A wealthy video game player spent $61,000 on a CS: GO skin last year, attracting the attention of video players and bloggers worldwide. The virtual weapon, a Dragon Lore rifle, had been autographed by celebrity eSports player Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham and was one of the rarest of its kind.
Surprisingly, buying Counter Strike Skins for thousands of dollars is a norm in the video game community. The person who sold the expensive rifle, for example, purchased it for $35,000.
Throughout video game web communities, people buy and sell CS: GO skins daily. Most of the transactions are micropayments, usually ranging $1-$25. Still, skins’ trading culture is mind-numbing to many people that don’t play video games.
Below are six reasons video gamers provide when asked why they purchase CSGO skins.
#1: They’re Rare
No one would spend $61,000 on a freely available item. That’s why CSGO weapons are so expensive. Dragon Lore, for example, was new and had been released only a few days before it went on sale.
What’s more, the rifle is one of the rarest CSGO skins to date. It was released during a Valve-sponsored tournament and autographed by Skadoodle to add the element of rarity to it. Additionally, the weapon's visual clarity was crystal, plus it had a unique souvenir label.
Dragon Lore aside, Counter-Strike skins gain their price value based on rarity. If something is useful in the game, but it's challenging to come by, people will purchase it. Of course, it also helps if a famous eSports player or team used the weapon.
#2: For Bragging Rights
Most people would be proud to own a rare gun in their favorite video game. It happens even in real life. Football fans take pride in having a pair of boots signed by their favorite players while Hollywood fans queue for hours to get autographs from actors.
In the Counter-Strike community, the battle to own bragging rights is so rife that players spend hundreds of dollars to own skins temporarily. Some people give out their less valuable weapons for a chance to use more prestigious weapons for short periods.
Of course, it helps that CSGO skins maintain value for months and years. If you could only keep a weapon for weeks before it disappeared, few people would purchase them. At least they wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on temporary memorabilia.
#3: As an Investment
The man who sold Dragon Lore made $26,000 in profit from the skin. He's in the skins trading business but targets the rarest, most expensive Counter-Strike memorabilia. Lots of players also purchase and sell their virtual weapons frequently, usually as a way of finding more precious items.
Like most businesses, gamers have plenty of places to trade their virtual weapons. A Steam account is necessary to complete the trade. And to receive money, you’ll need a PayPal account. The trading process takes less than 15 minutes on the best CSGO skins trading websites.
Because skins trading websites value your skins, it’s important to research which platforms offer the best prices. It’s not unusual to find skins valued at $200 on Steam being traded for $50 or less on skins selling platforms. But if you pick trading websites artfully, you’ll be able to get the most value from your memorabilia.
#4: They’re Gorgeous
If you’re going to pay £500 for a CSGO rifle, it might as well be breathtaking. Even if it’s not as stunning as the Dragon Lore, it should be good-looking. Fortunately, many Counter-Strike skins are visually impressive.
The StatTrak SSG 08, for example, only costs $10 when factory new. But its high-quality graphics, coupled with attention to detail, makes it one of the most demanded CSGO skins online. In the right hands, the SSG 08 can go for as much as $1000, though.
The AK-47 Vulcan and the USP-S Overgrowth are two of the rarest weapons in the CSGO armory store. The former is distinguishably gorgeous. It's lethal and a gem you may want to own forever. The USP-S is a golden rifle as well, but it's been around for quite a while.
#5: For the Love of CSGO
People spend insane amounts of money on the things they love. That’s a reality of life. You may find it pointless, but people pay up to $1 million on jerseys autographed by sports personalities. Even worse, people pay thousands of dollars to hang out with celebrities.
Similarly, video gamers will shell out £500 on Counter-Strike because they love the game. Obviously, they need weapons to win games more frequently. But they wouldn't spend so much money on a game they didn't like.
Some players prefer to invest in one game whole-heartedly than to waste money on games they'll abandon soon afterwards. And because Counter-Strike will be around for many more years, its fans are prepared to do whatever it takes to best at it.
#6: To Make a Statement
Cheating in Counter-Strike is endemic. Although not everyone does it, the problem is common in high stake tournaments. Sometimes winning a million pounds could be on the line, which tempts some players to take advantage of Counter Strike’s weak anti-cheating technology.
To avoid the drama of being associated with cheating, top-flight gamers invest in the best skins available. They know no one will accuse them of anything when they’re rigorously equipped.
Obviously, people could still accuse you of cheating even when you possess top of the line weapons. But they're more likely to vilify players that frequently win despite owning less powerful rifles.
People spend their money in absurd ways. But if it pertains investing in something useful, it's probably worth it. That's the same drive that pushes Counter-Strike players to spend thousands of dollars on in-game items knowing well they're nothing more than virtual items.
But because these items have monetary value, gamers can purchase and sell them at will. Besides money, players invest in skins to advance their skills, to show off or for the love of the game.