Skip to content

Month: February 2016

Halo World Championship 2016 has a Record-Setting $2.5 Million Prize Pool

Image from: Xbox News
Image from: Xbox News

Microsoft’s betting big on their Xbox video game “Halo 5: Guardians” and with help from the community, crowdfunded nearly $1.5 million, bringing the final prize pool to a total of $2.5 million (the original prize pool announced was $1 million).

This will be the highest prize pool in FPS (first person shooters games) history, and will join the top ranks as one of the highest prize pools in eSports, and as stated on the official Xbox announcement:

“If being the best Halo team in the world wasn’t enough of an incentive, this might be: the first place team will take home a total of $1 million – the biggest individual prize pool in console esports history.”

The Halo World Championship 2016 will be hosted at a venue in Hollywood, California which will be announced on March 4. The event will run from March 18th to March 20th.

16 teams will battle for the top: three teams from England, one team from Germany, one team from Mexico, and one from Singapore will join the eight teams from America to form the lists of teams participating on the Halo World Championship 2016 Finals.

“After several months of grueling practice, intense competition and many hard-fought battles in Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One, it’s finally come down to this: 16 teams from around the world will compete in the biggest Halo esports competition in franchise history – the Halo World Championship (HaloWC).” – Xbox news

Image from: Halowaypoint
Image from: Halowaypoint


Seeing how micro transactions can boost prize pools and break eSports records (Dota 2 and Halo 5 are perfect examples of this) makes you think about how efficient this method of crowdfunding tournaments can improve the future of video game tournaments. It opens up the possibility for games that already have a built-in platform of micro transactions (CS:GO comes to mind) to implement it, and provide the professional players with an even bigger prize pool.


Dota 2 Majors: Valve Fires English Host “2GD”

Image from: Dota 2 TI Flikr
Image from: Dota 2 TI Flikr

The Shanghai Major 2016 Day 2 ended abruptly after several delays and some really good Dota 2 games, but this was not the topic of discussion for the Dota 2 fans who stayed up late (or woke up early) to watch the games.

The day ended with a somehow shocking tweet by the English host James “2GD” Harding.

The tweet was followed by some backlash from the community, who started raising their pitchforks at Perfect World, the company in charge of the Major, and to host Dota 2 in China and Asia. Everyone waited (somehow) patiently for some sort of clarification or official statement by the parties involved, but in the meantime it was quite clear that the Dota 2 community was not happy with the decision to remove James from the talent pool.

The fans took it upon themselves to create and make up theories as to why James was fired and the anger was shown both on Twitch and Reddit. The decision came as a surprise to both the fans and James himself, who stated in a tweet that it was Valve’s decision to remove him from the event, even when the often controversial host said he was told to be himself. Before the incident the fans were praising 2GD for keeping the event entertaining considering it was plagued with constant disruptions, connectivity issues and multiple delays.

Valve founder Gabe Newell took to Reddit to confirm that he had fired James, stating:

Two things:

1) James. We’ve had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won’t be working with him again.

2) As long as we’re firing people, we are also firing the production company that we’ve been working with on the Shanghai Major. They will be replaced, and we hope to get this turned around before the main event.

As always, I can be reached at


James participated in The International 2, The International 3 and the International 4 as a panel host, but it was after TI4 that he announced on an interview that he decided no longer to take part on Valve’s events. After a year of absence in the scene, James was brought back for the Shanghai Major as a host for the English team.

As stated above, in the same Reddit post, Gabe explained that the production company in charge of the event (KeyTV) was also being fired, this led to Day 3 of the event having no English host panel.

After “Sleeping on it“, James responded to Gabe’s Reddit post saying:

This is why my statement is taking sometime. It seems more personal than professional. So I will respond. Just for the record gabe, I don’t think you are an ass. But I don’t think you are right about me (well maybe you are a bit of an ass for calling me an ass, but let’s find out what others think shall we?). Brb ”

And he delivered – in a 17 page long statement. James explained his side of the story in full detail, including everything that’s been going on since TI2: from family problems and salaries, to why he believes this was more of a “personal issue” and not a decision taken based on his behavior or actions at the event. In the statement, he explains how the one delivering the news about him being fired was his own best friend Bruno Carlucci, a well known Dota 2 personality.

“So, The segment finishes. I go to production room to ask Bonni the producer when she thinks we will start again. She doesn’t know but tells me she will come get us from the dining room when she knows. Then rushing around the corner comes Bruno.

Bruno: James… You’re fired

James: What?

I peer at his phone he is holding, He has an email open, I can quickly read The mail is  from Gabe Newell, That much I saw. I cannot read it, but it appears to be about 3-4 sentences. I looked at his phone because for a brief moment he was just staring at it in disbelief.”

“So I’m fired. But honestly I doubt Gabe even knew that I was told to be myself. And just didn’t like how i was representing his event and my style, so probably thinks… I am ‘an ass’. Plus on top of all the other problems they were having, I can only imagine that things were quite stressful for people at Valve. But they… put themselves in this situation. It’s no ones fault but theirs. They agreed to the contractors and so on for this 3 million dollar prize pool tournament. ultimately It is their responsibility at the end of the day.”

For the moment both Dakota “KotLGuy” Cox and Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden have taken over the host position, but it is uncertain who is going to take over the host job once the event goes live at the Mercedes Benz Arena (the group stage is currently on its way, but the Main Event will take place live at the arena starting March 2nd).

What are your thoughts on how the events transpired?


H1Z1 Items: Bringing Back the Dead

Update 1/12/17: you can now set the item price after the 7 day hold is lifted. This helps you avoid over- or under-pricing your item due to the market fluctuation during the trade hold period.

And you thought December’s “Escrow” was a nail biter. On February 24th, 2016 Daybreak announced on that all items for H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Hill would have a trade hold of seven days, which prompted OPSkins customers to open a support ticket and for us to answer:

“A recent change by H1Z1 implemented a feature called “Trade Lock” which will cause a “lock to the item” for seven days on any trade that occurs, this feature affects all items purchased or traded through Steam and both games will have the same restrictions placed on them.  These changes will affect trades that are currently in process.  For more information please check We have refunded you for that transaction.”

For those of you who may have received this message and for those of you who haven’t, and might be wondering, “How am I going to sell my H1Z1 items on OPSkins?”and  “Will it kill the market?” and “What will happen to my money?” and “Way to kill a trading community” and “Is Jon Snow still alive?” and “Should I help out Kanye?” fear not – OPSkins is here and with the answer. So let’s begin:

How am I going to sell my H1Z1 items on OPSkins?

We treat it as a trade hold and the item isn’t listed until it’s tradeable. So you will trade with an OPSkins bot, then you wait seven days, and then the item will be listed. If you don’t have the Steam Mobile Authenticator then you will trade with an OPSkins bot, you’ll wait three days, then another seven days, and then the item will be listed.

Will there be a hold when I buy the item?

No, but you won’t be able to trade the item immediately after you receive it – you will have to wait seven more days in order to trade your recently acquired item. In another words, you won’t be able to resell it immediately after you’ve bought it.

What will happen with the price in that time period?

You can already modify the price of an item after it’s been listed but we’re also working on giving you the option to edit the price while the item is on hold. This will be available soon.

What about features? Will they be affected?

No, once the item is tradable it’ll be listed and featured as normal, if you chose to add a feature when you listed it.

Is Jon Snow still alive?

You will have to wait until April 24, 2016 or until G.R.R. Martin finishes Winds of Winter.

Should I help out Kanye?

If you wish to do so, you can go here and donate. But we don’t recommend this cuz, you know, it’s Kanye.

Did we cover all your questions? If you you have more questions with regards to this post, leave a comment below or open a support ticket and we will gladly answer.

CS:GO Knives: Marble Fade Skins

M9 Bayonet Marble Fade (Factory New) Tricolor

Marble Fade skins come in a tricolor (red, blue and yellow), yellow and blue pattern and in Fire and Ice (blue and red), with the tricolor being the most common, the yellow and blue being less common, and the ice and fire being the rarest of the three. This is a good example of how complicated the pricing system for skins can be: depending on the percentage of each color on the blade, the price will vary (like Dopplers) – but in this case, no blade has a single uniform color, and subjectivity regarding the percentage of each color can be a defining factor. On top of that, Karambits have a different fading pattern due to the fact that their blades are curved.

So yes, the community has gone to great lengths in order to make the pricing as complicated as possible.

Karambit Marble Fade (Factory New)

Fortunately, their wear is limited to Factory New and Minimal wear and there are some parameters that can be used to assess the skins, like the pattern number, exterior quality (the aforementioned Factory New or Minimal Wear), and when it’s visible to the naked eye you can estimate the percentage of each color on the blade. And just like you would with jewelry, these skins can also be appraised.

Flip Knife Marble Fade (Factory New)

Just like Doppler skins, knives with Marble Fade skins include the Flip Knife, Gut Knife, Karambit, M9 Bayonet and the Bayonet and they are obtained from the Chroma and Chroma 2 cases. Unlike the Dopplers, the number of units sold in our marketplace is lower; then again, there are fewer color combinations to go around. Some of them also come with StatTrak, which obviously increases the price of the piece, but most of them remain cheaper than their Doppler counterparts.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re still quite expensive and a rare find. If you were to get your hands on a Fire and Ice Bayonet, M9 Bayonet or a Karambit, you’d be sitting on quite a pile of money. Visit to buy, list, or browse.



One… Million Dollars! The Major Championship Prize Pool has Increased

Image from: Counter-Strike Blog
Image from: Counter-Strike Blog

Valve announced that they will increase the Major Championship prize pool from $250,000 to $1 million. The first tournament that will see this change will be the MLG Columbus major at the end of March (March 29th to April 3th).

“The professional CS:GO community has been growing at an incredible rate. CS:GO tournaments are now among the largest esports events in the world, drawing global audiences of millions of viewers, filling massive venues, and garnering higher prize pools. Professional CS:GO has grown, and the CS:GO Major Championships are about to grow with it.”

Counter-Strike blog.

This comes as no surprise. Counter-Strike keeps breaking viewership records and closed 2015 as the second most watched game on Twitch. ESL One Cologne 2015 (August 2015) was the world’s most watched Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament to date, with close to 1.3 million concurrent viewers (an increase of more than 30% on the previous events held by ESL) and 27 million unique viewers.

“When we announced the first CS:GO Major Championship in 2013, we hoped the Majors would be rallying points for the community, tent-pole events that could draw new audiences and amplify the value of all events.”

Counter-Strike blog

The prize pool will be distributed as followed:

  • 1st Place = $500,000
  • 2nd Place = $150,000
  • 3rd-4th Place = $70,000
  • 5th-8th Place = $35,000
  • 9th-16th Place = $8,750

Valve keeps proving the fan base that they are betting big on the eSports scene. In April 2015, Valve announced their plans for improving the competitive Dota 2 scene and implemented a “Dota Major Championships” format (similar to the one used on CS:GO) with prize pools reaching $3 million.



Hearthstone’s First Standard Tournament: The Curse Trials

Image from Curse/Archon
Image from Curse/Archon

For the first time, we got to see a glimpse of Hearthstone’s new standard format in action. This invitational tournament brought 16 professional players together. Each competitor brought three standard-legal decks, each for a different class, and battled in best-of-five conquest matches.

My early prediction about druid being a solid class in standard seemed to hold true: 14 of the 16 players brought a druid deck in their lineup. The second most common class was shaman with twelve players, most of which were playing extremely aggressive variants. With a total of seven players, rogue decks had a strong showing. Without Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil in the format, miracle rogue has made a return.

It was fascinating to see a tournament so unlike the ones we are accustomed to. It’s almost unheard of to see a tournament with only a single warlock deck, a single paladin deck, and a single hunter deck.

Image from
Image from

With the loss of cards like Lightbomb and Death’s Bite, priests and warriors both turned towards dragon synergies. Shaking up the format by rotating sets out of standard has given other cards their time to shine. Cards like Brann Bronzebeard and Alexstrasza’s Champion, have now seen play in a professional tournament.

While many players incorporated the strength of druid into their lineup, a few took it one step further. Knowing druid would be popular; some competitors approached deck construction by taking advantage of the conquest-style tournament and ensuring their three decks have favorable druid matchups.

The three-day event boasted a $30,000 prize pool, and Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk will be taking home $12,500 after winning an intense grand final match against Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen. Both players in the grand finals brought ramp druid and dragon priest decks. While Savjz brought face shaman as his third deck, the victorious Thijs brought dragon warrior. The epic match concluded with a top-deck Bash for exact lethal with fatigue.


CS:GO Knives: Rare & Pricey Doppler Skins

M9 Bayonet Doppler Sapphire Factory New

The pricing can get tricky on these knives, because even though the Doppler skins drop from the same Chroma and Chroma 2 cases, their price will vary depending on the pattern that they hold. So if you see one that looks like a good deal, make sure to inspect it before buying or you might end up paying more than what you should have.

Doppler knives have three different types of patterns (Mythical, Legendary and Ancient) and they’re all priced at different levels. Mythical patterns are cheaper than Legendary, and both are cheaper than Ancient. Each pattern holds a color scheme. The Mythical pattern has four different “phases” (phase 1 & 2 have purple and pink colors while 3 & 4 have black and blue with a small percentage of green in some cases) and the Legendary pattern has a Ruby or Sapphire texture. The value of knives with phases 1 and 2 will vary depending on the amount of purple or pink on the blade and the knives with phases 3 or 4 will vary depending on the amount of black or blue. Then there’s the Ancient pattern (Black Pearl) that is the simplest, but most expensive of the lot.

M9 Bayonet Doppler Ruby Factory New

Oh, and on top of that, the wear for the skins in our marketplace varies from Factory New to Minimal Wear. There is no formula for determining the exact price of these knives, you can only judge the percentage of color (be that blue, black, purple or pink) on the blade and some sellers choose to have their skins reviewed by specialists before listing them in the market.

The knives that drop with these skins are the Flip Knife, Gut Knife, Karambit, M9 Bayonet and the Bayonet.

The suggested price on CS:GO Analyst for the Flip Knife varies between $148.54 and $210.76, but as you can see from the actual prices on our store, these are only slight references. Some Doppler knives have a higher asking price than what is suggested and some have a lower asking price. This is determined by what people are looking for, and that is the most uniform color on the blade. The thing is that a knife is already rare, a knife with an expensive skin is rarer and in the case of Dopplers, because the pattern is randomly generated, a knife with a uniform color is almost impossible to find, hence, the high price of the Ruby, Sapphire and Black Pearl.  Remember the patterns and colors? That’s why.

The same goes for the other knives, which means that you can say bye-bye to a kidney if you want to buy one; or hello to that down payment on your new car if you manage to sell a Sapphire, Ruby or Black Pearl.

Ready to spend your grandma’s inheritance on a knife that technically doesn’t cut? Apart from those minor details in pricing, these skins do sell very well, with a Factory New Karambit selling 32 units a day on average; add rarity to that equation and you have an item that is worth holding on to. They also look pretty cool.

M9 Bayonet Doppler Phase 3 & 4 Factory New

Remember to look at the color patterns on the Doppler skins since they determine the actual price. Keep in mind that Purple plus Pink is cheaper than Black and Blue, entirely Black is the most rare Doppler knife skin in CS:GO, and a completely Red or completely Blue blade are typically the most expensive Doppler knife skins in our store.

M9 Bayonet Doppler Phase 1 & 2 Factory New



Operation Wildfire: Bowie Knife and New Skins

Bowie Knife Vanilla
Operation Wildfire Case

Ready to gain a much-needed boost to your XP and enhance your CS:GO experience? Less than a year after their last operation ended, Valve has released a new operation consisting of two new campaigns with more than 50 missions, a new case, 16 new skins and a revamped map.

Operation Wildfire has a Game of Thrones sound to it and also brings with it a new knife model, the Bowie Knife, which is named after an American knife fighter and not the singer (RIP). This miniature machete comes in 13 different skins: the Forest DDPAT, Vanilla, Night, Crimson Web, Fade, Urban Masked, Scorched, Blue Steel, Stained, Case Hardened, Slaughter, Safari Mesh, and Boreal Forest.

You can bet all of them will be expensive – new skins usually are and never mind a new weapon model – when they hit the OPSkins marketplace. The current estimates are all based on the Steam Market, so any price that you might have at the moment outside of Steam is speculation and you won’t be able to address skins with randomized patterns (Case Hardened, Slaughter, Fade and Crimson Web), which this knife has, until a unit gets un-boxed.

The Wildfire case also includes new skins for the AWP, the M4A4, Ak-47, Desert Eagle, Nova, FAMAS, Five-Seven, Glock, MAG-7, MP7, PP-Bizon, Dual Berettas, MAC-10, SSG 08, Tec-9 and USP-S. We will be following the performance of these skins in the marketplace in order to check their popularity and market acceptance after the trade restriction is lifted from them in a few days.

Bowie Knife Blue Steel (Factory New)

For the moment, however, we will be left in the unknown until one week is up since new skins have to wait that amount of time before they can be traded and thus sold. In the meantime we are getting ready for the onslaught of the new knife and its skins, and the new skins belonging to the Wildfire Operation. So when you do get that rare drop and wish to sell it, you know OPSkins is your best choice (but you knew that already).

All photos from CS:GO Analyst

Bowie Knife Fade (Factory New)
Bowie Knife Case Hardened (Factory New)

Calling All Operatives – Operation Wildfire is Here!

Wildfire Coin
Screenshot by Hades |

That’s right, it’s finally happened, a new CS:GO Operation called Operation Wildfire. We can finally enjoy a new and long overdue Operation to take our minds off of Competitive again. Plus, we all know that when a new Operation comes knocking, that means a new weapons case with all new weapon skins as well as a new knife. It also comes with the standard Operation Coin that ranks up as you complete missions, and receive stars from the Operation Wildfire missions and Gemini Campaign. Personally I like this coin the most out of all the previous Operation Coins, as it looks very well done. There is also a re-work of the old map de_Nuke, but I’ll be discussing more about that in a later post.

With Operation Wildifre comes with new Missions as well as the new Campaign. However unlike it’s predecessors, the Operation Wildfire campaign Gemini has only one path to choose from with several run-off missions, as opposed to the two-path layout from the previous campaigns. It exclusively features the Co-operative missions, or Guardian Missions, that were rather enjoyable from Operation Bloodhound and were very replayable. There are also the usual missions for Arms Race, Deathmatch, and other game modes that were available in the other Operations, which is always to be expected.

Bowie Knife Skins

There is a new case on the playground, the Wildfire Case, which features various well-designed and beautiful new skins: the M4A4 | Battlestar, FAMAS | Valence, AWP | Elite Build, Mag-7 | Praetorian, and the Desert Eagle | Kumicho Dragon, which seems to be a new cousin of the Dual Berettas skin Dueling Dragons.

As stated before there is also the new Bowie knife which, based on the opinions of my co-workers and friends, looks much better than the previous Shadow Daggers that came from the Shadow Case. It certainly reminds you of the old Counter-Strike 1.6 knife, back when that was the only one around. As with all new Skins and Knives the prices will vary wildly for a little while before they settle down. We can expect to see them selling like hot cakes on the market, both on Steam and on, when the seven day un-tradeable period is over.

FAMAS Valence

With this new operation, the community can look forward to having something to do over the next few months while waiting for the next Counter-Strike: Global Offensive majors to happen.

Onward to glory, Operatives!


Rainbow Six Siege Makes Their Way into eSports

Image from: ESL
Image from: ESL

Ubisoft is making their way into the eSport competitive scene with their game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six. Rainbow Six Seige brings a new pace to the FPS competitive scene – the game is characteristically slower and extremely tactical.

The game features two teams, one defending and the other one attacking, but here is where it gets different from most FPS games: the defending team will reinforce a room and set traps and gadgets to try to hold a hostage, while the attacking team will try to breach in and extract it.

Ubisoft has partnered with Xbox and ESL to bring the first ever Rainbow Six tournament, titled “Rainbow Six Pro League,” a competition that will debut at the Intel Extreme Masters season X in Katowice, Poland.

“ESL Pro Leagues have become synonymous with professional gaming across the esports industry. We are delighted to add Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege to the line-up of games, and are excited for what is sure to be a great opening season of play. Our online ESL Play community has rallied around Rainbow Six Siege competition, and we’re sure that with our partners at Ubisoft and Microsoft, we can take the Pro League to the next level.”

David Hiltscher, VP Gaming Communities at ESL

Rainbow Six Pro League will begin in March on both Xbox One and PC and the IEM tournament will mark the first LAN tournament for the game. The league will continue in the following weeks after the event with tournaments in North America and online, meaning that this only marks the beginning of Rainbow Six’s competitive scene as a whole.

The Rainbow Six Pro League will bring the top eight teams from each region and platform to the stage (top two for each region, four for each platform). Only the best teams will advance to the Season Finals with a shot at a prize pool of US$100,000 in total, to be split equality between each platform.

The teams are already battling their way for an invite to IEM, and the top teams in the Go4R6’s (online competition open to everyone) monthly rankings by the 22nd of February on the European and North American servers (both for PC and Xbox One) will have a chance to compete in the Pro League.