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OPSkins Marketplace Blog | CS:GO, H1Z1 and eSports News Posts

OPSkins: A Year in the Life of the World’s Largest Skins Marketplace

Since its launch in December 2014, OPSkins has become the premier marketplace for buying and selling CS:GO skins. You can find pretty much any skin that has been dropped or attained in CS:GO here (and at a good price too – more on that later). From it’s roster of 6.5 million weapons for sale, to the thousands of daily new users, to the company’s branding, it has cemented itself among the community as the “go to” marketplace for buying and selling CS:GO skins. Despite the site’s black background, the company’s mission is anything but dark – in fact it’s written in a bright white, simple font at the start of the home page.

Born out of the need to eliminate fraud in the online skins trade, OPSkins was developed to serve the ever growing market of CS:GO skin collectors. Before the site came online, users only had two options when trying to buy or sell their guns:

Option 1: They could do it on the Steam Marketplace if the skin was worth under $400, and even then they’d only get funds to purchase on Steam, not real world money. So it was safe, but you couldn’t get cash.

Option 2: They could set up a Paypal account, publish their skin sale listing in forums or online marketplaces like eBay and wait for someone to click “Buy.” This led to many cases where sellers and buyers would get scammed. Users bought a skin, only to receive a weapon with more wear than the one they paid for. Users sometimes accepted a trade and after everything was in place, one of the parties would cancel the trade and run off with the money, or even worse, charge back through Paypal, leaving the other party completely empty handed. Back then you couldn’t really keep any fraudulent activity in check. It was as if someone decided to buy your TV and after you sent it by mail, you’d receive a check only to find out that it would bounce after you deposited in the bank. So you could get cash, but it wasn’t safe.

What could be done to avoid these instances? What OPSkins did – develop a safe third-party website to facilitate trades, where buyers and sellers can’t get scammed. Set up an online marketplace that is not governed by the Steam Marketplace transaction ceiling of $400, yet still communicates with said marketplace and the user’s inventory. Program bots to handle tens of thousands of trades. Set up a payment system for buyers with several purchasing options, let sellers “cashout” for real life money, and create a simple UI. Because sellers receive real life money on the site instead of Steam funds, they often list prices lower than on the Steam Marketplace which in turn creates a better market for the buyer.

Or just cringe at every reddit post filled with outrage about the scam of the day and be thankful it wasn’t you. But I digress.

Photo Credit: ESWC
Photo Credit: ESWC

After the website was launched, it quickly grew in popularity among CS:GO players, reaching 100k users on March 23, 2015, then 200k on April 25, 300k on May 6, and 400k by June 29th. Clearly there was a global and growing market. OPSkins almost immediately began sponsoring streamers and creating partnerships within the community and in July 2015 OPSkins sponsored the 2015 CS:GO ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup) in Montreal, where sixteen teams from all over the world competed for the $30k grand prize. That same month OPSkins hit the 500k user mark.

After the tournament and with the increasing amount of users on the marketplace who had a variety of payment methods available to them, the site expanded its payment options to include Bitcoin and Paymentwall. Now a person who didn’t use Paypal could opt to buy skins with Bitcoin or PaySafe cards and other methods through Paymentwall. These options expanded the amount of money users could spend on the marketplace, which in turn, attracted more users to the site.

New bots were rolled out in September with the intent of handling increased traffic on the marketplace and improving trade efficiency for the exponentially growing user population and delivered many features that users and the community had requested.

By November OPSkins had 900k users and was fast approaching the 1 million mark. During this month Bitcoin cashouts were also enabled on the site, which meant that users could now get their account verified in order to withdraw money that resulted from their dealings in the marketplace.

As the OPSkins team prepared for it’s first staff Christmas party, they received news of a possible game-changing announcement made by Valve. Escrow had been set to go live on December 9th. The OPSkins development team found a way for the bots to work with the new trade restrictions imposed by Valve and in less than a week had everything under control with almost zero downtime, saving the site’s users from utter chaos if we had not been prepared. It probably wasn’t that dramatic but it’s what my grandchildren will hear whenever I tell the story.

1millionWith the situation averted, the first annual Christmas party went on as planned and when the OPSkins team returned home the site was quickly approaching the 1 millionth user mark.
To celebrate the milestone OPSkins gave away a AWP Dragon Lore. Yes ladies and gents, the benevolent administration gave away one of the rarest and most expensive skins on the game as a commemoration for hitting the mark. Because if it weren’t for the loyalty and support of our users, we wouldn’t have a Dragon Lore to give away.

Now the OPSkins team prepares for its second year serving CS:GO collectors, a task that we take very seriously and will do with utmost devotion.  Here at OPSkins we work every day to live up to our tagline: Easy Skins. Easy Money.

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A Year in Review: Gaming Franchises of 2015

With 2015 drawing to an close we’d like to look back at the games that we waited patiently for release since January 1st 2015. Those games that keep putting us on the edge, the games that gave us control over our all time favorites; we are talking about the big gaming franchises in 2015, those games that when announced we knew (even before watching the game plays and trailers) were going to blow us away.

And 2015 did nothing but impress us, starting with Grand Theft Auto V.

GTA V was originally released on September 2013 but it wasn’t until April of 2015 that we (PC master race) got to walk the streets of Los Santos once again.

It seems like free-roaming and open-world are starting to become a trend in the gaming industry. During 2015 we saw some of the biggest and most important games resort to an open world approach, and that was the case for  Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Just Cause 3, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and even Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

It was also the year for some all time favorites such as Mortal Kombat X, Halo 5 and the kid’s favorite Call of Duty Black Ops 3 (because after all these years, there is nothing better than having a random person telling you how fat your mom is over the mic).

Last but not least we had Battlefront, and it is impossible for me to talk about it without mentioning the so called “Season Pass” – a pack that gives you access to multiple maps, weapons and game modes. Some people see it as “added value” and others (including me) as a debacle, after all we are talking about a game that was released on November 17 and after a couple months from release announced a $50 DLC pack.

Hopefully 2016 bring us new titles as well as some of the classics. As a gamer I will like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year, filled with amazing video games and a lack of pointless DLCs and games ruined by pay to win tactics.

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An Intro to CS:GO Skins, OPSkins and the Skins Economy

Let’s see, gotta write this article about intangible guns, rifles, knives and the marketplace where you can get them. Here goes nothing.

If you’re into Multiplayer Online First Person Shooters or MOFPS for short (kinda), and I bet you are if you’re reading this, then you are very much aware of the eSport that is Counter-Strike and its no-so-latest incarnation, CS:GO (Short for Counter Strike: Global Offensive).

Not only that, but you might even be aware of the market that has spawned out of the game’s weapons “skins” trade (you must be if you’re reading this blog).

We sure are.

From the legend that is the AWP series, to the lesser known Negevs, you can get them all here at OPSkins.

But unless you’re a Twitch streamer or an eSport athlete, why would you want to spend your daddy’s hard earned college money on a gun that you can’t actually use for you know, real life stuff? Well, for starters, you won’t make headline news by shooting other players online, a good thing considering that kind of thing is seriously frowned upon. You will however, look amazing on the in-game kill cam after you’ve shot someone with your recently acquired factory new SMG, LMG, Rifle, Handgun or Shotgun.

The most expensive CS:GO skins can go for four figures (never mind the trolls selling some guns for $99,999.99) and in some very rare occasions, five (yes I’m looking at you FN Dragon Lore), but most can be acquired for a few bucks. You don’t need to earn thousands of dollars of sponsorship money in order to own a good looking, in-game gun.

OPSkins is a marketplace – in fact the largest in the world with more than one million users and processing 50k+ transactions per day – and as such if you look often and patiently enough you will find that awesome looking gun that you like for the right price. You don’t need to have a 150k inventory. What you have to be sure of before you buy is if you want 1) a weapon that just looks good for your every day TDM or 2) if you want a weapon that is an investment.

As is in a typical market, the prices on OPSkins are set by supply and demand otherwise known as CS:GO Analyst. So when a new skin rolls off on a Valve update, it is usually at it’s highest selling point. Then the price plummets and it stabilizes, kind of like a stock; a stock that can be manipulated by the machinations of Mr. Gaben and his development team. They can drive a skin price into the ground by “nerfing” a weapon or spike it through the roof by making said gun a requirement for unlocking other “cooler” skins through trade ups. We will further explore these fluctuations in the future, for now just know that the price of your “skin” rests on Mr. Gaben’s hands.

We will also go into detail with regards to a weapons “float,” what affects it, and its selling history in the brief year that OPSkins has been operating. Notice that I’ve been referring to the guns only, knives are a whole other story that will be explored.

Without further ado, welcome to the largest online CS:GO skins market OPSkins.com and to your new go-to blog about the game, the market and the industry.

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A Year in Review: eSports in 2015

2015 was a great year for the gaming industry and eSports as a whole.  During this year we got to play some of the most expected gaming titles, we saw prize pools reaching millions, and with them some of the coolest and most impressive game plays.

Here’s a summary of some of the most important events that happened on the eSports scene during 2015:


Dota 2 and The International 2015

During the month of August, thanks to a huge crowd funding campaign from its fans, Dota 2 broke records with the biggest prize pool on an eSports tournament reaching a whopping $18 million.

For six days 16 teams battled to get a piece of that cake, and after an impressive run with ups and downs (dropping to the loser bracket, and then working their way onto the finals) American team Evil Geniuses crushed team CDEC’s dream and got crowned champion, claiming $6.6 million.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

It was an impressive year for CS:GO. For some teams it was their chance to be crowned champions again, and for others it was the beginning of their success and rise to eSports fame.

On one hand we have Fnatic, winners of ESL One Katowice, ESL One Cologne, FACEIT 2015, and many other titles. On the other hand we saw a team like Luminosity, who went to Dreamhack Winter as the underdogs and worked their way through the losers bracket onto the finals by defeating important and favorite teams such as EnVyUs, NiP and Team SoloMid. Unfortunately their dreams were crushed to the veterans from Fnatic.

As for OPSkins you might ask, we started sponsoring major events right away, including two really cool tournaments: ESWC (Electronic Sports  World Cup 2015) the tournament that took place in Montreal  and had NAVI beating C9 for the first place, and “WINOUT.net CS:GO Championship” where we saw CLG claim the first prize against Luminosity.

Photo Credit: Navi
Photo Credit: Navi

Fighting Games

It was probably the biggest year so far for the fighting games. 2015 was a year of new titles and games such as Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Mortal Kombat X began their first year of competition.

As for the competition side of things, we finally saw bigger sponsors taking part on the not so famous fighting games, and Nintendo sponsored for the first time an official Super Smash Bros tournament which ended up being won by Evil Geniuses’s Kevin “PPMD” Nanney.

As for the famous EVO Championship Series, the scene broke their viewership records during the Street Fighter finals, with more than 250,000 viewers on Twitch.

League of Legends

The League of Legends World Championship title went to SK Telecom T1, who managed to get a second title in a row by beating KOO Tigers 3 to 1.

The focus of the games was on two of the top players in the world MaRin and Smeb, and ended up on game 4 with a dominant SK T1.


2015 was a year that brought gaming fans together and we got to experience the evolution of the gaming industry as eSports is starting to be taken more seriously by the masses (some people see this as a curse, others as an achievement). If 2015 is any indicator of the way eSports is evolving, we can’t wait for 2016 to begin bringing us some of the biggest tournaments in gaming history.

 

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The Differences of Phases, Float and Wear

Despite Counter Strike: Global Offensive being a handful of years old and that most weapons and their different skins have been around for almost as long, there is still some confusion over what makes one more worth its weight than others. This especially impacts the market and its pricing, of which some people make a living from and depend on this market being stable in its prices (that will be explained in another post in-depth in the future). This post will focus on those differences and the specifics between phases, float and wear on weapons and knives. 

Each weapon carries a somewhat unique Float/Wear value. While these may seem to be different to most people, they are essentially the same value. Float/Wear value refers to a decimal or a percentage (ranging from 0.00-1.00 or 0-100%) and it determines how the weapon or knife looks when inspected. These values take the form of scratches when inspected in-game, either in your inventory or during a match, and can either make the gun seem worth more or less the price at which it is being sold. The wear percentage is included beneath each item listed on OPSkins.com for your convenience.

CSGO Dragon Lore
The wear percentage is displayed beneath an AWP Dragon Lore listed on OPSkins.com

Usually these scratches can manifest mostly on the outside regions of the weapon in the lower values (Such as a knife;s blade edge or a gun’s magazine), and along the inner regions or surfaces in the higher values. These values are also split into five groups; Factory New, Minimal Wear, Field-Tested, Well-Worn, and Battle-Scarred. These groups, or wears, are the first consideration when pricing certain skins. If the skin is Battle-Scarred, it will be cheaper than buying one that is Field-Tested or Factory New.

Phases are reserved for only one type of CS:GO knife skin, Dopplers. A Phase is a certain pattern to how a Doppler looks and is classified in numbered groups (Phase 1 through 4). When a Doppler is in a Phase group, it influences the price by a modest amount. Depending on how a Phase looks on a certain knife, it can either be worth more or less than other Phases.

A Phase 1 Doppler will be mostly black with a red stripe along the middle of the blade and a bit of red resting just above the hilt on the play side, and a red stripe running diagonal along the blade on the other side. A Phase 2 will be mostly red on the tip and towards the hilt of the blade with a bit of black in the middle on both sides of the blade. A Phase 3 will be somewhat blue on the tip and towards the hilt with a bit of black and small shade of green in the middle of the blade on both sides. Finally, a Phase 4 will be mostly blue with a black stripe in the middle of the blade on both sides. There are three other patterns for Dopplers; Ruby, Sapphire, and Black Pearl. These patterns are very different from phases, and require little explanation as to how they look.

You can browse thousands of weapons and other CS:GO skins currently for sale on OPSkins.com

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