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Chinese Stickers

15 Feb. 2021

We’ve already told you about Chinese versions of skins before. Owing to the country’s censorship, a number of motifs, such as skulls or dismemberment, are cut out of video games and other media in China. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hasn’t been immune to this either. CS.MONEY is here to tell you how stickers were changed and what tricks were used to hide the forbidden things.

Light tricks

The most popular way to hide a skull in Chinese CS is to replace it with a gas mask. But we’ll start off with a much more interesting trick. Some stickers, like Emperor and Necron from the Warhammer 40,000 Sticker Capsule, use certain light tricks to disguise skulls. 

For example, the face of the hunchbacked space undead Necron was simply shaded, with only the general outline and glowing eyes left. It looks super creepy, and this modification makes the sticker a lot cooler than other High Grade ones from the same capsule. 

The Emperor sticker, on the other hand, uses light instead of shadow. Namely, a circle of light is drawn instead of the original skull. This change markedly undermines the style of the pircture. Instead of the somber image of a dying man embedded in a golden throne, we see a surreal picture of some monarch who came to possess the ultimate knowledge.

Gas masks & changing outfits!  

More often than not, skeletons and skulls are hidden behind gas masks. It wasn’t before we tasked ourselves with identifying stickers that differ in the standard and Chinese versions of the game that we realized how many skulls there actually are on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive stickers. In China, almost every single one of them got replaced by a gas mask, and each one’s different. 

For instance, Incineration from the Halo Capsule contains some kind of construction respirator. The Rising Skull sticker has undergone a surprisingly drastic change in terms of clothing: in the Celestial Empire, the skull wears a bandana and an eye patch. Finally, the famous Crown sticker — one of the most expensive in the game — doesn’t look like too much efforts were put into its revision: the crown is worn by some unknown man who’s also wearing a gas mask. A truly royal move!

Animals are fine, but no people!

Speaking of skulls, a clear border in Chinese censorship can easily be noticed. While human skulls are bad, animal remains are almost completely fine. At least, that goes for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

All stickers from the Feral Predators capsule can be rubbed to the point where white skulls remain. And they won’t be censored. If you do the same with the Ancient Beast sticker from the Broken Fang collection, it’ll feature a motley crew of a tiger, a toucan, and some square-headed guy with hypnotic eyes instead of the six cute angular skulls. 

However, the clear distinction between dos and don’ts fails at times. The Skull Lil Boney sticker has the word “skull” in the title and looks pretty realistic, yet it wasn’t censored in the Chinese version of the game. In contrast, Aces High has been “processed” to the full. The skeleton with a hat was cut out of the picture, with only the background and five playing cards left. 

The biggest glitch involves the Sugarface capsule. All fourteen of its stickers are skulls, and they all appeared in the Chinese version of the game without the slightest change. Could this be some kind of conspiracy? Try and guess how these stickers escaped censorship and write your version in the comments!  

15 Feb. 2021

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