The number of people reporting weapons in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has skyrocketed since the announcement of the Source 2 update, which seems to be paying off for Valve. We have to mention that Counter-Strike 2 hasn’t even been officially released yet.
For those unfamiliar, CS:GO has a somewhat unusual loot box system. Essentially, at the end of a game, players can receive a cosmetic or weapon case, and you have to pay Valve a small fee for a key to reveal whose skin is inside. There are rarer items, and since there is a market for selling CS:GO cosmetics, there is actually a financial incentive to open the cases. The contents of the cases are randomized, and in most cases, you will get something that isn’t even worth the $2.50 it costs to get a key. Some of the skins can fetch over $1 million when sold.
Valve is not abandoning the case economy with the switch to Counter-Strike 2, stating that all cosmetics will be carried over. However, since the entire economy is based on cosmetics, and Counter-Strike is getting a cosmetic upgrade, the skin market is expected to be thrown into chaos. As a result, people are hoarding in preparation for the big change.
So how many people are filing cases? According to the CS:GO Case Tracker, approximately 39.5 million cases were opened in March. This surpasses the previous record of 27.7 million that was set in February when people were excited about the Counter-Strike 2 rumors. Prior to this surge, about 20 million cases were opened each month.
Was this Counter-Strike 2 upgrade, just a ploy by Valve to increase the case market? Certainly not primarily, but it had to be a significant motivator. For those who haven’t followed, Counter-Strike 2 is currently in limited testing, with Valve deciding which players can participate. However, the CS2 game files have already been released, allowing you to play the game offline (to play online with others, you still need to be invited to the beta).
Counter-Strike 2 will be released for PC this summer.