“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
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
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.
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.
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 default "freeze time" is 15 seconds, rather than 6 seconds from earlier games.
- 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.