Historic moment for Counter-Strike as CSGO Danger Zone is released

CS:GO

After an agonising wait, Valve's eagerly anticipated update Counter-Strike update CSGO Danger Zone has been announced.

As rumoured, the update is a CSGO battle royale mode and is free to play.

Available on Steam, CSGO Danger Zone is described as "a fast-paced battle royale game mode built on CS:GO's tactical gameplay where players use their wits, skill, and resources to fight to the finish".

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The release follows the success of other free-to-play battle royale games, namely for Fortnite and PUBG.

Danger Zone: A giant leap for CSGO

Luckbox's Head of Esports Content Tim Masters on the release of CSGO Danger Zone

Possibly the most significant update in recent CSGO history was released today, as the game went free-to-play, and introduced a Battle Royale mode known as Danger Zone. While the new game mode will grab all the headlines, both changes are at least equally significant, with the price removal having the potential to open up new territories for CSGO.

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Danger Zone is a huge change for a game traditionally built around 5 v 5 objective based play, and with Battle Royale the new king of game modes in 2018 the move makes sense as Valve seek new paths to monetise their prize title. Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds have dominated the Twitch ratings too, as CSGO has taken a on a platform where more traditional esports titles long reigned supreme.

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The free to play move also opens up the chance for CS to gain traction in places where PC cafes, or Bangs as they are known in parts of Asia, are the main venues for competitive gaming, which has long been held up as one reason the title struggled to gain traction in Korea, where League of Legends has seek great success. If CSGO were able to gain a bigger market share in China and Korea, it would not only bring new fans to the game, but also new talent to the table as new stars emerged in those regions.

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Fan reactions have understandably been positive, with the delay from the original teased date of Wednesday December 5th prompting many to speculate they were to be bamboozled, and there are still the questions of how CSGO’s engine deals with the challenge of the new game mode, balancing weapons and preventing cheats, among the myriad challenges that go with launching a project of this size. However, as we go into 2019, the decision by the dominant publisher in esports to offer a free competitor to Fortnite and PUBG has the potential to radically alter both the esports and gaming landscape.

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