The complete guide for Counter Strike: Global Offensive esports scene

Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), is a multiplayer first-person shooter game, developed by Valve and released on several platforms, with significant popularity coming from Steam releases on PC. The game features several maps, all with different intricacies that are heavily utilised in competitive play, however, all maps feature two teams fighting against each other to attempt to win 16 rounds.

Each CS:GO match features a total of 30 rounds of almost 2 minutes each in normal gameplay, with 6 additional rounds in overtime periods if the match is level after 30 rounds. During each round, two teams of five players try to secure different objectives to win the round. On one side, the “Terrorists (T)” seek to win the round by either a) eliminating all five “Counter-Terrorist (CT)” members or b) planting and exploding a bomb on one of two sites (the A or B site).

CT players however, have the objective of a) killing all T-side players b) diffusing the bomb or c) both killing the T-Side players AND defusing the bomb, should it be planted prior to the T-side being eliminated.

Weapons and player positions

CS:GO has an array of weapons that can be used however, as with most competitive games, there are meta choices that make particular weapons stand out and provide more utility and usefulness overall. In addition, there are meta weapons that pertain to each team, depending on which side of the map is being played.


Pistols: At the start of each half, both the T and CT players start with default pistols, known as the Glock-18 for the T-side and the P2000 for the CT squad. The pistol round is one of the more important rounds in CS:GO as it sets up a lot of the momentum and economic advantages that have to be juggled as the game progresses. Economic management is pivotal during a match, as a team must balance who to prioritise particular weapons towards, while also ensuring that they have enough money throughout the team to ensure that a round can be won. If a team is behind with little money, they may decide to take an “eco-round”, where only pistols are bought, to build the team’s money and minimise losses.

M4A4: The meta rifle for the CT squad. The M4A4 is an automatic rifle, with moderate recall and a high accuracy, which is used by most of the players in the CT-side. With a 30/90 magazine capacity and 3.1 second reload time, it is a strong weapon that competitive players use to defend bomb sites with.


AK47: The AK47 is the meta rifle for the T side players. It is a powerful and reliable rifle, which can one-shot a helmeted player, if accurately aimed. Like the M4A4, the AK47 has a 30/90 magazine capacity, but a shorter reload time of 2.5 seconds. Due to it’s high power and cheap cost, it makes bomb site sieges efficient and deadly.


AWP: The AWP is the main weapon that is shared between both, the T and CT side. It is a high-risk, high-reward sniper, with an extremely high one-shot potential. However, missed shots often lead to death and as a result, the AWP is usually used by the most skilled member on the team, designated the “AWPer”.


Equipment: Equipment is vital to both sides of a CS:GO match, each with several important uses. Firstly, there are several grenades that provide utility and damage. Grenades and Molotov’s act as explosives and incendiaries that can be thrown to zone enemies as well as inflict damage, while smoke grenades provide a screen to block the enemy vision. Decoy grenades are also available and can be thrown to produce the sound of a weapon at a target location. Next, helmets and Kevlar serve as an armour source, protecting players from gunfire and mitigating damage. Unique to the T-side, a C4 explosive serves as he main objective for terrorists while they try to destroy one of the A or B sites. Lastly, unique to the CT-side is a diffuse kit which, while not required, significantly shortens the bomb diffuse time and can lead to last second game-saves.

Counter Terrorist Side Strategy

As mentioned before, the objective of the CT-side is to kill the Terrorists and diffuse the bomb if it has been planted. As a result, CT players often have to split their five men into two groups to guard the A and B bomb site, while attempting to gather information on the whereabouts of the Terrorists. This information is then used to invest resources to shutdown movements by the terrorists and gain positional advantages before the opposition is capable to reach a site.


After the start of each round, CTs will often utilise smoke and incendiary grenades at key locations as well, with the objective of forcing the Terrorist’s to move to a particular location, or to slow down their advances and utilise their precious time. As a result, a CT strategy usually results in a more reactive gameplay style.

Terrorist Side Strategy

On the T-side, the major objective is to either plant the bomb, or kill the CT squad (or kill the squad and plant the bomb quickly after for bonus money). As a result, the strategy of the Terrorists is to attempt to establish the whereabouts of the CT players and direct their teammates towards under-defended locations. As a result, the T-side players often use smoke grenades defensively to obstruct the CT player’s view of their team.


However, given the urgency and onus on the T-side to plant the bomb and kill the CTs, the Terrorists usually have a more proactive playstyle to try to force their way into the bomb sites.

CS:GO in Esports - The big teams

Unlike other esports, CS:GO doesn’t have big teams solely isolated in one region, rather, several teams from various countries represent the best in the world. Overall, it’s hard to look past Astralis as the best CS:GO team to rule them all. The Danish giants are one of the most frequent Major winners and routinely make competitions interesting with their clinical and analytical style of play. Behind them, FaZe Clan, MiBR and NiP are always sure to be strong contenders for Major trophies, but as of late, Team Liquid of America and Finish giants ENCE have left their mark on the CS:GO competitive scene, proving that new competitors are always out to spoil the party.


Other noteworthy teams to look out for are Vitality, Natus Vincere, Fnatic, Cloud9 and mousesports.

CS:GO Esports Tournaments

CS:GO tournaments are commonly split into two categories: Majors and Minors. Majors are the premier rated tournament of CS:GO, and are considered to be championships which have a prize pool of $1,000,000 or more. Major tournaments are structured to have three significant stages: The New Challengers Stage, The New Legends Stage and The New Champions Stage. Each of these stages progresses in difficulty in terms of the level of competition, and teams will compete to fight in The New Champions stage. It is at this point that the best 8 teams in the world fight to become the Major Champion.


Minors however, are considered to be smaller championships, with a prize pool of $50,000. These tournaments, though insignificant in a financial sense, serve as qualifiers to Major Championships and have significant importance in determining the strength of wildcard teams.



  • G2 Esports
  • Astralis
  • Team Liquid
  • Team OG
  • Fnatic
  • Cloud 9

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