- In the world of esports, CS:GO has its own place at the top of ladder alongside League of Legends and Dota 2. But, what makes CS:GO such a successful esports game? Let’s find out.
Unlike many other games, Counter-Strike hasn’t lost traction over the years. Since its creation in 1999, Counter-Strike has been one of the most popular esports games out there. Right from the beginning, gamers started organizing events where they competed against each other. But, unlike some incredibly popular games such as Quake, World of Warcraft and others, Counter-Strike didn’t lose its fame. On the contrary, it matured as an esports game.
Of course, there used to be much more popular games than CS:GO. Yes, we talk about Battle Royale games that saw a huge success at the end of 2017. But, as we can see, the hype about these games decreased at the same speed as it grew up. PUBG, Fortnite, and Apex Legends are still some of the most popular games at the moment, but it’s questionable if they are going to survive long enough to completely overshadow games such as LoL, CS:GO and Dota, which have been around for many years.
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Apparently, the current iteration of Counter-Strike inherited all the glory of the legendary CS 1.6, and furthermore, it reached new heights in the esports industry. In the last 30 days, at one point, CS:GO reached the second-highest number of average players, and at the moment of writing this article, according to Steam Charts, CS:GO has the highest number of average players per day counting the last 30 days. This tells us that this game is not going to die soon.
However, the question is – what makes CS:GO such a successful esports game? Let’s find out.
1. Simple Concept
The biggest part of this article is actually going to talk about how simple, and yet complex, CS:GO is. The most famous person of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication“. CS:GO is actually showing to us what he really meant when he said that.
To begin with, the whole concept of CS:GO as an esports game is very simple and easy to understand. You don’t have to be a scientist to figure out how you can win the round and game in CS:GO. There are two teams with five players each. The goal of one team is to defend the bombsites and stay alive. The goal of the other team is to plant the bomb and defend it until it explodes or to eliminate all remaining opponents before time expires. So, the main objectives of the game are very simple and straight forward.
Nevertheless, despite a very simplistic concept, each game can be played out in hundreds of different ways. There are thousands of possible scenarios and the probability of repeating the exact same round is almost non-existent. On top of that, this game is supported by several great maps where we can see the full potential of this game and its competitiveness. That’s only one of the things that makes CS:GO so successful Esports game.
2. The Game Inside Of The Game (Economy System)
Another thing that makes CS:GO so great is its economy system. This lifts the competitiveness of CS:GO to completely different level. Unlike the majority of other FPS games, CS:GO is not all about gunfights and who has better aim. In order to win most of the rounds in CS:GO and come out victorious, each team has to take care of their money.
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However, Valve thought it would be a good idea to make games closer and to give both teams more equal chances. Opinions on this update are many and different. Some claims that forcing more guns and gunfights was a good thing for CS:GO, and others state it just took away excitement and emotions from the game as there are not as many crucial moments as there used to be.
But nevertheless, the economy system remains one of the most important features of this game and one of the things that makes CS:GO successful Esports game.
3. Simple Mechanics (fun before realism)
Apparently, CS:GO is not one of the most realistic games for many reasons. Maybe it’s not ARMA 3, but it’s not Overwatch either. It has a perfect balance of realism and fun gameplay. It’s mechanics are very basic and simple. The movement is very smooth and it gives us a certain dose of satisfaction as our player in the game follows each of our keyboard and mouse actions very precisely. It makes us feel like we are in full control of our character in the game.
Additionally, the fact that boosts, run boosts, bunny hops and similar things are possible in the game just gives another dimension to CS:GO. Also, the way that weapons and sprays work is just another thing that makes CS:GO so successful Esports game.
4. Easy To Learn and Watch (hard to master)
When it comes to basics, CS:GO is perhaps the easiest game to learn. You don’t have to have almost any previous experience with CS to jump right into the game. Of course, your performance is not going to be very good, but after only a few games, you will understand everything you need to play the game.
Nevertheless, although CS:GO is easy to learn, it’s very hard to master. There are many minuscule details you need to look after and you are not even aware of them. You need to master economy, spray controls, maps, movement, game sense, nades line-ups, teamwork and dozens of other things. It’s very hard to be good at CS:GO and only a few manage to reach the top level.
The same things apply to watching CS:GO as well. Anyone would be able to understand what’s going on only after a few games. Even people who are not into esports can enjoy watching CS:GO, because everyone can get the basics of this game. There are no multiple champions, objectives, separated teams (like in Battle Royale games that are generally hard to follow), and so on. There are only five same players per team and only one C4 bomb that needs to find its way to one of two bombsites.
— Dave Harris (@daveharrisAUS) May 5, 2019
However, although you don’t have to be an expert to watch CS:GO, you will not be able to see a broad picture of what’s going on unless you have a lot of experience playing the game. You won’t understand why certain player threw particular flashbang or nade, and you will not understand why at some point, CTs decided to just fall back instead of retaking the bombsite.
5. Game Is Accessible
Of course, one of the most important things that make CS:GO successful and popular is its accessibility. Before it became free-to-play, CS:GO wasn’t an expensive game. But, when Valve made CS:GO free-to-play, it increased the userbase drastically as no one had to spend a single dime to get this game.
The free-to-play is not the only thing that makes CS:GO accessible. One of the most popular Esports games also doesn’t require an extremely good PC configuration. On the contrary, you can play this game with very old PCs and you still get reasonably good FPS. Moreover, you can always lower your settings and resolution, and it can only improve your performance and game as most pro players play with low settings and resolution.
6. The Intensity Of The Game
There are not so many intense and competitive games such as CS:GO. In this game, everything is happening very quickly, and you don’t have to wait much for action and combat. CTs and Ts can meet each other in only a few seconds on all maps. Furthermore, even when you don’t fight you do something that requires high-level focus. You either gather some valuable information, or you are flanking your opponents, or you are throwing nades. However, there are not going to be so much time in the game when you don’t do anything.
On top of that, the gratification is instant and it comes faster than in any other shooter game. You can literally feel how your bullets are hitting hitboxes on your target and it causes a huge amount of satisfaction.
Additionally, this game requires constant communication with your teammates. You always need to communicate with them and you all watch each other’s back. This makes you feel like you make strong connection with other people while playing CS:GO. When you get killed because your teammate didn’t provide you with the information he had, you literally feel like someone betrayed you in real life. This works the other way around as well. When your teammate saves you, you feel an enormous amount of gratitude towards him. This makes CS:GO so addictive and at the same time so successful Esports game.
With these reasons alone, made it possible for CS:GO to be considered one of the top esports games in the industry. We have a feeling it will be around for a long time. In the meantime, enjoy every bit of it.
Article featured image credit to @Vondle