“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. Player ranks are revealed to all players when the match has ended. 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
The economy of the competitive mode is different from that of the casual mode. For each round, the losing team gets a lot less than the winning, and consecutive loses will receive gradually more. All kill awards are doubled compared to the casual mode, the money cap is $16000, and all players start the pistol round with $800 instead of $1000. Other differences include the ability to purchase two flashbangs instead of just one. Friendly Fire and team collision are always on and cannot be turned off. Also, armor and kits are not received automatically, and can be purchased at the start of the round. The C4 also has a 40 second timer instead of a 45 second timer.
When the player dies in any way except a headshot then the screen fades to black in 2.5 seconds. On the other hand, if the player dies by a headshot then the screen fades to black much quicker and this takes 0.5 seconds. 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.
On the July 31, 2019 update, scrimmage mode is a way to incorporate maps in competitive, however, skill groups will not be adjusted after the match but a match abandon still issues a competitive cooldown.
Beginning a match
Unlike the casual game modes, the player is given the option to choose which map will be played by using checkboxes. By default maps from the active duty group are already selected, however, the player can choose to include maps from the reserves group and, if there is an active operation, the operations group as well.
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 results will be listed and each one generates a match sharing link which can be used to download the GOTV replay for up to a week after the game has played. After a week has passed the post match review is deleted from Valve's servers and you are unable to download it. In addition, the 8 most recent match results are stored for up to 2 months and then after that they are deleted from the list. 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.
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.
Bugs & Exploits
- In some rare cases, the 'Accept' button may be larger than its default size.
- Before the November 22, 2014 once a match has finished, players had the chance to 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 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.