How Esports Works: The Legacy of Counter-Strike


When it comes to first-person shooter (FPS) esports that interested parties should know about, one of the biggest names that comes to mind is Counter-Strike Database-Link-e1521645463907. First released in 2000, the asymmetrical shooter has proven lasting power, combined with a developer that has embraced evolution to meet the demands of its players and fans. Here’s what you need to know about Counter-Strike and its latest iteration Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

What is Counter-Strike?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the latest in a series of a competitive FPS titles that have come to define a major part of the esports industry. Originally designed as a modified version of popular 1998 FPS Half-Life, the game has since seen multiple iterations and releases from developers working in partnership with Valve Corporation Database-Link-e1521645463907. The result is a game that has always been one of the top-played games on the PC gaming platform Steam.

The game itself revolves around two separate teams, one designated as the “Terrorists” and the other “Counter-Terrorists”. Rounds are played out with asymmetrical gameplay: each side has different weapons, win conditions, and strategies. The game’s main competitive mode, Bomb Defusal, is centered around Terrorists attempting to plant a bomb and protect it until it goes off, while the Counter-Terrorists focus on eliminating the terrorists or, if the bomb has been planted, defusing it.

In competitions, teams play in Best-of-30 matches, switching sides halfway through. Economy is also a very important element, as actions that help your team (such as killing an enemy or planting/defusing the bomb) earn you money that you can spend at the beginning of the next round. Teams must strategize about whether to upgrade their weapons and equipment, or save money for later. Players can also swap weapons with others on their team, or even pick up a weapon dropped by a dead enemy. These and other elements add significant complexity to competitive strategies, making teamwork and communication key components to any serious match.

What is the history of Counter-Strike?

The game was officially adapted from its status as a mod by Valve from in 2000, and would see multiple releases on different engines over the next decade. This era saw the rise and fall of numerous large esports initiatives, with the two most notable being the Cyberathlete Pro League (CPL) and Championship Gaming Series (CGS); both are examples of the failings of early attempts at big-budget esports leagues.

The CPL, a hodge-podge of various games that featured CS from 2000-2007, was at one point the pinnacle of competitive gaming. With its amateur offshoot, CPL included over 300,000 participants, hundreds of international events, and over $3 million in prizes. Suddenly, in 2008, the league ceased operation and was sold to foreign investors who subsequently squandered the brand.

The CGS, on the other hand, is a classic case of overspending and under-planning. Launched in 2007 in partnership with DirecTV, and promising to be a new era of CS, the CGS ultimately failed to deliver, starving the rest of the scene in the process. This colorful retrospective by esports journalist Richard Lewis documents the collapse of CPL and its effect on the game as a whole.

Still, CS was given new life with the release of its latest version Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2012, perfectly timed to take advantage of the rise of streaming services like Twitch Database-Link-e1521645463907. Under a semi-watchful eye from Valve, CS:GO has once again risen to the top of the esports industry.

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