Gaming and Software
Why is Counter Strik...

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Why is Counter Strike so popular in Esports? Let's find out!

There are many games that appear in tournaments, but really one of them dominates in particular. We're talking about the iconic and venerable Counter Strike, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2024. Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists, that is the question... How did it happen that a game with such a legacy continues to triumph?

Gordon Freeman, are you still here? 

The beginnings of Counter Strike, as we established earlier, date back to the late 90s. It was during this time that, based on the first installment of Half-Life, the initial version of Counter Strike emerged as a modification to the game. A year later, the game was already released in boxed form.

Counter-Strike 1.6 

If you've been playing games for a while, you've surely heard of this title. If you're new to gaming... you've probably heard of it too. It's the most famous entry in Valve's entire library, which, according to statistics, has amassed nearly 10 million players. Interestingly, there are still active servers and players enjoying the classic version of this shooter. Counter Strike 1.6 is responsible for a myriad of discoveries, both technologically, socially, and in the realm of esports.

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The technological aspect - Valve's game contributed to the creation of many game modes. Counter Strike proposed years ago:

  • Gun Game - a competition involving acquiring new weapons by defeating opponents.
  • Arena - A battle fought with a diverse arsenal of weapons in a 1vs1 arena.
  • FFA - (Free For All) - A shootout in standard mode with multiple players on the server.
  • ZombieMod - Players are divided into two teams. The battle takes place between counter-terrorists and zombies. The maps have been completely changed to reflect the zombie atmosphere.
  • CoD - Call Of Duty - Players choose individual classes and fulfill their roles much like in the aforementioned title from Activision. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses. We develop our class by gaining levels on the frontline.
  • Deathrun - DR - A game mode characterized by running around the map. On this map, you'll find many traps that will make the task more challenging. Here, the so-called Bunny Hop comes in handy.
  • Diablo Mod - A mode that gives us the semblance of an RPG game. We choose our race and thereby have individual skills. We can develop acquired skills as we level up.

Counter Strike 1.6 also caters to the esports scene. It's precisely CS that dominates in this aspect. Many stars of this segment still play today thanks to 1.6. Among these players are: Cogu, GeT_RiGhT, FalleN, and NEO. Some still remember Counter Strike competitions, often organized in schools. It was not uncommon to skip classes to watch or participate in these school tournaments. Admit it, for the 2000s, it was surprising and very innovative. By the way, we thank the teachers for helping develop our passion.

Counter-Strike : Condition Zero 

The first official expansion to Counter Strike offered something completely different. Players were very surprised in 2004 because this time Valve put a single-player game in our hands. There were many missions waiting there, in which we could recruit individual members to our team for points. These missions were not easy at all and required many attempts to defeat all the opponents. Additionally, in each episode, there were specific objectives that also had to be completed. The gaming community remembers Condition Zero fondly, but we're not talking about as global a success as with 1.6.

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Counter Strike: Source

Another title that caught players' interest. The beloved worldwide CS received a new graphical overhaul due to the new 'Source' engine, on which Half-Life 2 and even Day Of Defeat were based. Despite the great interest and a fairly large number of players, 1.6 still dominated. There could be several reasons for this. The first is the familiarity with the predecessor, which was still performing really well. Counter-Strike 1.6 is a game of generations, as those generations came together to have fun and develop their skills on each map. Another reason is hardware issues. In most cases, Source simply didn't work because the computers were too weak. This required purchasing new hardware, which wasn't easy in those years considering the world's economic situation. The last reason is the completely new physics that players couldn't get used to. Every transition to a new game involves learning, and this can often be difficult. The release of CS: Source took place at the end of 2004.

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Counter-Strike: Global Ofensive 

Arguably the most powerful of all CS versions. We're not just talking about graphics, but also optimization, accessibility, and the variety of game modes. Its premiere dates back to 2012, a time when the gaming world was thriving, and developers were putting in a lot of effort to dominate the market with their creations. The basic rules of the game remain the same, with the ongoing battle between terrorists and counter-terrorists. For the first time in CS history, the matchmaking mode, also known as ranked, was introduced. This gameplay brings together a total of 10 players divided into two teams. This mode allows players to earn ranks, which later match them with increasingly better opponents to develop their accounts. Thanks to these matches, many players emerged onto the esports scene, competing in major international tournaments to this day. CS:GO also introduced skins, which became a significant aspect of the game. Skins dominated the industry and allowed some players to earn money. Certain skins are still worth a fortune today. Legend has it that the Karambit Blue Gem knife skin with the number 387 was sold for $1.5 million. CS:GO was fully updated and supported by developers from the very beginning for 11 years. Then, a completely new era began.

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Counter-Strike 2

The breakthrough moment when CS:GO transforms into CS2. The entire industry awaited the release day with great anticipation. The press followed reports on the novelties and leaks that reached the public. Finally, it happened. In the fall of 2023, an update to CS was released, transforming the game into CS2. Currently, it's the only CS that has attracted such a huge number of players, and it's also the only one in terms of competitions and continued developer support. How does CS2 differ from CS:GO? We wrote about it on Kinguin. Find the link below.


Other versions of Counter-Strike

It's not over yet. Counter-Strike is already a defined social group, which also has its shelf in pop culture. Interestingly, CS has also appeared on consoles. What are the other versions of the popular CS?

  • Counter-Strike - XBOX, Linux, MAC OS.
  • Counter-Strike : Global Ofensive - Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3. 
  • Counter-Strike Neo (2012) - Linux.
  • Counter-Strike Online (2012) - PC - gra dostępna wyłącznie na rynku azjatyckim. 
  •  Counter-Strike Nexon : Studio (2014) - PC - gra dla miłośników trybu zombie. 
  • Counter- Strike 2D (CS2D) - PC. 


Counter-Strike is not just a shooter that keeps players glued to the screen for hours. It's primarily a beautifully evolving community that often managed to add many modifications on its own, which improved the game. Unfortunately, in CS, cheaters often appear, ruining the fun for others. But considering the entirety of the Counter-Strike series, taking into account the fact that the game originated from a modification of Half-Life, it's all impressive. It creates an incredible history that many game development studios could envy. Now, excuse us, but we've planted a bomb at 'B' and need to make sure the CT team (Our Boss)  doesn't defuse it.