Oct 4 2016 - 9:18 pm

CS:GO Lounge handled over $1 billion in bets this year

As the Counter-Strike skin gambling bubble burst earlier this year one of the most popular sites, CS:GO Lounge, was among those that shut down in their original form
Josh Raven
Dot Esports

As the Counter-Strike skin gambling bubble burst earlier this year one of the most popular sites, CS:GO Lounge, was among those that shut down in their original form. Now a new report has revealed just how profitable that business had been.

According to Will Green of LegalSports report, the site had handled over $1 billion worth of bets in 2016 before shutting down its skin betting operation in August.

This came in the form of roughly 103 million skins bet on around 2,800 matches throughout the year. This rounds out to almost $10 per skin, and 37,000 virtual items per match on average. Of course, some games drew more attention than others. Team Liquid versus SK Gaming at ESL One Cologne this Summer saw the exchange of over 320,000 skins, with matches in that tournament attracting well over $1 million worth of bets per game.

Lounge underwent radical changes earlier this year after game developer Valve released a statement condemning skin gambling, and changing the terms of service to forbid the use of trade bots.

CS:GO Lounge has since changed its business model to ‘coin betting’. New users are offered 100 coins after creating an account, however besides betting those there is no clear method of earning more. The menu currently features a greyed out option to earn coins. It is unknown whether this will require trading skins, or be purchasable with actual money.

Before its demise skin gambling had quickly developed into a big money business, with many sites taking cuts of all bets. It was profitable enough for some individuals to finally grab the attention of Valve, who are notorious for their lack of communication with the fanbase.

Streamers and personalities like Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and James “Phantomlord” Varga became embroiled in scandals about their undeclared ownership of gambling sites. Many of the sites shut down or changed their business model, and multiple lawsuits are currently pending from customers who feel they were allowed to bet unlawfully. 

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Jan 17 2017 - 4:42 pm

Ambitious CS:GO mod aims to capture the spirit of the Wild West

Did someone say Classic Offensive?
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Screengrab via JarroRus/YouTube

Two ambitious Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players want to take the game in a whole new direction.

Going by the names Jarro and CTX, this successful modding duo (who have released popular custom maps in the past), are looking at developing a fully functional and expansive add-on centered around the Wild West. This will be based on the foundation of Valve's extremely popular first-person shooter title CS:GO. Complete with brand new features such as combat on horseback as well as larger maps, the two developers have taken to crowdfunding in order to guarantee that CS:GO Western Add-on, as they have dubbed the mod, will be released within the next 6-8 weeks.

While the team's crowdfunding campaign is set at $1,000, Jarre and CTX have also set two other campaign goals at $400 and $700. The first two goals are centered primarily around necessary features such as dedicated servers for constant game testing, and introducing more unique assets and expansive maps to the mod.

If the two developers reach their crowdfunding goals, the mod will be completely free of charge and distributed via the Steam Workshop. Valve encourages enthusiasts and modders to produce their own custom games based off of the company's intellectual property. The most notable example being Counter-Strike itself, which started out as a mod of Valve's inaugural title in the Half-Life franchise.

For the time being, the mod is looking to feature three separate game modes: A standard player vs. player mode, team-based hostage scenarios, and finally a linear game play map featuring cut scenes and co-op game play.

If the wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 and the second season of Westworld is killing you, the Western Add-on should keep you occupied until then.