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Published: June 21, 2021

Written by: Hannah


  • Two decades after it launched, Counter-Strike is still growing with Global Offensive’s competitive scene developing rapidly
  • The game has started out as a Half-Life medication which was quickly picked up by Valve and turned into a standalone game
  • Today, some bugs continue to persist, but robust underpinning gameplay guarantees the franchise success

As the Counter-Strike turned 22 years on the weekend, the competitive community around Global Offensive continues to develop.

Counter-Strike Turns 22, Still Growing 

The Counter-Strike franchise turned 22 during the weekend, with arguably the most successful esports first-person shooter (FPS) starting as a humble map modification to progress to a fully-fledged global phenomenon. 

The game first debuted on June 19, 1999, as a modification of Half-Life introduced by a pair of developers, Jess Cliffe and Minh Le. Both were hired by Valve to work on the game as a standalone product, something that happened almost immediately.

Valve set aside any intellectual property disputes by bringing the duo in its ranks and releasing the game soon after on November 9, 2000. It took a while for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to follow, as the original series went through a lot of patching designed to sort out bugs, improve the game’s physics, and generally create sturdy gameplay that would last for decades.

Initial development efforts have been solid because even 22 years later, the game continues to grow. HLTV.org, a Danish media website and the world’s biggest CS:GO community, has grown to become a multi-million media by reporting on CS:GO events, and providing statistics and results, as well as keep a global rank list of the world’s best players and organizations.

BLAST Premier and ESL, two of the largest esports tournament organizers, have been adding new events to their circuits and expanding the existing prize pool in what is a clear sign of the game’s staying power and further untapped potential.

New Editions Define the Game’s Direction

Counter-Strike has known many different versions, including Condition Zero and then Source in 2004. The real ground-breaking hit, though, came in 2012 when Global Offensive emerged, and it has been a defining part of competitive video gaming for years now. 

A lot of the company’s present-day success is owed to Steam, a digital marketplace spearheaded by Valve, which achieved global recognition and more or less helped Counter-Strike to create a vibrant esports ecosystem. 

CS:GO is also the most played and active game available through Steam, not least because of its status as a competitive video game. The game’s 22nd birthday is definitely a significant milestone, even though some issues have persisted over the years.

There have been high-profile bugs related to maps and gameplay that have impacted the outcome of competitive rounds and tournaments. Those are continually worked on, but it’s through the game’s success such issues are identified in the first place.

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