When Did CSGO Come Out?

Throughout its years of being in the mainstream, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive became one of the most respected and influential esports titles in the whole world. The game’s mechanics, particularly its focus on strategic weapon purchases, economy management, and round-based gameplay, laid the groundwork for tactical shooters across various genres. So just exactly when was CS:GO released? Let’s take a look at one of the longest-standing installments of a franchise that started out as  aaa simple Half-Life mod.

When Did CS:GO Release?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released to the general public on August 21, 2012. It was shipped as the lone successor to both the Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike 1.6 titles with the aim of uniting both sets of players into one main line game. CS:GO was available on Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on launch, with support for the Linux operating system arriving nearly two years later on September 23, 2014.

Global Offensive stayed true to the franchise with the same principles in mind when it came to gameplay and even kept iconic fan-favorite maps such as Dust 2 and Inferno. New movement mechanics and gunplay were also evident upon release, with many professional players and casual gamers complaining about the evident differences to the Source and 1.6 installments of the franchise.

What Happened After Release?

Since its release, Valve kept pushing out content updates and optimizations on top of the base game. The Arms Race Operation gave birth to the concept of weapon finishes or skins and the ability to buy and sell them on the Steam market with real life money. CS:GO’s in-game loot boxes called weapon cases were also introduced as the primary way to obtain skins, which provided another avenue for optional microtransactions to those that care about aesthetics. 

Music Kits were made available in the game for the first time in late 2014, bringing new flavors to a player’s experience in place of the classic sound Global Offensive was known for. International brands and artists eventually started partnering with Valve to get their sound into the game itself, with many high-profile names sharing their creations with the CS:GO community over time.

When Was CS:GO Made?

Valve started their development on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2010, a decade removed from the original Counter-Strike game’s debut. They didn’t work alone, however, and reached out to independent game development company Hidden Path Entertainment to collaborate on the new game. Hidden Path originally wanted to port CS: Source out of just desktop operating systems and onto major game consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation, but when Valve approached them the decision was made to create a new game altogether. It was in development for two years until its release in September 2012, with reasons such as an overall facelift in terms of graphics and to appeal to a new group of gamers with more polished gameplay than its predecessors. The developers built the game on the Source 2 engine, a huge jump from Counter-Strike: Source’s original Source engine and Counter-Strike 1.6’s GoldSrc engine.

Who Were Good Back Then?

CS:GO’s legacy in its early stages cannot be completely discussed and given respect without mentioning the most awe-inspiring professional teams and players of the time. In a world where CS Source and 1.6 were viewed as the norm for so long, the adjustment to Global Offensive came much easier for some which led to some historic records and professional matches. When CS:GO came out, there weren’t a ton of teams that anyone could say were truly world class. On top of the list are undeniably the all-Swedish Ninjas in Pyjamas squad of Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Adam “friberg” Friberg, Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson, and Richard “Xizt” Landström. NIP went on an 87-0 map win streak at LAN events from September 2012 to April 2013 as the undisputed most dominant organization of the time. Their record was eventually broken by, however no team has even come close to beating what the star-studded Ninjas in Pyjamas of CS:GO’s early age achieved – not even Astralis who are considered the most successful CS:GO dynasty of all time.

Next on the list are the previously mentioned, whose most successful area came with a purely Polish lineup comprising Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas, Filip “NEO” Kubski, Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski, Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, and Paweł “byali” Bieliński. Though this is a completely different roster from that which ended NIP’s unbeaten streak, they had their fair share of spectacular battles with the Swedes starting in 2014. The five-stack referred to as the “Virtus Plow” for their ability to demolish opponents without breaking a sweat had their crowning moment at ESL Major Series One Katowice 2014, the second-ever CS:GO Major, with a 2-0 grand final victory over none other than Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Last but certainly not the least are fnatic, another Swedish powerhouse that fielded Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquis, Andreas “znajder” Lindberg, Jonatan “Devilwalk” Lundberg, and Markus “pronax” Wallsten. The team came to fruition right at the end of NIP’s dominance and cemented their legacy in the game’s history books forever by winning the inaugural CS:GO Major, DreamHack Winter 2013, 2-1 in the grand final against Ninjas in Pyjamas. Sure, there are now better teams than fnatic especially considering the state of modern Counter-Strike, but no one can ever erase the fact that they were first. The first Major Champions, first two-time Major Champions, first back-to-back Major Champions, and first three-time Major Champions. Their records stood for years until Astralis’ domination ushered in a new era of CS:GO, but there’s no denying the greatness that once was.

How Old Is CS:GO?

As of March 2024, CS:GO is around 12 years and seven months old. The game itself, however, is no longer playable as Valve removed any form of access to the game from the Steam platform. Its successor, Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), has taken its place in the Steam shop and players’ game libraries worldwide.

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