In March we’ve seen a previously unknown factor (quarantine and social distancing) affect the whole world, the gaming industry and by consequence – CS:GO market as well. Lots of tournaments that were meant to be played offline kicked off in online format. There don’t seem to be any adverse effects on the market yet, quite the opposite – it’s thriving due to the trading activity spurred by the end of Operation Shattered Web and an overall influx of new players and traders.
The top skins by volume demonstrate stability and in the top 5 we have no new entries, the items did have a slight reshuffle in between them with AWP | Safari Mesh (Field-Tested) switching places with AK-47 | Safari Mesh (Field-Tested), that took the lead for now, in tight competition with its Redline counterpart.
This month all the action was focused on the sticker market, with most stickers making almost two-fold gains, while the weapon skin market was moving slower and had to be viewed on a by case scenario. To really find out what guns made the most gains, we had to scroll down through dozens of stickers making even larger gains in our database, however, amidst the chaos, the following mid-priced guns made decent gains – MAG-7 | Bulldozer (Factory New) almost doubled in price, Desert Eagle | Hand Cannon (Well-Worn) grew by 182%, and a quite scarce item AK-47 | Hydroponic (Well-Worn) made 125% gains.
If you’re tired of seeing the exact same stickers in the top 5, we have both good and bad news for you. The “bad” news is – naturally, SW stickers in almost precisely the same order are dominating volume-wise. The good news is – with the operation on the brink of its end, we are bound to see very interesting moves.
As far as stickers go, the gains we’ve seen are just beyond imagination – anything from 3x to 6x gains and the list extends far beyond top 5 – there are lots of player stickers with similar growth patterns. The sticker that gets traded exceedingly rare, Sticker | [email protected] (Gold) | Boston 2018, increased in price by 886%, and there aren’t even any news associated with the now retired player!
Important events and trends in March
As predicted earlier by us (and many traders in the community seem to agree), there will be a pump right when the operation SW is finally concluded, and then another strong price movement (upwards or downwards depending on the news by Valve) once Valve decide the future of Shattered Web case, either making it a regular drop, or limiting the supply to its current size.
As the month draws to its end, player skins see more action and Agent Ava, in particular, is spiking up right now (already entering a small correction though). A lot of other player skins are fairly cheap right now and could be a good investment.
However, make short-term decisions at your own risk, as there is a known bug in the steam market right now. Apparently, it makes harder or impossible to list certain items, making prices of certain lots artificially higher due to buyers’ pressure.
Most importantly, the factors influencing the market at the end of March and in April will be:
- Operation Shattered Web aftermath (A lot has been said, but it’s still the most discussed topic among traders)
- Cancellation of Rio 2020 major (which we have discussed last week)
- … and another factor people may not be too aware of – the release of Valorant, the game by Riot destined to be a direct competitor to CS:GO. Valorant could enter into beta testing stage as early as April.
Last but not least, cases have seen a lot more action than usual recently, and a new term was forged by the community “the case bubble”, which is now, apparently, on the verge of bursting, as the prices seem to stabilize towards the end of the month. However, with all the unexpected events at the end of the month, there really is no telling where exactly the case market is headed. A highly-enthusiastic user on Reddit has made research that looks at cases from a different perspective, and it’s a very interesting read – he derived the average value one gets from actually opening the case (taking into account the value of items that it may contain) and came to very interesting conclusions, which you should see for yourselves.