While many may have dreamed of playing video games for a living, few ever thought it would actually happen. The world of eSports has changed all that, with a huge number of people across the globe now taking part in and watching major tournaments where the best gamers in the world do battle to win major prize money. According to newzoo.com, revenues generated by eSports are set to reach a massive $696 million this year, with the figure predicted to reach an incredible $1.5 billion by 2020.
The competitive gaming world is vast and diverse, with competitions being held in relation to online battle arena titles like League of Legends, real-time strategy titles such as StarCraft II and even ball-based games like FIFA and Rocket League. However, one of the true big names of the eSports world is undoubtedly Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
A big name in eSports
Better known these days as CS:GO, the title is believed to be the third largest competitive gaming title in terms of prize money, with more than $35 million being awarded in total across an estimated 2,400 tournaments. Such is the popularity of the title that major bookmakers even now offer fans the chance to bet on the outcome of the biggest matches too. As of June 22nd for example, Betway eSports has Astralis as 5/2 favourites to win the eSports Championship Series. Furthermore, major sponsorship deals are now becoming increasingly commonplace.
The aforementioned Astralis were backed by automotive giant Audi at the start of this year, while companies such as Intel and YouTube are also lending their support to some major tournaments. Considering the surging popularity of CS:GO, which is pretty remarkable considering it was first launched in 2012, it is understandable that there is a continued effort to update the game and keep it fresh for existing gamers and new converts. This is why news of a new patch to update the title is not wholly surprising.
According to Dot eSports, the patch features two key aspects. First up, the update has nerfed the middle-map Cache wallbang. For the uninitiated, a wallbang is when a player shoots an opponent through a wall and this change is designed to prevent a situation in which Counter-Terrorists exiting from spawn to middle were being hit with major damage after being shot in such a manner.
The change was developed by map creator Shawn ‘FMPONE’ Snelling alongside the game’s developer Valve. Dot eSports reports that the second aspect of the patch is the addition of four weapon skins with so-called normal mapping, which adds 3D textures to previously more basic 2D skins. These include the SSG 08 Big Iron, the Desert Eagle Directive, the Glock 18 Wraiths and the M4A4 The Battlestar. There are now five normal mapped skins available for CS:GO, with these new additions joining with the CZ-75 Victoria.
It is obviously not uncommon for updates to be added to titles such as CS:GO, which has received a number of changes since its initial launch five years ago. The addition of skins actually only became part of the game 12 months after it launched, when in August 2013 the so-called ‘Arms Deal’ update was implemented. Other notable updates down the years have included the addition of music kits featuring a soundtrack by specially commissioned artists in 2014.
More to come?
However, the release of these latest weapon skins means hopes are now incredibly high for further similar updates to be introduced in the next month, particularly with one of CS:GO competitive gaming scene’s biggest events approaching. The PGL 2017 Krakow Major is set to take place in the Polish city’s Tauron Arena between July 16th and 23rd, with 16 teams from across the world expected to do battle for a share of the $1 million prize pool on offer. Qualification for the event is already underway, but hopes will be high that more skins and features will be announced so that CS:GO fans can watch the best players in the world make use of them on the biggest stage.
An exciting time for eSports
As we’ve already mentioned, the world of eSports has grown hugely in the past five years and is expected to have a very bright future too. With this in mind, it is vital for the big hitters in competitive gaming such as CS:GO to continue to refresh and reinvigorate their titles to keep them at the top of the eSports tree. This new update does just that, while offering a tantalising suggestion of further additions to come. We can’t wait.