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A Different Side Of Gaming - CS:GO: The Beginning

Image: Fitz

Over the past several months, I have delved into the world of Counter Strike: Global Offensive so you didn’t have to.

I have never been huge on first person shooters. In my mind, Call Of Duty peaked at the first Black Ops, and the whole PC Master Race claptrap was just that- a bunch of nonsense with their excessive framerates and pixel densities. I just wanted a good story, or perhaps some sort of tactical gameplay. Strategy and JRPG-style games are my jam, bonus points for a combination of the two.

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That was until I started a new job, and several of my work colleagues were obsessed with CS:GO and convinced me to buy and download the game on my laptop, which I thought was fairly capable at the time.

The Benchmark

I started playing casually with some of my work colleagues, and, unsurprisingly, I got rekt pretty hard. I thought nothing of it, I’m new to this after all. I honestly played to humor my colleagues (at first).

One of them, an avid PC builder, suggested I run a benchmark downloaded off the Steam workshop. Running that benchmark shattered all the faith I had in my little laptop, clocking an average of 23 frames per second at the lowest settings.

This became a blessing in disguise, as this colleague decided to lend me a much more adequate build of his that I eventually bought. I also bought a few peripherals from another colleague to complete my setup.

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Even then, I preferred to play other games. CS:GO was a social experience, but not much more than that. But I had begun to realize that, in some games, frames matter. Counter Strike is one of those games.

The Skins

AWP Dragon Lore sells at thousands of dollars!
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I was amazed to discover that there were skins, skins, worth thousands of dollars. Cosmetic items that made absolutely no difference to the gameplay essentially functioning as a cryptocurrency that could be bought, sold, traded, or gambled. This is not something I have personally gotten into, but is fascinating nonetheless.

Competitive Matchmaking

The skill group badges have been updated somewhat, but haven’t changed drastically
Image: tobyscs.com
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Herein lies the real meat of CS:GO. It is first and foremost a competitive game where players are matched by Valve’s ELO wizardry against other players of a similar skill.

The unranked player’s journey begins by winning up to 2 games a day for a total of 10 wins, at which point the player is bestowed a skill group.

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Nobody outside of Valve knows how the ELO system they created for CS:GO really works. There are educated guesses at best.

I decided to give it a go eventually, and earned the skill group (more commonly and erroneously referred to as a rank) of Silver Elite Master, top of the trash pile.

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This was meant to be a once off, but instead, it has evolved into a series since there was too much info to put into one article.

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Next time, I will diverge a little, and talk about the Dark Side of CS:GO. Feel free to share your thoughts or comments below! (You know you want to!)

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