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

A 2016 eSports Calendar: Dota 2, CS:GO, League of Legends Tournaments and more

We’ve covered eSports in 2015, eSports tournament winning teams in 2015 and gaming franchises in 2015. Let’s focus on the future.

We are going to have an excellent year in the 2016 eSports scene and this year won’t disappoint us, with up to 4 majors coming for Dota 2 and plenty more for CS:GO.

Here are some of the events already confirmed:

Valve’s Regional Minor Championships- CS:GO  – January:

In an effort to generate opportunities for new teams to develop, Valve will be hosting four regional championships during the month of January with a prize pool of $50,000 and a chance for teams to compete at the offline qualifiers for MLG Colombus 2016.

SL i-League StarSeries – Dota 2  – January 13-17th:

12 of the best teams will compete at the Minsk Arena (Belarus) in a tournament with a prize pool of $300,000.

League of Legends Championship Series, NA LCS Spring Season – LoL – January 16-March 20:

January 5th will mark the biggining of the Riot 2016 Season Championsip Series, being the fourth season of North America’s fully professional League of Legends league.

League of Legends Championship Series, EU LCS Spring Season – LoL – January 16-March 18:

10 teams will compete in a round robin group stage, with the top six teams continuing to the offline playoffs.

DreamHack Leipzig 2016 – CS:GO and StarCraft II – January 22-24th:

Will run from the 22nd of January until the 24th at Leipziger Messe in Leipzig, Germany.

This will be the first DreamHack event in Germany, and will include Counter-Strike:Global Offensive and StarCraft II: Legacy of Void on their main show.

MarsTV Dota 2 League 2015 Winter – Dota 2 – January 27-31st:

10 teams will battle in China for a price pool of $250,000.

Cannes Winter Clash – Fighting games – February 26-28th:

The Cannes Winter Clash (France) is one of the largest fighting game tournaments in Europe including games such as Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros for WiiU, King of Fighter XIII and others.

IEM Katowice 2016 – CS:GO and LoL – March 4-6th:

The Polish city will be once again the home for a big eSports tournament. From March 4th to March 6th, the best CS:GO and League of Legends teams will compete at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship for a prize pool of over $350,000.

The Shanghai Major – Dota 2 – March 2-6th:

The first Dota 2 Major of 2016 will feature 16 of the best teams in the world competing on a double elimination tournament for a $3 million prize pool.

Eight teams will be directly invited and eight teams will come from the Regional Qualifiers (it’s time to form your five stack and start feeding!).

MLG Columbus 2016 – CS:GO  – Mach 29-April 3:

Valve announced that their next CS:GO Major Championship will take place in Colombus, Ohio, featuring the top eight teams from DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca.

The six day event will begin March 29 and their finals will be on April 3. Columbus will mark the eighth Major Championship for CS:GO and the first Major held in North America.

DreamHack Austin 2016 – CS:GO and Fighting Games – May 6-8th:

For the first time ever the biggest digital festival will make their way to North America.

DreamHack will be the home for CS:GO, Super Smash Brother Melee and Street Fighter V tournaments.

OPSkins is based in the USA and Canada so if you make your way to this tournament make sure to say hi to our staff as some of us will be around enjoying the event!

ESL One Cologne 2016 – CS:GO –  July 8-10th:

Cologne will be (once again) the home for the largest CS:GO tournament in the world. The world’s best teams will battle for $250,000 at the Lanxess Arena in Germany.

 

It’s going to be a year filled with great tournaments and we can’t wait for it to begin, 2016 here we go!

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Sales Volume and Price Fluctuation: The CS:GO Handgun Part Two

“Guns, lots of guns.” Nobody said it better than Neo, and it’s true for Part Two of our market analysis on CS:GO handguns.

In Part One we analyzed how the market value of the most expensive CS:GO skins for the three most popular handguns in the pistol round fluctuated in value, and we concluded that they are in no way representative of the actual market. You might think “Well then, why did you even bother writing the article?” and my editors might agree with you on that, but if this gets published then I made it out alive.

Part One focused on demonstrating how the price on the different levels of “wear” belonging to the same model skins can fluctuate over time. A Factory New skin might be cheaper than a Minimal Wear skin depending on how it sells, when it was dropped and how much a person paid to obtain it.

For market behavior, as we stated in Part One, we must look for volume of sales and obviously the price fluctuation. So let’s get down to business and analyze the trends:

P250 | Muertos
P250 | Muertos

P250

The first skin on our list is a dead skin, more specifically a Spanish kind of dead.

The P250 | Muertos comes in with a whopping 24 units sold per day in the past month on average at $2.20, which gives us an average sales total of $52.80 per day. At its lowest in the start of December the skin sold for $1.95 and steadily climbed to its current average price of $2.31, an increase of 15% in a month. Not bad for a dead man.

P2000

P2000 | Fire Elemental
P2000 | Fire Elemental

The P2000 | Fire Elemental. In its Field Tested incarnation, the gun started this year with an average price of $7.22 and 27 units sold, on average daily. As with the P250, the average price of this gun went from $6.02 at the end of November last year to it’s current price, which rounds up to an increase in 16%. A small improvement over the previous gun and a good investment all around not only for the Pistol Round aficionado, but also for the customer looking to make a few cents on the side.

USP-S

The USP-S | Orion is a nice addition to any inventory. The Factory New version of the skin is the most expensive on this list, starting the year with an average price of $9.41 and climbing. It had an increase in price of 8.5% from the previous month and it averaged sales of 56 units a day, which means that it is also one of the best selling skins we are reviewing in this article.

Glock-18

Bringing up the rear, but not because it’s any less than the previous skins is the Glock-18 | Water Elemental with a whopping 107 units sold on average per day and a price increase of 6.6% in the last month. The sale price went from $3.25 to $3.48 by the start of the year, meaning that this skin accounts for sales of $360 a day. If you want to get in on the action, look cool whenever you pull out your side-arm, and also don’t mind making a few cents, this skin is definitely the way to go.

USP-S | Orion
USP-S | Orion

Now, as enjoyable as it is getting paid to write about guns, this series must come to an end (sigh) so here’s the summary conclusion of all these numbers:

  • The P250 has the lowest amount of units sold daily but has the second highest percentage price increase among the four. Its price is climbing and it’s also the cheapest of the four, but it’s harder to move. So you don’t have to spend much to get one, and you will still make money (not much) when you sell it, but it will sit in your inventory for a long time.
  • The P2000 has the highest percentage increase with regards to average price of the four but is second to last in the amount of daily units sold. It is the second most expensive gun on this post, which means that it also moves slow, but if you get your hands on one and decide to sell it you will have made substantially more money. As the saying goes you gotta spend money to make money.
  • The USP-S manages to sell well above the regular price of the others, has a market value that’s increasing, and is only second in the amount of units sold daily. So a high entry bar but overall easy to sell and good rewards.
P2000 | Fire Elemental
P2000 | Fire Elemental
  • The Glock-18 is the second cheapest but it beats the other four with regards to the amount of units it sells a day. It also has the lowest percentage increase with regards to price, so you will have to stock up on a few, wait a little and then sell if you wish to get your money’s worth. You reap what you sow.

A CS:GO handgun is not going to make you rich overnight as they’re not as expensive as the main guns or knives in CS:GO. You won’t see much profit immediately but they do provide a stable entrance to the market of guns that, if administered wisely and patiently, will reap rewards. Handguns offer high volume in sales and in this case, a stable and growing price that can allow you to jump into the next big investment. So do the smart thing and buy a CS:GO handgun.

The prices and percentages on this post were extracted from OPSkins.com

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A Year in Review: Counter Strike: Global Offensive 2015

With 2015 coming to a close, a lot of changes happened in Counter Strike: Global Offensive over the course of the year. There were many ups and downs to some of these updates, as would be expected of in any game. However everything has turned out rather well, even though some of the updates were fine-tuned after their release. Some of these had a huge impact on Counter Strike: Global Offensive overall, while some had more an impact on it’s market and us at OPSkins.com. Some of these changes include a new pistol, changes to the rifles (although they were reverted), new skins, cases, and so on.

Without further ado, let’s go over some of the more major changes:

JanuaryThis is the month the Chroma Case first launched. Among the new gun skins, one could also find new knife skins, providing they were lucky enough to get them. The interaction radius was widened for Smoke grenades and Incendiary grenades. The P250 and CZ75-Auto also saw some changes, the P250 ammunition being lowered to only three magazines on purchase, and the CZ75 had an earlier nerf (A decrease in  in ammunition and firerate reverted back to what it was before. The P2000 had its ammunition capacity fixed. There were also minor fixes to the maps Mirage, Train, Dust2, Cache, Overpass, and Facade. This also happened to be the month OPSkins.com first launched, January 26th to be exact.

February – To start off this month there was a focus on the map layout for Cobblestone, major changes including changing around both Bombsites, and improving their cover for both teams while making them a little easier to play on. Later in the month we saw some minor tweaks to areas such as dropdown, the cubby at Bombsite A, underpass, etc. There were also minor fixes to various other things, including the AWP viewmodel, sound on maps, map exploits, and so forth. New offers for Stickers and Music Kits were added to the store. To wrap it up the Katowice 2015 Pick ‘Em Challenge was added, where players could choose from the lineup of pro teams to see which would win at the different stages of the tournament. There was also a patch for a security issue.

CS-GO Train 2
Picture of Bombsite A of de_Train post-update – http://bit.ly/1MRGSJh

March – The month of March started with a lot of tweaks for both UI as well as some of the maps, GOTV, Steam Overlay, and OS support. The maps Overpass, Dust2, Mirage, Cobblestone, Train, and Cache saw some Skybox optimizations as well as other visual tweaks, including smoothing some of them to make gameplay a little less bumpy. There was some removing of imbalances in a couple of said maps, specifically Dust2, Train, Cache, and Overpass. Shorttrain was added back to the map rotation after it was removed briefly in December of 2014 with a few updates added in. Stattrak weapons could now be traded up using the Contracts properly, which a lot of players wanted. Operation Vanguard came to a close as well.

April – The month of April started off slow during the first half, with only a few tweaks to crouched movement speed, as well as a small fix to the Dust2 radar. However we saw the addition of the coveted Chroma 2 Case, which included a variety of very nice weapon skins, including the M4A1-S | Hyper Beast, Five-SeveN | Monkey Business, and the AWP | Worm God. The month ended off with a fix for reserve ammunition, and some fixes to the Smoke and High Explosive Grenades. There were also some new sticker offers, and support was added for a few third-party applications.

MayMay opened up with Operation Bloodhound which included a line-up of five new community maps; Agency, Resort, Zoo, Log, and Rails. Those who purchased a pass to Operation Bloodhound also received special access to the new Falchion Case, which included 16 community-made skins and the Falchion Knife. It also saw the addition of two new game modes, Assassination and Guardian Co-op which were playable via the Bloodhound Campaign. There was also the introduction to Profile Ranks, which gave a weapon drop for the first new rank each week. Other minor changes came in the form of UI tweaks, engine tweaks, matchmaking, networking, and server changes. The maps Cache, Mirage, Rails, Office, Log, and Season also received some updates for exploits and a couple balances.

June – Not much was happening in June, but Counter Strike: Global Offensive’s new ban system Overwatch was rolled out of beta. This system allowed trusted users to review report cases and issue bans or pardon errant reports on other players. Overwatch has worked fairly well since it was added. There were also some fixes to sounds from weapons and players, as well as some adjustments to controls and spectating. There were also some fixes for de_Zoo for some exploits.

July – July was mostly about fixing some various visuals, sounds, as well as a couple maps, Dust2 and Overpass. Overall, small fixes other than a couple bugs with the sounds and map spots where the C4 would be stuck.

August – ESL Cologne One capsules were available to purchase, and so were the Team Stickers. Some late submissions for updated autographed Stickers were added later, but not too much later. There were also fixes for client-side bugs, from visuals to sounds.

September – Starting off in September were changes to client-side operations, and to some maps for more bugs that were discovered. However, September did pick up with some new major changes. This included all new visuals for bomb planting and defusing, among other animations, instead of the players just sitting there. Gameplay changes included a nerf to the M4A1-S, making it cheaper but less viable for purchasing. The Dual Berettas were buffed in armor pentration and range, which made them slightly better and actually saw some use. There was also the removal of weapons poking through thin surfaces, which meant players no longer had to worry about their gun sticking through a door, such as the one in squeaky on the map Cache. Music Kits could now also be Stattrak, which counted your individual MVPs in any game you played. On a side note, September unofficially became Zeus month (much to my dismay). The price for the Zeus was lowered to $100. Topped with the money you received from killing others with it, as well as the fact that you were faster with it, it was used much more than it was previously.

October – Operation Bloodhound came to a close this month. At the same time the Zeus’ price was increased to $200 while the kill reward was taken away completely, and your run speed while holding it was decreased as well. Competitive matches saw a small change in communications as it was now team-only voice chat. There were some dedicated server changes as well as some small changes to the maps Mirage, Overpass, Cobblestone, and Train. The Tournament Cluj-Napoca 2015 was introduced with a new Pick ‘Em Challenge, and new Autographed Stickers were available for purchase. Last but not least there was a new Fantasy Game added where a player could pick from a roster to build their own Fantasy team. Achieving one of the top scores would win you the Fantasy Trophy.

November – November saw some very small changes with some new sounds for snow, metal, rubber, and so on. They also lowered the volume of first-person footsteps.

CSGO-Revolver-R8-gun
Screenshot of R8 Revolver in-game from Hades | OPSkins.com

December – This month began with a new case being released, as well as a new pistol. The case centered around this new pistol, the R8 Revolver, and the weapon itself would replace the Desert Eagle space in the player’s loadout. This new weapon saw much use in it’s first week of being released due to it’s powerful and accurate shots. However, it was later nerfed and fell out of most use. Matchmaking also received some adjustments, namely the time for both rounds and the planted C4, which were changed to 1:55 and 0:40 respectively.

Timeout voting was added for both teams, which would pause the game for 60 seconds, which would give some time during the beginning of the round for teams to strategize. The rifles (M4A1-S, M4A4, and AK-47) as well as most pistols received a nerf, the rifles having the range for spraying reduced in an effort to promote burst control and one-tapping, and the pistols’ movement inaccuracy were reduced as well. Later in the month there were some fixes for the R8 Revolver, and also a game breaking exploit for Smoke Grenades, which disappeared if a user tabbed out then back in to the game.

The last update of December, and consequentially all of 2015, only saw some minor fixes including bullet penetration after a bullet passed the maximum penetration range. Also, this was the month that OPSkins.com reached One Million Customers. Woohoo! A big thanks to everyone out there who supported the site!

Wow. That’s a lot. So much for a brief post. With that said, we should be looking forward to the year 2016, both the players and us here at OPSkins.com. Happy New Year, everyone!

Source: http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/category/updates/

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Valve Drops the Hammer on Match Fixing Incidents

Valve kicked off 2016 by confirming that bans given to the players involved in the match fixing incident of August 21st, 2014 (involving team iBUYPOWER) will be permanent, preventing the players from participating in any future tournament sponsored by Valve. This ban will also include team Epsilon.

On a statement posted earlier by the CS:GO developers on their blog, the company confirmed there was a substantial number of high value items being transferred between the players involved in the scandal. This, on top of the proof they already had, made them come to this final decision.

The following players won’t be able to participate in any Valve sponsored event:

Duc “cud” Pham
Derek “dboorn” Boorn
Sam “Dazed” Marine
Braxton “swag” Pierce
Keven “AZK” Larivière
Joshua “Steel” Nissan

As stated on Valve’s official Counter-Strike.net blog:

“Professional players, their managers, and teams’ organization staff, should under no circumstances gamble on CS:GO matches, associate with high volume CS:GO gamblers, or deliver information to others that might influence their CS:GO bets.”

This is not the first time Valve took action regarding match fixing, and sadly it’s not the first time we’ve see such a scandal in eSports.

In 2013 the gaming network StarLadder TV banned Alexey “Solo” Berezin from participating on any future Dota 2 tournament being held by them (this being the origin of the 322 meme on the Dota 2 scene, after he allegedly made $322 from this match fix).

On October 19, 2014 a series of match fixing incidents were uncovered in the Dota 2 SEA (South East Asia) scene, ending with the permanent ban for team Arrow Gaming. Arrow Gaming was later disqualified from The Summit 2 for their involvement on this scandal.

It is believed that it was during The International 4 (July 2014), that the strong rules regarding permanent bans for match fixing came into effect.

Earlier today Mineski reported that team Stars was disqualified from Shanghai’s Dota 2 major qualifiers due to their past involvement on a match fixing incident. The same ban prevents Team Redemption (ex Arrow Gaming) from competing in the qualifiers.

The future for some of the players involved in past match fixing incidents, especially for some players who are currently participating in CS:GO minor’s qualifiers and Dota 2 qualifiers, is uncertain.

 

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A Year in Review: Top 10 eSports teams (based on their earnings)

When 2014 ended we had an idea of what could be expected for 2015 in terms of prize pool money. The prize pool for The International 4 (Dota 2) broke records for being the largest in eSports (reaching a total of $10,931,103) but it wasn’t until August of 2015 when we realized that Valve was up for a new record  reaching a total of $18,429,613 with help from the Dota 2 community.

But 2015 was not all about Dota 2, during 2015 we finally got to see the Counter-Strike scene resurrect and reach a total prize pool of over 6 million dollars (distributed between 311 events), making CS:GO one of the top five eSports (by earnings) of all time.

With over 30 million dollars distributed between 217 Dota 2 tournaments, 7.6 Million dollars on League of Legends and over 3.6 Million dollars on Smite, we bring you the top 10 eSports teams of 2015 (based on their earnings).

  1. Cloud9 – $1,469,200.93 earned on 136 Tournaments

Cloud9 has multiple eSport teams, covering almost every game category.

During 2015 the team had a disappointing run at The International 5 finishing 9-12th earning only $221,155 from this event.

Their Heroes of the Storm team became the world champions at Blizzcon and claimed $200,000.

Their organization also won some of the prize pool for tournaments in games like CS:GO, Smite, Smash Bros and even Halo granting them the 10th position on this ranking.

  1. SK Telecom T1 – $1,531,484.02 earned on 30 Tournaments

SK Telecom T1 had an amazing year in South Korea, and became the winner of the 2015 World Championship after a convincing run against KOO Tigers, winning 3 to 1.

They also had an great run on StarCraft II winning $42,400 at the 2015 SK Telecom Proleague.

  1. EHOME – $1,627,431.11 earned on 9 Tournaments

The Asian Dota 2 team started the year with some disappointing performances, but during The International 5 placed 5-6th claiming a prize pool of $1,197,925 and continued cashing in by ending 4th on The Frankfurt Major, if you add up the smaller tournaments in which they participated you end up with over $1.5 million.

  1. COGnitive Gaming – $1,768,958.39 earned on 81 Tournaments

We can consider them the most successful SMITE organization of 2015. COGnitive had two teams participating in the Smite World Championship and managed to take the first place with their team COGnitive Prime for $1,306,130 and the third place with their team COGnitive Red for $391,839.

Their Super Smash Bros team participated in multiple tournaments and won over $30,000.

  1. Virtus.pro – $2,156,185.40 earned on 66 Tournaments

Virtus.Pro is a team known to many, their CS:GO roaster was considered one of the top teams in the world during 2015 and their Dota 2 team was not far from that title.

It was a great year for Virtus.Pro and their Dota 2 roaster, the team started the year by getting the 2nd place at D2L Season 5 and continued it by going to The International 5 and claiming $1,197,925 from the pot (thanks to their 5-6th place).

Their Dota 2 roaster contributed to over 1.6 million of their total prize pool, but it was thanks to their CS:GO team that they got closer to that 2 million mark.

  1. Team Secret – $2,231,114.09 earned on 14 Tournaments

Secret started the year winning almost every tournament they had the chance to participate on and earned  well over $600,000 from “smaller” tournaments and well over 1,5 million from Valve’s events (2nd at Frankfurt Major, 3rd at DAC and 7th at The International 5).

  1. Vici Gaming – $2,624,702.23 earned on 31 Tournaments

Vici Gaming started the year by getting 2nd place at DAC (earning them $366,902) and later on got 4th place at The International 5, all this (on top of their winnings from smaller tournaments) netted them 2.6 million dollars.

  1. LGD Gaming – $3,226,494.03 earned on 21 Tournaments

LGD Gaming is known for both their League of Legends team as well as their Dota 2 team.

Their LoL team contributed a total of $246,354 to their prize pool, and their Dota 2 team closed the year with a total of $2,980,140 (after ending 3rd at The International 5 and winning some smaller tournaments).

  1. CDEC Gaming – $3,237,318.78 earned on 13 Tournaments

The team that went to The International 5 as the underdogs (starting as a wildcard invite) and working their way to the finals, the team that managed to get 2nd place after an incredible run and ended with $2,856,590 from the prize pool pot.

  1. Evil Geniuses – $8,952,675.05 earned on 91 Tournaments

Evil Geniuses had an incredible year. After the addition of Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan to their Dota 2 roaster, the team went to China to participate on the Dota 2 Asian Championship (DAC 2015) and got their first title and $1,284,158. They followed that with a second Valve title after winning The International 5 and claiming the biggest eSports prize pool until this date – a whopping $6,634,661.

But it wasn’t only their Dota 2 roaster, they also had an amazing year with their fighting games roaster, as well as their Halo, Call of Duty and StarCraft II representation.

With the implementation of majors on Dota 2, the first american major for CS:GO and the numerous tournaments already announced, we’re excited to see who wins big in 2016.

Source: esportsearnings.com

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The Side-Chick: aka The CS:GO Handgun Part One

What happens when your main girl can’t kill the opposition and is running out of ammo? Most noobs will reload. But because the average reload time is three very long seconds, it’s better to call in your side-chick. A knife is also a good way to go, if you don’t mind running face first into a wall of bullets. On the other hand, your other girl will give you that much needed range in close quarter combat, even if she doesn’t pack the same punch as your main.

Most of us don’t last long enough to run out of ammo on our main unit (me counted among them), so we never see a use for our side-chick… I mean arm, sidearm, oh God…

Anyway for those who do, and want a sidearm that you can show off in public, we here at OPSkins have you covered with the largest selection of CS:GO handguns that will make you proud to pull out your unit in front of others.

This year we’ve had 972,300 handgun skins listed overall on our site and 772,500 have been sold. That is almost 1/6th of our total listed weapons. From the rapid fire CZ75-Auto to the brand new R8 Revolver, 2015 has proved to be a good year for buying and selling handguns.

We also carry the pistol round favorites: the P250 in its Nuclear Threat incarnation, the Glock 18 Fade, and the P2000 Ocean Foam with StatTrak. These are obviously the more expensive of the bunch with the StatTrak™ P2000 | Ocean Foam (Factory New) starting at $117.88, the P250 | Nuclear Threat (Factory New) costing $292.57 more and the Glock-18 | Fade (Minimal Wear) costing $279.95 (prices provided by SteamAnalyst.com).

Talk about an expensive date.

Glock-18 | Fade Factory New
Glock-18 | Fade
Factory New

The StatTrak Ocean Foam has been climbing in value with its Minimal Wear float starting at $99.82 from the previous $98.95 after it dropped between December 26 and 27 from $105.64 to  $98.95. The Factory New version however has been slowly declining in price from $125.77 before Christmas to $117.88 in recent days. So basically if you had a Minimal Wear StatTrak gun, you can sell it now and make a profit, where as the Factory New gun, even though it’s supposed to look better, has lost value in this last month.

The story is completely opposite with regards to the Nuclear Threat. Where as the Factory New started December at a little over $298.85 and climbed all the way to $328.40, the Minimal Wear version went from $25.30 during Christmas to $23.02 by the end of the month.

P250 | Nuclear Threat

Now the Glock 18 is a whole other story and it seems to be a good investment in either of its float wear scales, and surprisingly enough, the Minimal Wear version is listed with a higher starting price of $279.95 with regards to the Factory New version which is listed at $267.36.

Pretty doesn’t always mean more expensive.

These skins are special because due to their price and rarity very few units, if any, are sold. This means that even though they look cool and have a high price, they do not represent the market – they are only commodities that are traded very rarely. If you want to know how the market is behaving with regards to a gun or skin type, you have to look at the volume of units being sold. The more units sold, the better the market sample will be. On my next post we will be talking about the guns that move volume, how they have fluctuated in the past month and which is a better choice if it’s seen as an investment.

2015-12-31_16-56-06So remember, your main girl might be you first choice for doing long distance and dropping a few bucks, but when she’s out of the picture, don’t be afraid to spend some cash on the one that never lets you down when you want to get up close and personal.

The CS:GO handgun prices were provided by using SteamAnalyst.com and they may vary on OPSkins depending on the seller.

 

 

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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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