As the top competitive FPS on the market right now, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is yet another iteration of the storied Counter-Strike series, produced by Valve, that was born way back in the early 2000’s as a Half-Life mod. CS:GO is a game built from the ground up as an eSport game. Using the familiar bones of the Counter-Strikes before it (notably CS 1.6 and CS Source), you will find all the usual weaponry, maps, game modes, and gameplay. What is new and unique to CS:GO, like the ELO rating system, automatic balanced team assignment based on said rating, leaderboards, and standard game modes for ranked play, is what makes it function more as an eSport.
The game as a whole is not much different from CS Source, but the mentioned changes, plus tuning up the movement and shot detection to be more consistent have made the game more welcoming to serious eSport competition, and thus viewers in streams and discussion on the internet. When people watch players at the higher levels of the game compete, it inspires viewers who might not have played the game purchase and play the game and improve themselves. The previous Counter-Strike’s lacked this eSport scene and thus only kept the loyal CS audience. With a more broad playerbase, CS:GO is becoming the most popular CS ever.
An interesting development in the CS:GO community is the rise of a huge weapon skin market. Valve implemented a drop system, similar to Team Fortress 2, where Cases can be acquired and opened to add a certain number of random weapon skins to your inventory. Of course like most systems like this, there are commons skins that the player has a high chance to acquire, and rare (usually more flashy) skins that have are acquired at a much lower rate. Purchasing of crates for real money and the trading and gambling that have emerged around these weapon skins has added a lot more money circulating in the CS community than ever before.
As a competitive FPS, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is great and does everything that a game in this genre should do. If you have any experience playing a Counter-Strike game, you should be able to jump right in to this title. If you are a fan of online FPSs’ but aren’t much in to the competitive scene, then this game might not be for you as it does have relatively serious playerbase. However if you are the competitive sort, this game was built for you. CS:GO is also not a bad watch, and checking out streams of tournaments for the game always bring some adrenaline and excitement.