“Commit to a full match that affects your Skill Group. Buy new weapons each round with money earned and win the round by eliminating the other team or completing the objective.”
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the first Counter-Strike game to include a built-in competitive mode to appeal to the professional and competitive player by being structured similarly to professional tournament play including swapping sides, friendly fire, and locked teams.
Unlike casual mode, competitive mode always pits two teams of 5 against each other in a 30 round match. The roundtime is 1 minute 55 seconds and the bomb timer is 40 seconds. It is not possible to switch sides during the game except at the halftime. After the first 15 rounds, the game reaches halftime and the two teams will switch sides. The first team to score 16 points wins the game. If both teams score a total of 15 points by the end of the 30th round, the match will end in a tie. Games can also end prematurely if one team surrenders to the other. A vote to surrender must be unanimously agreed upon, and the vote is locked until a team member abandons the match.
Additionally, starting with the June 10, 2015 update, players were required to have a profile rank of at least Private Rank 3 to be eligible for competitive matchmaking. On June 15, 2016, the rank needed was changed to Private Rank 2.
Differences from casual modes
The economy of the competitive mode is different from that of the casual mode. All kill awards are doubled compared to the casual mode, the money cap is $16000, and all players start the pistol round with $800 instead of $1000. Other differences include the ability to purchase two flashbangs instead of just one. Friendly Fire and team collision are always on and cannot be turned off. Also, armor and kits are not received automatically, and can be purchased at the start of the round. The C4 also has a 40 second timer instead of a 45 second timer.
Spectating is much more limited compared to the casual mode. Players are only allowed to spectate other players on their own team and third-person view is not possible. On the flip side, full team chat (both voice and text) are enabled regardless of the player being alive or dead.
Beginning a match
Unlike the casual game modes, the player is given the option to choose which map will be played by using checkboxes. By default maps from the active duty group are already selected, however, the player can choose to include maps from the reserves group and, if there is an active operation, the operations group as well.
Post match review
The player can re-watch a completed match by clicking on the Watch tab from the main menu. The 8 most recent matches will be temporarily stored for a week so the player can download to analyze as a spectator. The review is not available to players if the game is cancelled when a player fails to connect in time or abandons during the warmup period. Each match generates a match sharing link, and more matches can be downloaded later if the match sharing link is saved.
Prime Account Matchmaking
Currently in beta, Prime Account Matchmaking was added as part of the April 21, 2016 update. Players can opt-in to test the Prime account matchmaking by clicking on the More Info button located above the user's profile. Starting with the June 15, 2016 update, a profile rank of Lieutenant Rank 21 or above is also needed to participate. To complete the process, a valid phone number must be entered to "upgrade" the player's account to "Prime" status. Users with Prime accounts will be matched accordingly with other Prime account users. As part of the Prime account service, only a single account can be registered to a phone number, meaning the player cannot upgrade additional account to Prime status without having a separate phone number or reaching Lieutenant Rank 21.
In Professional Tournaments, only competitive mode is played among the various teams such as ESL One tournaments, or professional gaming leagues such as CEVO. The standard competitive setup can be modified slightly to accommodate the tournament/leagues rules, such as 6 rounds overtime in the case of ties. Professional gaming is also referred to as eSports, and is closely tied to the CS:GO community. A portion of the proceeds from eSports keys go towards cash prizes in official Valve sponsored tournaments.
Starting with the October 25, 2012 update, skill groups were introduced to help the player understand how the competitive matchmaking works. When entering a Competitive game, the matchmaking system will try to place the player with other players around the same skill level.
Players new to the competitive matchmaking mode will not have a skill group. To keep the game balanced for novice and experienced players, joining a competitive mode without a rank will place the player with others with no skill group or a low level skill group. Additionally, players without a skill group are limited to two competitive matches that result in wins or draws per day until they are placed in a skill group by winning 10 matches to get a rank (or drawing a match after the 9th win).
If a player does not participate in competitive matchmaking for 28 days, the player's skill group will be hidden, and will require the player to win or draw an additional competitive match to be re-placed in a skill group.
Competitive matchmaking cooldown
If a player has abandoned a match, cheated, or otherwise has committed poor sportsmanship, the player will receive a competitive matchmaking cooldown. When a player has a competitive matchmaking cooldown, the player cannot participate in any competitive matches for the duration of the cooldown. The player will be notified of any existing cooldowns by a yellow banner at the top of the main menu page stating the reason and the remaining length of the cooldown. The first cooldown will last for 30 minutes, the second is 2 hours, then 24 hours, and lastly 7 days. If a player haven’t received a cooldown for a week, their level will go down by a level each week, starting after any existing cooldowns have expired. For example, once a 24 hour cooldown is over, they would have to wait a week until the cooldown level (provided that they do not trigger another cooldown) goes from 24 hours back to 2 hours.
Reasons for a cooldown
Most of the actions that can trigger a cooldown only count when they occur during competitive matchmaking games.
- Abandoning a match
- Leaving a competitive match mid-game, through direct player action or in-action. Losing network connection while in-game will yield the same result as abandoning a match.
- Leaving or failing to connect to the server within the warmup period is also considered match abandoning.
- Team disruption
- Activities such as teamkilling, excessive team damage, or a player being repeatedly vote-kicked from matches in competitive matchmaking.
- Use of 3rd party programs, scripts, or other hacking techniques in competitive or casual matchmaking.
- Excessive idling
- Excessive suiciding (e.g. jumping off a building from the map Vertigo) will result in a cooldown.
- Excessive kicking or being kicked too often
- Kicking or attempting to kick too many people can result in a cooldown happening eventually. Also being kicked too often will result in a cooldown.
- Skill placement competitive cooldown
- A new player with less than 10 competitive wins is limited to two competitive wins per day.
During a cooldown period, a player cannot play any competitive matchmaking, but can still play any of the casual game modes, including community servers or locally-hosted servers running the competitive rule set. Cooldown levels drop by 1 level after a week with no additional offenses. There is no known limit to how many levels a person can get.
- Level 1 - 30 minutes
- Level 2 - 2 hours
- Level 3 - 24 hours
- Level 4 - 7 days
- Level 5 and beyond - 7 days
- 1 month - Minorly Disruptive, applied to Griefers
- Permanent also called a Global Cooldown, this can be from from being Overwatch Convicted - Majorly Disruptive for cheating and can be applied to Griefers for their second offence. A permanent cooldown may be received from being "Untrusted".
It's possible to receive a 10 minute cooldown due to the servers disconnecting players and it then rejecting their reconnection attempts or because an update was released in the middle of your matchmaking game.
Once a match has finished, players can vote to have a rematch with the current teams. Like surrender votes, the vote must be unanimous, but require all 10 players to still be connected to the server. After the vote succeeds, the map will be reloaded with the same teams for another match with the same rules. If not all 10 players are connected to the server, then the vote will not be offered, and instead an error message will pop up in chat saying, "Not offering rematch because not all 10 players are connected."
The feature was quietly removed from the public server matchmaking as part of the November 22, 2014 update. The feature is still available when playing locally.
Bugs & Exploits
- In some rare cases, the 'Accept' button may be larger than its default size.
- The Zeus x27 was originally unavailable in competitive mode, but was added after an update.
- The default "freeze time" is 15 seconds, rather than 6 seconds from earlier games.
- After an update, being kicked from the game as a result of a "votekick" will not count as a player abandoning the match, and thus the vote to surrender will not be unlocked.
- Occasionally, the SEAL Team 6 quote "Let's Roll" that is said when the player joins the game will glitch and stutter, making it sound like "Let's Roll-oll". The glitch gained much notoriety within the community and became a meme. A sticker in Sticker Capsule 2 was designed after the meme.
- ↑ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Prime Account Matchmaking on Steam Support
- ↑ Bans, Competitive Cooldowns, and You on Steam Community - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Discussion