Ah, Counter Strike: Global Offensive – you’re a game I could never hope to truly master, as an FPS that encourages tactical thinking, teamwork, and some intense reflexes.
Unsurprisingly, CS:GO has birthed a thriving competitive scene that attracts some of the most talented gamers around.
The original Counter Strike began life as a mod for Half-Life back in 2000, but after a number of incarnations, Global Offensive has reigned as the definitive edition since 2012.
Just for kicks, let’s take a look at some awesome CS:GO plays from recent years – it’s guaranteed to make you feel entirely average at videogames.
For clarification, I don’t mean to say that the following plays are the best of all time (by any means) – just that they’re entertaining and encapsulate the unpredictable (and endlessly fun) nature of the game.
Ninja Ceiling Man
Okay, I’m not saying this play is especially good as much as it is unbelievably fucking cheeky, but you’ve got to to hand it to anyone who even has the idea to try and diffuse a bomb through the ceiling.
I can’t imagine anyone on the other team was particularly thrilled about the sheer cheek behind such a move, but Counter Strike isn’t about making friends – it’s about winning, dammit.
One of the many, many (many) reasons that I’ll never be good at FPS games and will always get crushed on CS:GO: headshots elude me.
There is of course no greater feeling than popping a bullet squarely between someone’s eyes (in a videogame, I have to stress), but to watch eSports star Disco Doplan casually rattle off four in a row in the space of ten seconds is terrifying and awe-inspiring in equal measure.
They even show it again in slow motion – that’s when you know something is fucking cool.
Knife To See You
CS:GO isn’t all headshots and sneaky bomb diffusing of course – sometimes the game is at its most intense when two players manage to surprise each other and get involved in a mad scuffle.
Kenny ‘Kennys’ Schrub shows his fellow players what happens when they attempt to diffuse a bomb on his watch. After pulling off an incredible headshot, the remaining chancer is dealt with in a violent flurry of action that ends with a mid air knife to the face.
The result is pretty clear: Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight (unless you’re this guy).
Okay, there are plenty of moments in Counter Strike when one player effortlessly puts away a number of opponents, but I’m a huge fan of the first clip in the above video – the one where Byali kicks off a stylish five man massacre.
Seriously, one shot straight through the forklift to the bloke hiding in the doorway, then a swift but merciless attack on the remaining four.
If I were on the other team, I’m pretty sure my fist would have gone straight through my monitor.
Fans and followers of the CS:GO pro scene will probably be aware that there was actually a fair bit of controversy surrounding the insane shot taken by GuardiaN.
In short, the shot he took looked impossible, and a whole bunch of people assumed he actually cheated – the truth seems to be that GuardiaN simply took a bit of a risk and it paid off (although some posit that GuardiaN was able to see his opponents name-tag, which helped no end).
Whatever the case, it was a hell of shot that nobody saw coming – least of all the poor guy who took the bullet to the head. More proof that CS:GO is one of the most exciting pro scenes around.
Clutching At Straws
For the uninitiated, a ‘Clutch’ in CS:GO is basically when one person is left on a team and still manages to win against multiple players. It’s often impressive and makes for some truly tense situations, obviously.
Such moments are pretty much always impressive, and there have been a ton, but I really enjoy Rain’s methodical yet speedy approach to taking down the five opposing players with the pressure of being the last man standing.
A lesser man would buckle under such immense pressure, but Rain keeps as cool as a cucumber and proceeds to absolutely destroy – incredible stuff.
Sneak Level 100
I don’t even know what happened here, but it was fucking crazy. Pasha comes out of a 1v2 smelling like roses with an unbelievably cheeky/sneaky bit of playing.
Most players would likely have gone straight for the unaware opponent right next to them, and for a second it looks like that’s exactly what’s gonna happen.
But Pasha suddenly spins round to take out a guy way in the distance first, and then swings back to deal with the first guy. Incredible.
Another amazing (but sneaky) bit of play, the above clip sees Snax (great name) take out three enemies before he even has to move an inch.
Not content with three, he then moves in for two more kills – all without being spotted. Impressive stuff indeed.
Clearly, Snax moves like the wind. In fact, he could be behind you right now. He probably isn’t though… Or is he?*
Let me prefix this final entry by stressing that I don’t think this is the best play of all time, and the preceding eight haven’t been in any kind of set order.
With that said, this is a properly fucking incredible bit of gaming, and strong proof that eSports has every right to be taken as seriously as ‘real’ sport (just listen to the crowd!).
Na’Vi’s Edward dispatches 4 players in an absolute masterclass of strong reflexes and incredible skill, all while remaining calm and collected as he kicks some serious ass – and that last kill through the smoke? Fucking amazing.
So those are some of our top picks – but the best thing about CS:GO is that it’s chock full of mental moments and incredible plays, as even the briefest YouTube search can attest.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.