side to win the round.

  • as_(name) – (assassination)

As maps are based on VIP-a (very important person)

Counter-Terrorists have to escort the VIP person into the safe zone to win a round.

Terrorists have to kill a VIP and other Counter-Terrorists to win a round. (VIP player can use only USP).

  • es_(name) – (escape)

Es maps are based on the escape of terrorists.

Counter-Terrorists have to kill all the Terrorists and prevent them to escape and reach a safe zone.  (Safe zone is at the other end of the map)

Terrorists have to escape to a safe zone or kill CT side.

  • dm_(name) – (deathmatch)

Dm maps are built for practice. Every time you die, you would respawn again somewhere on the map.

Map Modes for Fun

  • zm_(name) – (zombie)

Counter-Terrorists are regular people while Terrorists are zombies.

At the start of every round, the server randomly picks a first zombie (a zombie with a large number of health points) and a survivor (human (counter-terrorist) with an unlimited number of bullets and a large number of health points).

After Counter-Terrorists is touched by Terrorists he automatically becomes a Zombie (Terrorist).

This game mode is only for fun and rules can vary from server to server.

  • aim_(name) 

This type of map is primarily used for a 1vs1 duel. You can’t buy anything but you can find different weapons on the floor.

  • fy_(name) – (fighting yard)

Those kind of maps are really small, you can’t hide anywhere.

  • surf_(name) 

Maps made for fun and practicing movements.

  • jail_ jb_ (name) – (jailbreak)

Also a type of map only for fun. Counter-Terrorists are prison guards while Terrorists are prisoners.  Maps contain prison cells, gun rooms and variety of games.

  • deathrun_(name) – (death run)

deathrun_ maps include parkour platforms. You need to master surfing and bunny hop in order to avoid obstacles.

CSGO Esports Professional Scene

CSGO was only the fourth sequel to the original Counter-Strike title. However, CSGO is definitely the most popular Counter-Strike serial ever.

This game took the entire Esports scene by storm, and it seems like this rising trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon. However, the professional scene had its ups and downs.

At the moment, there are three different types of competitions on the CSGO professional scene. Leagues, tournaments, and Major events. Overall, CSGO is a big success in the Esports world.

CSGO Leagues

A lot of various CSGO leagues are played throughout the year. However, only some of them include the best teams in the world. Even though other leagues are highly competitive, they are simply not attracting a lot of top talent.

This is why the best teams from lowered leagues will advance through to the better league where they will compete against the best CSGO teams in the world. This is a simple and usual process which can be found in every competitive sport out there.

Only the best team can advance to a better league, while the bottom finishers will drop out of the league they were competing in.

Every league has its own format and matches, something similar to a season in football, NBA or any other sport. Usually, the best 8 teams will advance through to the LAN playoffs.

These are the most popular CSGO leagues:

  • ESL Pro League
  • ECS
  • BLAST Pro Circuit
  • ESEA MDL

CSGO Tournaments

By far, the most popular format in the professional CSGO scene. Various hosts will organize CSGO tournaments. While CSGO was still in the early days, there were barely any prize pools. At the moment, certain CSGO tournaments are having enormous prize pools which can go over $3.000,000. The main reason for that is because CSGO betting sites are chiming in with valuable assets in exchange for exposure.

Usually, this type of competition only lasts for a couple of days. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, if there are a lot of teams attending a certain tournament, it’s logical that it will take a while before the grand final match is played.

This is the list of the most popular CSGO tournaments:

  • IEM
  • DreamHack
  • BLAST Pro Series
  • ELEAGUE
  • ESL

CSGO Major Championships

It would be a mistake if we were to sort Majors with CSGO tournaments. Even though they have a lot of similarities, there are some huge differences between these two types of competitions. Firstly, ever since 2016, Major tournaments had at least $1.000,000 set as the prize pool. This is not the case with regular tournaments, who vary all the way from $100,000 to $800,000.

*if you want to bet on CSGO Majors, you should check out our CSGO betting academy where we share our knowledge and experience.

Secondly, every Major CSGO event will have souvenir drops, while this isn’t the case with standard CSGO tournaments. However, some CSGO gambling and betting websites decided to try their own “souvenir” system. Basically, they were rewarding their viewers with random skins throughout every match. Even though they tried, it could not match the feeling when you get your first CSGO souvenir package, especially if it is a Cobblestone one.

Thirdly, most of CSGO tournaments are finished within a couple of days, while Major CSGO tournaments can last for over 2 weeks.

Last but not least, Major CSGO tournaments have insane viewership. Each Major tournament had over 1 million concurrent viewers. These are crazy numbers, and there is no way that any other regular CSGO tournament can reach these numbers anytime soon, no matter what they are able to bring to the table.

Major Viewer Pass

As of 2019, there is a new addition to CSGO Majors and it is called Major Viewer Pass. It is a purchasable in-game item that gives exclusive access to:

  • Upgradeable event coin
  • Souvenir packages
  • Major Pick’em challenge
  • Unlimited team graffiti for the duration of the Major
  • Steam chat flair for the duration of the Major

Beginning with the Berlin 2019 Major, you’re no longer able to get random drops just by watching the match. A lot of people abused this option and left streams on without actually watching the Major.

It was impossible to know how many people really watched the match. Cobblestone was the most expensive case and every match that was played on Cobble had higher viewership than any other match.

However, it’s no longer possible to get a random souvenir package drop just by watching a match. You need a viewer pass to be eligible for Souvenir Packages. It is simple, you earn points by completing challenges during the Major.

After collecting enough points, you can upgrade your coin and choose a souvenir drop from any match that was played on that Major, even if you didn’t watch that match. You can redeem a Souvenir Package each time you upgrade your Event Coin.

Take note that the coin can be upgraded three times during a Major, from Bronze to Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Viewer pass holders can also purchase Souvenir Package redemptions in-game.