Counter-Strike Global Offensive is now to Free to Play and features a Battle Royale mode. All Game Modes are now free for everyone to play and is Valve’s way of keeping the game alive. This move has been controversial so let’s take a look at why it has faced backlash from the community.
Counter-Strike Global Offensive originally released in 2012 and received a mixed reception. Over time, the game got a lot of improvements and everyone moved to this including the 1.6 professionals. The game kept getting updates in the form of Operations which added timed game modes and maps for a small fee. Along with Operations came the various Cases which featured Skins for weapons.
In the beginning, these were somewhat frequent but as the years went on, we were lucky to get maybe 2 or 1 operation in a year. The community was always vocal about the lack of new maps and content but were still ok since they were promised Panorama UI which took ages to get released but after it finally did people were happy. However, now that this was done, players expected an Operation or a new game mode but nothing came of it until now.
The Bomb Has Been Planted
The new Battle Royale game mode is a much-needed inclusion to the game to help get players back and to keep it fresh with something new for the old players to try out. Now, I’m going to voice my opinion about the change to F2P which some are praising and some are quite against.
CSGO’s matchmaking was never perfect. You never know when you’ll rank up or down, a lot of cheaters which have reduced thankfully in recent times, a huge number of smurf accounts and there’s also a bunch of toxic players whom you may encounter. To help with this they used Trust Factor, something that matches you with someone of a similar Trust Factor(I had a low TF for reasons I do not know). There was also Prime Matchmaking which needed you to verify your account with a phone number that couldn’t be linked with another account and needed you to rank up to level 21. While not perfect, Prime matchmaking was better than just using Trust Factor because it usually matched you with people who had put in the hours and had gone through the “pain” of linking a number to their account.
Now that the game is free, everybody who previously owned the game gets Prime status and for new players, you can just buy Prime status. That means that smurfs and cheaters can easily switch accounts and have more accounts than before with Prime to mess about in the game. While the game will have an increased player base now, the quality of matches, in my opinion, will deteriorate simply because there’s a higher chance of playing with or against a cheater/troll/smurf.
Unless you have ESEA or Faceit, your Matchmaking experience won’t be as good as before. And all we get for having owned CSGO previously is a medal and a skin. To me, it feels like Valve is trying even harder now to cash in on that Skins money because more players will have access to the game now. If they manage to improve the Matchmaking or implement a new system that works better, I think everyone will be happy about this move but for now, it feels like they’re throwing the old players under the bus just to get in more players.
Defusing the Situation
The game was getting stale but they added two new maps from the community lately and have been upgrading the older maps one by one. They’ve changed the meta a little bit to help change the way the game is played. What they now need to do is work on the Matchmaking System and improve it while also adding 128 tick servers because Gaben knows everyone has been asking for it for ages now. If they do that and also add Operations or new content on a somewhat frequent basis, they won’t have to worry about the player base leaving or declining.
The Esports side of CSGO has been going quite well and is growing as the days go by and with the move to F2P, we can hope to see even more new players who will try to enter the pro scene. And if Valve can improve their whole matchmaking and competitive system, people might not even have to migrate to ESEA/ Faceit to improve themselves and have a good time.
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