Lately there has been a ton of talk about the future of Counter-Strike and which game the community should support in order to have our beloved game thrive in the future, as it has for the past decade in the realm of eSports. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.
My personal opinion is probably clear to most avid readers of HLTV.org. I don't enjoy playing CS:GO nor do I plan on playing it in the future due to a myriad of reasons. I think CS 1.6 is the best game there is and I have a hard time seeing it topped, but I do think CSP can be just as good. If the top CS 1.6 players who I have tremendous respect for do however make the switch to CS:GO, I will likely watch some tournaments and then make up my mind on the game as a spectator. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can move on.
For the record, I am not saying you should focus all your energy on CSP, nor do I think you should necessarily fully support CS:GO, or even stick to CS 1.6. What I'm essentially preaching in this blog, is that you should play, follow and watch whatever game it is you enjoy yourself. Realistically, the fact is that HLTV.org, as the biggest Counter-Strike website, will follow the masses. If CS:GO picks up and becomes the main FPS title in the future, we will cover it. We've started posting some CS:GO related news recently and people have complained so Nomad added a filtering system so you don't have to see news for games you don't wish to follow. If CSP trumps the competition, we will cover that instead. Naturally CS 1.6 will be covered as long as there are tournaments. Whatever game it is that people follow in the future, I have full faith that HLTV.org will be the go-to site regardless of the title, as it has been for so many years.
How do you like CS:GO?
Personally I think one of the biggest flaws in CS:GO is that the game mimics CS:Source too much - it's obvious how big of an advantage being good at CS:S gives in the game, when the likes of f0rest, GeT_RiGhT and face (all of whom have been playing the game for a while now) can only get a few rounds against the best competition from the other CS title (VeryGames), who according to my sources, haven't played CS:GO much yet. A CS:S playing friend of mine told me he feels 100% comfortable in CS:GO after ten hours of gameplay because the two are so similar. That speaks volumes. I can't imagine people playing a game they don't like or aren't good at, and you have to enjoy playing a game to put in enough time to become good at it.
To me, the best part about Counter-Strike is its longevity and history, and without the main players at the top of today's scene switching over to CS:GO it's hard to imagine it being appealing to me. I don't think the games are similar enough to draw any direct links as to who will be the best in CS:GO, and talking about a player's achievements (or lack thereof) in a previous title makes little sense in the future if CS:GO takes over, thus eliminating what I considering the most interesting factor. I'm not interested in watching people I don't know play a game that I don't enjoy myself, but I can't say I wouldn't watch f0rest, NEO or markeloff play CS:GO. Similarly, I would probably watch CS 1.6 or CSP regardless, because the game titles are to my liking.
CSDM mode in CSP 1.09
To the average gamer or fan it could be totally different. Maybe playing a new game that you think you might become good at will motivate you, or maybe you simply do not care about the history and former professional CS 1.6 players. Maybe you enjoy playing CS:GO more than CS 1.6, CS:S or CSP. Maybe all of the above. There is nothing wrong with any of the choices, contrary to what you might read on the comments of even this website. All of this, ultimately, comes down to personal preference, much like settings. And much like settings, many fans will simply copy, or in this case, follow their favorite players, wherever they may go. You have the power to make your own choice.
I do believe CSP is close enough to CS 1.6 that all the same players would be at the top. Now I know what you might say - that's boring, and you need change. In that case, follow CS:GO. To me CSP would be the ultimate way to continue Counter-Strike's legacy. It's obvious CSP team needs more than new versions to make it a title possibly worth pursuing by event organizers, but they are working on it and I can only hope it works out. Best of all, should CSP be picked up as the new game, it would continue the history of CS 1.6. As for those considering the "by now outdated graphics", here is a look at how CSP 1.10 will look with new textures: http://redstar.cspromod.com/dust_box_wip.jpg
(leftside is CS:S, rightside if CSP) - and the game is fully portable to the newer engine CS:GO runs on for further graphical updates.
Outer bombsite on de_train of CSP 1.09
As for anyone trying to make others switch - it's not necessary. If a game is good enough, people will play it casually for fun and its scene will thrive as a result, which is likely to then lead to leagues and tournaments. If a game is good enough, it will build its own scene - it won't have to rely on taking players from others. Besides, if CS 1.6 community is too small for events like IEM, obviously that scene alone isn't enough to begin with, so what will likely determine the future of any new CS title is how the average gamer who might not even be playing CS yet, likes the game. Therefore, getting half of the CS 1.6 scene (which might be a realistic guess) to switch wouldn't make much of a difference. Look no further than League of Legends - if the casual gamers enjoy the game, it will thrive.
I don't think competition is a good reason to make the switch, unless your sole goal is to make money. We all started playing CS because we found the game enjoyable and fun, and the competitive aspect came afterwards. That is how it should be done with anything, and that is why you know the people at the top of the food chain saying you must switch for competition are only saying it because they have a powerful incentive for it - the more popular the game will be, the more money they are likely to make. If they enjoy the game, that is a whole another story, but when you read NBK's (a player from VeryGames, the best CS:S team) motivations to switch to CS:GO ("CS: GO is so crappy, I'll stick with CS 1.6/CSS!” is not the thought that you should be having, nor the attitude that will benefit the development of CS: GO as a competitive e-sports title in any way."), it seems obvious that's not the case.
The choice is yours, so let others make theirs as well.
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