The game of Counter-Strike has long been a staple in the gaming industry. The popularity of the game has never diminished and is one of the few games out there that has been able to adapt and advance itself over a long period of time. It has gone through numerous enhancements when it started in 1999 and has evolved from Counter-Strike, to Counter-Strike Source, to what is now known as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
For those of you new to the game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) has many different formats and scenarios for both the casual and competitive gamer. The everyday gamer can easily go into any server and immediately enjoy the experience of Counter-Strike in a public server or “pub” as it is known in the gaming world. This is for your everyday gamer just looking to have fun and not necessarily looking to get into anything serious.
For the more competitive gamers, there are scrimmages, leagues , and tournaments. A competitive game of Counter-Strike is your typical 5v5 format, 5 terrorists and 5 counter-terrorists. The first choice you have to make is whether to be a counter-terrorist or a terrorist, which is typically pre-determined in league matches and tournaments.
Each team plays 15 rounds on each side (15 as terrorists and 15 as counter-terrorists), so with that, the first to 16 wins.
Now, how do you win a round? Each round is allotted a time of 1:45 seconds. A round is won if all of the team members of the opposition have been killed or if the bomb has exploded or has been defused with one tidbit. If the bomb is planted at anytime, that becomes priority over whether or not an entire team has been expired.
There are different weapons to choose from ranging from pistols, shotguns, and submachine guns to fully automatic rifles and machine guns. In public servers you’ll typically see the use of shotguns and machine guns as opposed to rifles and sub-machine guns which are more commonly used in more competitive matches due to price and effectiveness. In addition to weapons are grenades of all sorts that each serve a specific purpose. Smoke grenades offer cover, flashbangs can temporarily blind your opponent (or your own team if not used correctly), and HE grenades which can damage your opponent. Two new grenades have been introduced in CS:GO, decoy grenades and incendiary grenades. All of these just add to the effectiveness of the game and heightens the strategic planning behind a match.
The aspect of the game that keeps everyone so involved is that it is a game where team play and strategy can more than overcome individual talent. A lot of that teamwork and strategy is shown in leagues and tournaments around the world.
There have been numerous leagues and tournaments throughout the existence of Counter-Strike including Caleague (for online gaming) and CPL (for LAN tournaments) have come and gone and now ESEA has taken over in the states as the go-to for tournaments and leagues online. ESEA offers leagues at all levels as well as LANs through the country.
There is plenty of money to be made with LAN tournaments offering purses into 6 figures. There are many tournaments that take place overseas as well including SLTV StarSeries, FACEIT, and most recently ESL at Gamescom, where 2 of the 16 teams invited were Cloud9 and iBUYPOWER out of the United States as well as compLexity out of Canada to name a few.