Counter-Terrorists Win. CS: GO’s eSports Scene

First-person shooter (FPS) games have dominated the gaming industry for over two decades. Sure, other video game genres had their run, but FPS games have picked up a seemingly unstoppable momentum since their inauguration.

Among the best, long-standing FPS competitive PC games is Counter-Strike. This fast-paced, competitive, and team-oriented FPS was developed by Valve Corporation, with its first iteration released in 2000.

The gameplay is a classic format of attack and defense between two teams – the terrorists and counter-terrorists – that battle it out to detonate a bomb or eliminate the enemy. To date, Counter-Strike is the biggest FPS eSports title worldwide, with new players joining every day.

In 2012, Valve released one of their best Counter-Strike iterations, commonly known as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO). The game features new characters, weapons, and maps and offers updated versions of the classic CS maps like Nuke, Inferno, and Train.

Have you ever wondered what goes into setting up a CS: GO competitive league and how the eSport is operated? Here are a few details as to how CS: GO operates as a competitive eSport.

Objective: Securing the Bomb Site, Understanding CS: GO’s Gameplay and Ruleset

Objective Securing the Bomb Site, Understanding CS_ GO’s Gameplay and Ruleset

CS: GO is a free-to-play FPS video game, part of the Counter-Strike series. The game has several adjustments to the original gameplay formula of the Counter-Strike series. For instance, the game has better maps, advanced weapons, and bullet penetration ability, among other things.

CS: GO has nine official game modes, including:

  • Competitive
  • Wingman
  • Casual
  • Deathmatch
  • Demolition
  • Arms Race
  • Danger zone
  • Retakes
  • Flying Scoutsman

Let’s explore how the competitive game mode – the primary gameplay experience – occurs.

How a competitive CS: GO game works


The competitive game mode is the gameplay that placed Counter-Strike on the map. It involves two teams (Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists) of five people competing in a best-of-30 match using typical competitive Counter-Strike rules.

The game is played in two halves of 15 rounds each, with each round limited to 1 minute 55 seconds. The Terrorists win by killing all Counter-Terrorists or detonating the bomb at one or two of the designated bomb sites.

On the other hand, the Counter-Terrorists win by defusing the bomb(s) or eliminating all the terrorists. The two teams swap roles after 15 rounds, with the first team to win 16 rounds emerging the winner.

Players are given a 15-second window to buy rescue or defuse kits, weapons, and armor and manage their in-game economy to maximize their chances of winning. This game mode provides its players with unique Skill Groups, with ratings ranging from Silver 1 to Global Elite.

These aren’t the only CS: GO objectives, though.

As a player, you don’t just spawn with your favorite armor. Instead, all players receive some funds at the beginning of each round, which they need to ration as the game progress. A player can earn extra cash in different ways, including eliminating opponents and winning the round.

This means that without the right strategy, a team can go from being fully loaded to having just pistols within a few rounds. But such players can also climb back to having the best gear by winning rounds.

This extra strategy and frequent opportunities for better-than-usual performances make CS: GO one of the most entertaining eSports. Let’s see more about how the game’s competitive mode works, from the start to the winning round.

Start the round


Every half starts with a pistol round, and every player is given $800 that they can use to buy more powerful ammunition. Players randomly spawn in one of the predefined locations in their team’s spawning site. A terrorist is randomly picked to carry the bomb.

The game then enters 15 seconds where players can’t move and spend their funds to buy ammunition and other important equipment. After the 15-second freeze period, the round starts.

The equipment and weapons in the possession of the surviving players are forwarded to the next round, provided it’s not the beginning of another half.

Winning round


The Terrorists are given a three-second period to plant the bomb then the round timer becomes 40 seconds. This time is not dependent on the time remaining in the round, meaning that early bomb plants reduce the round while a late one prolongs it.

The Counter-Terrorists need five seconds and ten seconds with and without a bomb defuse kit, respectively, to defuse the bomb. A successful deactivation of the bombs means that the Counter-Terrorists win the round.

If the bomb is already planted and all Terrorists are eliminated, the round waits until the bomb is detonated or deactivated to determine the winner.

Again, the game is free to play and welcomes new players from all over the world to learn and compete in the game. If you’re a beginner, experts recommend perfecting your accuracy at aiming – that’s what wins you most games.

CS: GO Majors


Majors are the highest level of Counter-Strike competition and require individually skilled players that work well together as a team. With four domestic competitive leagues, Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania, the qualification process for every major is intense.

To get invited, teams must be in the top ranks of their Regional Major Rankings before the next tournament. And although the majors are different, most of them will require the individual teams to go through qualifiers.

The winning team is given the designated awards, mainly cash prizes. Teams coming in second, third and later are also awarded.

Among the best Majors is the Rio Major, which will take place this year Jeunesse Arena from October 30, 2022, to November 11, 2022. The majors have 24 teams, and the winning team will get $1 million.

The teams also must follow tournament-specific rules, most of which can be found on this website.

Final thoughts

Final thoughts

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is undoubtedly one of the best FPS video games, and for a reason. The game is packed with everything gamers want, from strategy and skills to speed.

And although the game hasn’t undergone any fundamental changes over the last decade, the gaming community have found ways to continue learning and getting better at the game. Subtle improvements and intense skill training make the CS: GO community one of the most competitive and tightly knit.

Do you play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? Be sure to share any of your favorite tips in the comments!