The turn of the millennium marked the birth of a shooter video game that has effectively reshaped the gaming landscape and brought the entire playing experience to a whole new level.
The game in question is Counter Strike of course, a series of multiplayer first-person shooting video games where teams of counter-terrorists and terrorists battle their way through the enemy lines in order to prevent the act of terror which involves bombing and hostage-taking and vice versa.
The game has so far had four titles in the main series with three spin-off titles.
The latest release is called Counter Strike: Global Offensive which first saw the light of day in 2012. It still remains one of the most talked about video gaming titles, enjoyed by millions around the globe.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive is otherwise known simply as CSGO is arguably the best of all existing titles.
It received positive reviews from critics and was generally praised for staying true and faithful to the previous iterations in the series.
The overall gameplay has seen great improvements being made to the game across platforms and although the console version was the one to receive best reviews, the game is equally enjoyed on PC as well.
CSGO is a title that enjoys great popularity within the eSport gaming leagues and competitions. Counter Strike developer – Valve Corporation – organizes and co-sponsors a series of CSGO tournaments and events with the best of them referred to as ‘Majors’.
The events come with large prize pools and have gained plenty of media attention over the past few years. One of the reasons for the hype around them is betting which followed the increase of game’s popularity and has long begun to draw plenty of legal attention.
Betting on CSGO
The Global Offensive teams competing in major eSport events gain profit through in-game purchases, such as keys and special in-game cosmetics which usually include team and player stickers, or graffiti which are sprayed in maps during each round.
The promotional and marketing potential is evident and it was just the matter of time when the negative aspects of betting occurred in this highly-popular game.
In January 2015 Valve Corporation banned seven players that had fixed a match, betting on their opponent and intentionally losing in order to win tens of thousands of dollars in ‘skins’ – cosmetic items which were introduced through the Arms Deal update in 2013.
Skins have quickly become a virtual currency due to their desirability which resulted in the creation of several skin trading sites and third-party venues which allowed users to bet on the outcome of the professional matches with skins.
In the summer of 2016 formal lawsuits were filed against several gambling sites and Valve corporation, stating they encouraged underage gambling and undisclosed promotion. Valve initially did nothing to censure skin gambling sites or discourage people from suing them, but the company ultimately took legal steps to prevent third-party venues use its Steamworks API for gambling purposes.
Several of the betting and gambling sites were shut down as a result as CSGO skin betting remains a hot topic in the gaming world.