The Counter-Strike community has gone wild ever since the announcement of Counter-Strike 2 set to fully launch sometime this summer. As over a million players rushed to see if they’d earned exclusive rights to the closed beta for CS2, Valve quietly dropped another massive bombshell update about their next title. Counter-Strike 2 would not only allow all CS:GO players to port over their precious inventories of skins, but it also would add visual updates to enhance the colors and textures of said skins. Ever since that announcement, the market around skins has exploded.
Across the board, a wave of inflation has hit skins on the Steam Marketplace, with markups ranging anywhere from 50 to even 75 percent. One of the most incredible examples is the Factory New Bayonet Marble Fade. In late March, the skin sold for around $850. Now in late April, it is priced at nearly $1500 on the Steam Marketplace. That’s an increase of 76 percent for a skin that was already valuable and pricey.
When it comes to the Marble Fade pattern, though, it doesn’t have a huge visual update so far in the CS2 beta. What about skins that have been shown to have received a glow-up in the new Counter-Strike installment? Look no further than the MP9 Hot Rod, which has also seen a notable price hike. Using the same parameters as the Marble Fade, a Factory New Hot Rod was selling for about $35 a month ago. Now just 30 days later, with all the hype of the new CS, the cheapest one on the market sells for a staggering $70. That is straight-up double what it sold for previously, showcasing the power that the CS2 hype is bringing to the skins market.
Somehow, that isn’t even the most egregious markup so far. Introducing the Factory New Glock-18 Twilight Galaxy, a skin that was met with criticism from the community for its lack of pop for a skin based on clusters of stars. Those complaints have been put to rest in CS2, with the skin grabbing arguably the best visual update of them all, and the market for the skin reflects it. A month ago, this skin sold for just about $75. Now, on April 22, the cheapest one on the market sits at $315. That is a record-holding 420-percent markup, more than four times the price just thirty days prior.
This chaotic inflation isn’t just hitting the skins themselves, as the ever-popular CS:GO cases have also seen huge price jumps since the announcement of CS2. Both the Chroma and Chroma 2 cases have nearly doubled in price from $1.75 to $3.50, and already pricier, older cases like the Huntsman case have jumped from $7.65 to nearly eleven bucks in a month’s time. The hype has led to some players not wanting to pay up for the inflated skins and trying their luck at grabbing them out of the case instead.
Also, players looking to make a quick buck have begun opening a ton of extra cases in hopes of grabbing rare items to cash in on with the massive inflation across the market. In fact, this March was so popular for cases that players set the individual record for cases opened in a month at around 39.5 million cases.
Currently, Counter-Strike 2 still holds a soft launch date of summer 2023. More players are gaining access to the closed beta, and Valve is actively working to tweak the game and prep it for launch in the coming months. With about a month of the hype over with, it seems like skin prices are only going to continue to rise, potentially until the game’s release.