The new economic model in CSGO and its implications on the game

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Valve recently released a new CS: GO update which will dramatically change the game at all levels of professional play. The update includes changes to the game economy and will directly influence the weaponry available to the players all intervals of time.

The Economy plays a huge role in the FPS game as it controls what the players can buy in terms of weaponry and grenades. A normal rifle in the terrorist side costs $2700 while on the CT side the M4A1-s costs $3100. CS:GO’s new update brings about lower economic punishment to the CT side and allows for stronger comebacks into the game. Let’s have a look at the update below.

The Update Notes

Adjusted round loss bonuses with the goal of reducing a negative feedback loop following streaks of losses.

  • Round loss bonuses are now based on the count of a team’s round losses. The count increases by one after every loss and decreases by one after every win (minimum 0).
    • With 0 Losses: $1400.
    • 1 Loss: $1900.
    • 2 Losses: $2400.
    • 3 Losses: $2900.
    • 4+ Losses: $3400.
  • Previously, a win would reset the round loss bonus. Now, a win reduces the loss counter by one.
  • Teams still begin the half with a loss count of 1.
  • This is enabled by default and can be controlled using mp_consecutive_loss_aversion server setting.
  • The round loss bonus is still limited to mp_consecutive_loss_max multiplied by cash_team_winner_bonus_consecutive_rounds.

What does the new economic update mean?

The CT side was the most crippled side in Counterstrike when it came to the economy. Not only are the CT weapons more costly, but the CT’s also have less money when they lose a round. A CT used to get $1400 gold for the first round that they would lose. Losing multiple rounds in succession meant that their economy would receive incremental boosts. However, in a situation where the CTs are down 0-5 and they win a round, their economy is reset. If they were to lose a round after breaking a loss-streak, it would actually be a disadvantage for the team. The game would count their loss as the first loss and grant them $1400 once again.  It would result in a few more rounds for the Terrorist side further increasing the gap between the two teams.

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The new update brings a loss counter to the game. With 0 losses, the start of the game, the CT side gets $1400 gold. The first loss in the game still grants the CT side $1900. However, subsequent continuous losses mean that the CT side will get incremental amounts of money. This is similar to the previous update.

  • With 0 Losses: $1400
  • 1 Loss: $1900
  • 2 Losses: $2400
  • 3 Losses: $2900
  • 4+ Losses: $3400

The counter remains the same for a team that is continuously losing more than 4 rounds. However, when a team starts winning a few rounds and alternating wins, the economy changes come into effect. A 1-6 scoreline after a 0-5 start would essentially mean that the CT economy loss counter goes down by one. So instead of starting at $1400 on the 8th round, the CTs will start at $3400. This allows them to have a decent buy or save the entire amount and have a great buy the next round. The CT’s have options regarding their weaponry and that is a game-changing option. The CT’s can decide to save in this round and then buy Double AWPs in the next or they could just go for a force-buy with slightly reduced weaponry.


This is a move to ensure stronger CT side but importantly more action for viewers. \. The next premier CS: GO event is the Blast Pro Series: Sao Paolo and we will see this update in action. The ongoing WESG 2018 tournament is also going to use the new update for the remainder of their event.  

More force buys and more action for viewers

From a viewer perspective, the update is exciting and we will be treated to a lot of action within 30 rounds.  With more money at their disposal, we will see CT sides buy weapons or at least force-buy / half-buy in a round for the CT side. The CT’s usually have more grenade usage than the T side as they have to ensure grenade usage in early games to prevent an all-out rush.

More action is definitely great from a viewer perspective. There were complaints of the meta becoming stale, especially in rounds where one team is on an eco-buy. However, the update also removes some tactical elements to the game. With every round possibly becoming a buy-round, the update incentivises teams to constantly buy into a round. There is not much in terms of economic calculation and the penalty of taking a risk [ force-buy] and losing is not that high. This update might allow certain teams [such as the French teams] to thrive as they are very good on force-buys.

The game moves from a snowball mechanic to a comeback mechanic

In the previous patch, the losing team would always be at a disadvantage. Especially on the CT side, a losing team would always be at risk of resetting their economy. A win after a losing streak and subsequently losing the next round would reset the economy back to $1400.

The previous patch would see teams run away with the scoreline after a great start. For the CT side, winning a round after a 5 round loss-streak was a dangerous situation. The next round could make or break their economy and usually had a much higher impact on the team’s performance in the half.

The new update allows teams to make a comeback despite being behind by multiple rounds. It prevents huge one-sided halves and calls for talent to prevail over anything else. It is a great way to ensure we have more comebacks into a round. A team which has won the initial few rounds cannot rest on their laurels in the half. They are always at the risk of a comeback and possibly even losing the half after a great start.

Changes to the AUG

Now that players have had an opportunity to learn to love the AUG, returning the weapon to its original price of $3300.

The current meta is justifiably the AUG meta as we have seen the weapon usage increase manifold. With the weapon being extremely affordable and providing multiple benefits, it has seen increased usage in the recent events. In fact, the IEM Katowice 2019 Major saw many teams use the AUG with efficiency. Teams who were not using the AUG were at a disadvantage and had a higher loss rate. The community’s opinion was to nerf the  AUG, either in its spray pattern or the accuracy of the bullets.

Valve has not changed the way the gun works. Instead, the game developer has increased the price of the weapon slightly. It will make it costlier for the teams to buy the AUG and possibly sacrifice on a few grenades. However, with the economic changes already allowing more money for the teams, it will be interesting to see if the weapon will see decreased usage.

Other changes in the game

The other weapons that have received significant changes are the shotguns and the M4A1s. There are changes to the cost of certain shotguns, so the reward from these weapons is definitely significantly higher in the current meta. The Nova ($1050), Sawed-Off ($1100), Mag7 ($1300) will see increased usage, especially with the new gameplay updates. A shotgun kill often grants $600 or $900 gold as a bonus, which often offsets the price of the weapon itself.

In addition to this, the M4A1-s has also received a significant boost. The weapon will not feature 25 bullets in a clip and have 75 reserve bullets. While its spray pattern and the burst accuracy remain the same, it will definitely not run out of bullets anytime soon. This will be a huge boost to players who like using the silenced M4 in their matches.

These changes are the ones that will affect the professional scene. However, there are also small changes to some maps, not in the official active duty pool. These changes to Canals and Vertigo ensure that the game becomes better to play and has a reduced number of bugs.

You can read all the update notes on the official blog here.


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