Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is set to have another explosive year in 2015.
The latest iteration of the venerable first-person shooter series is getting more attention from its developer, Valve. That includes more support at the competitive level, with numerous major tournaments slated for this year. Established esports organizations like Major League Gaming, which hosted the well-received X-Games Invitational in January, are getting involved, and both the player base and viewership continue to rise.
But as we stand on the precipice of even greater growth for the game, it’s worth looking back at where it all started, more than a decade ago. One of the most memorable aspects of those early days are the highlight reels, or “frag movies” as they were called at the time, that players and community members produced.
The first of these movies to really achieve widespread acclaim in the Counter-Strike community was “Frag or Die,” first released in 2002.
Created by Andreas “bds” Thorstensson, the movie features clips taken from various versions of the game reaching all the way back to pre-1.0. It stars players like Jonas “Johnny R” Bollack, Erik “Da Bears” Stromberg and Emil “Heaton” Christensen, as well as such teams as Mafia, Nordic Division and X3.
Later entries increased the production values, such as heavily-produced and edited “Ruination.” Here, Griffin “Shaguar” Benger and Ola “Element” Moum have their talents on display.
Frag movies became a great way to show off your editing talents while also working with the game you loved. As a result, those production values just got more and more elaborate. By the time “Annihilation” had arrived, many movies overused editing techniques and had become hard to watch. This example, featuring Wiktor “Taz” Wojtas and Dennis “Walle” Wallenberg, shows the limit to which these amateur movie makers could push things while still maintaining watchability.
No list of classic Counter-Strike frag movies would be complete without an appearance by “Pubmasters.” Sure, some raised questions over whether the events in the highlight reel had been staged. But there’s no denying the entertainment value here, especially to those whose judgment will be tinted by a dose of warm nostalgia.
May the spirit of the Pubmasters live on in all of us.
Screengrab via Beerbatov/YouTube