Esports has grown massively as an industry over the past decade. We have gone from playing video games against each other on the same console and in the same room to competing against players from around the planet online. From the latest online video games to live casino games, the internet has opened a new world in terms of competitive gaming. Counter-Striker: Global Offensive is one of the biggest games in the eSports industry and with CS2 around the corner, are we going to see a big increase in eSports fan engagement?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike 2 is going to be the latest instalment of the popular Counter-Strike online game. Counter-Strike was first released by Valve in 2000 and the most recent version of the game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CS:GO was the fourth release by Valve in the series and the game is a multiplayer tactical first-person shooter running on the Source engine. Such is the popularity of CS:GO, it has become one of the world’s leading eSports scenes, with events taking place throughout the year. There is often more than US$1,000,000 in prize money and millions of fans from around the world have tuned in to watch the major tournaments. However, with the original CS:GO having been released in 2012, there were fears among some eSports fans that it was beginning to lose its appeal.
Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 in March 2023 and there has been plenty of excitement and rumours ahead of a potential release in the summer. This will not only be the first new version of the game to be released in over a decade but it will also utilise the Source 2 engine. Perhaps most importantly for fans of the game, CS2 will come as a free upgrade for anyone who already plays CS: GO. There are going to be changes to the gameplay, including smoke interacting with other gameplay events and seeping into other areas of the map naturally, such as doorways, stairs, and open windows.
It seems smoke is going to play a significant role in the new version of the game and it already has fans talking about what to expect in the big eSports events. There has been plenty of chatter regarding how the new smoke mechanic can be exploited and the top players in the best teams will already be working on ways to use the new responsive smoke to their advantage. There has also been a significant increase in the value of many skins in the Counter-Strike marketplace. As players can continue playing the new game as they left off from the previous version, some weapons have increased in value. Much like the new smoke mechanic, this has led to a lot of discussion about the game and driven up fan engagement.
The release of an updated version of any popular online gaming title is going to cause a stir. That is certainly the case with CS2 and there is sure to be an increase in eSports fan engagement when the first events using the new version of the game are announced.
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