“It’s not Counter-Strike, actually.” What Pro Players Thought of CS:GO 10 Years Ago?


The celebration of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ten years anniversary is almost here! But back then, the game looked completely different. Moreover, some nuances are not fixed and balanced even now, but that’s a completely different story for a specially dedicated article.

Together with CS.MONEY Blog, we suggest you refresh some memories and recall what professional players thought of CS:GO soon after its original release. Fasten your seatbelts inside the virtual DeLorean: we’re heading back in time!

Karrigan: “A mixture of Call of Duty and CS:S”

Let’s start with the person who was among the best players ten years ago and who is the current CS:GO Major champion. Finn Andersen had a long and winding road in the competitive Counter-Strike. When CS:GO was released, the Dane was playing for Fnatic, and he was not a fan of the new title. He said:

“I think that CS:GO is a mixture of Call of Duty and CS:S because you need to have a completely different approach to the game.

I am not a big fan of CS:GO, but I will give the game a chance. I can speak more about it and its competitiveness once I have participated in tournaments and practice matches instead of just playing some gathers.”

HeatoN: “1.6 is a bit more fun”

Emil Christensen, CS 1.6 legend, almost immediately shared his prophecy. In his blog, HeatoN wrote:

“We need to realise that CS:GO is the only alternative for the Counter-Strike scene and FPS-scene in today’s professional gaming. Interpret me correctly, I still think that 1.6 is a bit more fun and I strongly doubt that I will ever find a game that I will grow to love more…  Counter-strike 1.6 will become a casual-game, and I for one will always play it! But within the E-sport scene the game is pretty much vanished, even though we are trying to hold onto it!

CS:GO offers an unique opportunity for the people who LOVES Counter-strike and FPS-games in E-sports! IF Valve just keep on developing in the same rate as they have been since the first beta we are heading for a great game with the same class as 1.6; and they are already on the right track!”

natu: “I do like playing a new game”

The Finnish veteran, who is currently working for ENCE, wasn’t as pessimistic as some of his colleagues:

“I do like playing a new game really, it is a lot of learning and every time you play matches/gathers/mixes you learn new things. Kinda like what 1.6 used to be back in the day. Obviously I initially was not a great fan of the game as the beta was in the early stages. But I kept my mind open as I like new challenges and saw the game develop. It is a new and different game from the previous ones and should be treated as such”.

SmithZz: “The game now has a strong potential”

The DreamHack Winter 2014 champion shared some uncommon details in the interview dated October 2012. 

“I was invited by Valve in Seattle to try out CS:GO a year ago so I’ve been following this game’s evolution for quite a while now, and I must say Valve did a great job. They took into account a lot of our comments, and are always willing to improve their game based on the players feeling. There are still a few things to improve (smoke bug to fix, Molotovs are a bit overpowered, interpolate etc…) but the game now has a strong potential which is what I like the most about it…

If I could change one thing? Hum… Well I was a big fan of the M4’s silencer! Also I’d like my “hud_fastswitch 1” back please!”

Neo: “Pistols are too strong”

The legend of the Polish CS scene communicated his thoughts on the new game several times, and he not only shared his feelings but also mentioned some fundamental details:

“There are lots of pros and cons of that game. Personally I hate molotov granades, I wish that thing was banned. Feels that pistols are too strong, during our praccs there is lots of ECO rounds won and lost, which makes the game kind of more random. On the other hand it is cool that some other guns that colt/ak/famas/galil, used in a proper way can be viable.”

markeloff: “It is not Counter-Strike actually”

Not everyone was excited about Valve’s new title. Notably, for quite some time, Natus Vincere players were, to say the least, cautious. This interview with Yegor Markelov is a pinnacle of it all:

“I haven’t played it once, but I watched some videos. Not an interesting game at all. It is not Counter-Strike, actually. Just a new game with Counter-Strike ideas and transitioning to this game is the same as learning everything from the beginning… It would be better if they made another game [instead of polishing CS:GO]” 

Edward: “You need to get used to game physics”

The Natus Vincere squad was among the last to join competitive CS:GO. And it was really interesting to know the opinion of the Pistol King after some time of playing. The interview is in Russian, but it has subtitles, and it’s definitely worth watching!

Xizt: “I like the game a lot! I’m not entirely keen on molotovs though”

The Swedish legend, being a member of CS:GO’s first ever legendary squad, spent around 350 hours during the first three and a half months. This is what he said about the game:

“I like the game alot! I’m not entirely keen on molotovs though, I feel like they are extremely overpowered once you learn the basics around them. Most maps get very CT-sided to an extent and we would definitely prefer playing without them.”

Back then, molotovs were the most annoying thing for most players. Unextinguishable, bringing new mechanics—esports athletes had to adapt to their existence, which was hard. Some pro players hated fire grenades so much that they wanted Molotovs and Incendiaries removed from the game. Gla1ve created a petition to ban Molotovs. Moreover, Gla1ve and MSL asked many players to share their opinions, and many joined the Danish duo: DaZed, Lk, enkay J, emilio, and steel were among those who agreed and wanted fires to be banned.

Later, Valve fixed the Molotov, and players were able to adapt their playstyles. Now it is impossible to think of CS:GO without Molotovs.

Finally, there’s a very curious Reddit thread where ShahZaM, the top-8 of London Major, offered everyone his help.

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