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Photo: By Rich Lock for BLAST

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

The new CS:GO patch is one of the biggest in recent memory as it changes a core mechanic of the game, the CS:GO economy. Here is what it says from the CS:GO blog:

  • Round loss bonuses are now based on the count of a team’s round losses. The count increases by one after every loss, and decreases by one after every win (minimum 0).
    • With 0 Losses: $1400
    • With 1 Loss: $1900
    • With 2 Losses: $2400
    • With 3 Losses: $2900
    • With 4+ Losses: $3400
  • Previously, a win would reset the round loss bonus. Now, a win reduces the loss counter by one.

Beyond the fact that I’ll likely need an abacus to now keep track of the economy changes in a half, there is a lot to go over as it’s a massive change. The biggest to me is that there will be more money for all sides of the game and thus more gun rounds.

This will probably have two effects. The first is that teams with a terrible grasp of economy are buffed by this patch as it has become more forgiving than ever (shoutouts to Happy). Secondly, this will be more gun rounds overall. Third, this means that while there will be more action, there will be less lulls and spikes.

From a narrative standpoint, I don’t think this is a smart change. In order to build a satisfying story, there needs to be lulls and spikes in the action. What made the classic CS:GO economy great was that it forced these moments out of the game since spectators and fans realized that there was “no second chance.” That if they failed a critical gun round, they’d have to save. When those moments happened at the end of a game it could create a fever pitch of excitement. The more gun rounds you have, the less impactful each of those gun rounds become.

This is essentially the same argument as to why I disliked having forcebuys be so emphasized in the game. The game that sticks out in my mind is a FaZe vs G2 game where both sides forced for the first 10 rounds or so and it became a Michael Bay movie instead of a game of Counter-Strike. There was only raw action and no sense of teamplay, tactics, or a coherent narrative structure in the game. While the teamplay/tactics will still be relevant in the new economy, the increase in gun rounds does make me still think of his movies as the economy is set to remove as much of the lulls as possible.

The inherent problem with that is that without the lows, you can never get the highs. If you look at some of the insane OG comebacks in their TI8 run, a lot of it was predicated on very slow early and mid games where they were battered to death. That setup a natural story where they had to climb out of the pit and pull out a comeback in the late game. Without those lows in the early game, the OG story would have never been as dramatic.

That applies to CS:GO as well. In any half, seizing the economic advantage is critical and it naturally create miniature story arcs throughout that culminates at the end in an explosive finale (assuming it’s an all-time great game). My current fear is that the new CS:GO economy has gone too much Michael Bay. By increasing the amount of gun rounds and action, you are losing out on the incredible emotional stakes that the old economic system naturally put in place.

We’ll have to see going forward how it all plays out.

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