By Jeffrey Zhong ‘18 and Alex Chan ‘18
With gaming spreading rapidly worldwide, it is nearly impossible to run into someone who hasn’t played at least one video game in his or her lifetime. Obe game in particular has branched out across the world including Europe, East Asia, and so on. The ever popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is created by the Valve Corporation. A little history behind Global Offensive (2012); it is the latest official version of a modification for Half-Life (1999), succeeding the previous version, CS: Source, released in 2007. It is one of the fastest growing and popular competitive games of the year. It is a fast paced game with a first person shooter in a competitive game mode or casual game mode.
With Counter Strike: Global Offensive, it has become a center where people can exercise their abilities to show off their skills and just to practice to get better at the game itself. Tournaments are constantly held worldwide to demonstrate the players’ abilities. However, if not played on an international level, players compete locally or regionally. There are two game modes of which this game is consisted of: competitive and casual.
Jefferson Su ‘18 noted, “Competitive is a fun mode to play. Competitive players are always interesting since it’s different in every single game. You win some you lose some, you do well in some you do bad in some.”
Competitive mode is an effective way for people to determine their skill level in the game. The game mode implements more restrictions and different aspects such as less money to purchase equipment, making play more strategic than casual. With competitive, games you play are with people of similar rank, which is assigned by your win-lose ratio and how well you do in those games. Thus, the experience is more fair and there will be less cases of one person carrying an entire team while one or a few teammates do nothing. This also increases the intensity of games because of the ranking. People usually want to rank up and improve on their skills, thus, they are less tolerant of those who play competitive and don’t take it seriously.
Still, there are some problems with the rank system. Although cheats are usually banned on the spot, some go undetected and call a player-based admin system to take care of it. The more major problem is the one of so-called ‘smurfing.’ It gets its name from the concept: a high ranked player playing on a separate, lower ranked account. These ‘smurfs’ are hard to distinguish from good players, because a low ranked player who plays incredibly is not necessarily smurfing, since it could be a good day or just a good player.
“I think casual is a good way for people to get better at the game because you learn more about the map and what spots are good for camping. It has a lot of mixed players which gives you an opportunity to play with people of different skill level” – Conrad Yeung ‘18
Then there is the casual mode where people who aren’t ranked. It’s a more laid back experience compared to competitive, giving more cash, less restrictions and without the five-man limit. There’s also a variety of game modes that don’t fall under competitive, such as arms race and death match which are team based free-for-alls and help to keep players sharp when not playing competitive. In addition, it allows you to play with people on different skill levels, giving you an idea on how well you are performing compared to others around you. It also allows you to play on different maps and get familiar with them so when you play competitive, you know the best spots to play strategically and get the advantage of the game when you play competitively.
Aside from the actual gameplay, Counter-Strike also has a monetary aspect with a thriving market of skins and items. Although many items are worth just cents, one item was once sold for almost $24,000 and some of the higher end items can range from $40 to over $400. These skins can be acquired in several ways. Buying these items is one, but it can be expensive because the items are paid for directly via the official marketplace at full price. Websites not endorsed by Valve are also used for as a medium for paying, but they can be risky or suspicious.
Tony Zheng ‘18 said, “It’s boring, but I do it to make a profit.”
Trading is another way to acquire skins and there are success stories of starting out with $10 and making hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This process is usually slow and not amusing. It takes careful consideration of market trends,offers, and scams. However, when playing it smart, you can possibly make large amounts of money. Lastly, there’s betting, which is the polar opposite of purchasing items, being much riskier yet cheaper than buying the skins. During tournaments, you can bet on participating teams that usually have a reputation. Betting on underdogs can be a dangerous way of making a profit instantly, yet going all in on overdogs can lead to losing your entire inventory. Much like trading, careful decisions must be made.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive, despite a few issues, is overwhelmingly a popular and extremely entertaining game to play. Whether you don’t play Counter-Strike or aren’t fond of first person shooters in general, giving this game a try wouldn’t hurt too much, unless you are unwilling to spend $15 to purchase this game online.
Although games may seem to be unrealistic, quick thinking skills are applied to our daily lives. Gamers build a unique network which creates effective communication when played with friends. Some find games to be a way of relaxing during a stressful week.
Inspirational Quote: “Happiness is when you play the game so well that people call you a hacker.”- Anonymous