The eSports industry has gained a huge amount of attention in recent years, as it’s grown into a massive business that moves billions of dollars across the planet.
CS:GO has become an important part of it and websites such as Jack’s House capitalize on it, by comparing skins and other game items. But, how does this happen and what can we expect to see next?
A Brief Look at the History of eSports
It seems clear that the current popularity of eSports owes a huge amount to streaming but should we class this as the start of the industry? Some sources simply state that competitive gaming began in 1972 when the emergence of home consoles made it possible to play our favorite games against others.
The Intergalactic Spacewar Olympics featuring Spacewar at Stanford University that same year is a strong contender as the first eSports event, but how did we get from there to the present situation?
It’s clear that people have been gaming on a competitive basis ever since the very first computer games were created. Classic games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and even Donkey Kong had their own tournaments at the end of the 20th century, with the Space Invaders event in 1980 arguably the first major competitive gaming tourney in history.
We can’t say for certain when playing against others turned into the massive eSports business that we can see now. Was it when big tournaments like the World Cyber Games were played? This event was first held in 2000, with over 170 players from around the planet taking part and aiming to win a share of the total of $20,000 in prize money.
The introduction of streaming services including Twitch and YouTube has certainly helped to lift eSports onto a new level, but before that people still watched the biggest events on TV. The first televised eSports game came in 2006, with Halo 2 covered by the USA Network. However, televised eSports never really took off.
The next major leap forward came in 2011 when Twitch began to operate. This immediately gave gamers a chance to interact with their audiences as they played. By late 2013, it had 45 million unique viewers and by the start of the following year, it had surged to become the fourth-biggest site in the US in terms of peak internet traffic.
How does CS:GO Fit into This Industry?
One of the reasons why eSports is now so popular is that we can follow different players and teams taking part in a variety of games. Call of Duty, Overwatch, and League of Legends are among the most popular eSports games, with many of them retaining this level of popularity since the very early days of streaming,
How does CS:GO fit in? This game was launched by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment in 2012 under the full title of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. A tactical first-person shooter that sees a team of Terrorists face up to a rival team of Counter-Terrorists, it quickly proved to be perfect for the new world of streaming where competitive gaming was starting to thrive.
The early reviews were hugely positive, as critics and the public alike enjoyed the gameplay and the different modes for playing it. Millions of players started playing it every month, which is a popularity level that has kept up through to the present time as currently the most played game using Steam.
A big change was introduced at the end of 2018, as CS:GO moved to a free-to-play basis, with revenue for the developers now coming from the in-game purchases of cosmetic items such as weapons and equipment.
What Does the Future Hold?
CS:GO is widely regarded as one of the very best eSports games ever created, with many tournaments held all over the world for players. The release of Counter-Strike 2 in 2023 using the Source 2 engine has cast some doubt over what will happen to CS:GO in the future though. Will this new, updated game replace the original as players make the switch?
Earlier this year, ESL – one of the leading names in CS:GO tournaments – said that they plan to carry on using the original game until switching to Counter-Strike 2 makes sense for everyone. Yet, when the new game was released, they announced the immediate switching of some tournaments as it became clear that the opportunities to practice on CS:GO were going to become less frequent.
Will players be happy to move over to playing the updated game? The new game has received very good reviews from critics, but the public is less convinced so far. Some people see it as being a downgrade from CS:GO with the perception of poorer performance and less impressive features leading to negative reviews.
This lukewarm reception and the continuing appeal of CS:GO might mean that amateur players are slower to switch over than the pros competing in major tournaments. However, it seems clear that Counter-Strike 2 should eventually take CS:GO’s place as one of the most popular games in the eSports world.