CS:GO skins have certainly evolved into more than just in-game cosmetics, What started as a way to make your weapons look cooler is now a thriving economy.
With most of the skins being community made, it opened a wide door to creativity, artistry and more importantly the originality in translating a vision into reality.
That type of work is appreciated and loved since the results turn out to be nothing but a masterpiece of a skin with an impeccable design and flawless execution.
It might seem as if the story will end happily, but unfortunately we live in a dark world full of leeches that love sucking people’s hard work and stealing what doesn’t belong to them.
Over the years since CS:GO’s release, We had a fair share of skin controversies that became a part of the game’s history. It’s always the same storyline but with different characters, From the M4A4 Howl to the AWP Doodle Lore, Here are the most controversial CS:GO skins.
A list could never be completed without the most historical and legendary skin, The only one to ever exist with its own rarity which gives it a high status like no other.
It all started back in late March 2014 when two community members uploaded what was called at the time “Howling Dawn”, The skin took no time to gain the community’s love with how “original” and powerful the skin looked, or so they thought.
Valve could only add the highly anticipated artwork with over 4500 upvotes as an official skin to the game, After all no one would expect it to become a scandal for Valve and most importantly a part of the game’s history.
According to the workshop submission, The original work was supposedly an inspiration by the artist’s dog which was written in the description, “I wanted to make an interesting illustration, so I created this. It originated from a picture of my dog…”.
However, it was proven otherwise when Valve got hit with a DMCA making them publicly state that their goal was to provide artists with a space to share their creative ideas and not a space to steal others work.
It was only a matter of time until the skin was changed and removed from the Huntsman case and collection forever, meaning you can no longer obtain the skin through cases or trade-ups.
Valve didn’t stop with the Howl only, but every skin that the thief has worked on including the USP-S Orion, Mac-10 Curse and CZ75-Auto Poison Dart got removed from the case.
Almost 10 years have passed since the incident, yet the Howl remains the only skin to be given the “Contraband” rarity and even inspiring future skin designs like the M4A4 Dragon King.
Months after the Howl incident, Another skin controversy was roaming around the internet, and ironically it’s another M4A4 weapon skin.
It all went down when members of the community noticed the seamless similarities between the skin and an artwork that was published back in 2011 for a book called "Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythical Monsters Revisited”. This led to the original artist posting on his blog and officially announcing that a DMCA complaint was sent to Valve and their response wasn’t what he hoped for. “After I knew about this skin I wrote to Valve by DMCA complaint form. Yesterday I've received the reply from them. They answered that Darksilver Zero has filed a counter-notice against my copyright complaint. All I can do now is ‘to take legal proceedings against him’ during the next 10 business days.”
“What can I say guys. I'm not really sure if I want to go there. The image is not copied as is, but yes, it's obviously traced in basic shapes. As for me, I don't like this kind of making business, but I'm not sure if I can win here, and I don't even know how to do it.” - Dmitry
The Howl was yet a fresh sweet memory in the minds of players, So the breaking news of another DMCA in the span of months rose speculations that the M4A4 Griffin might get the same treatment as the previous skin and become a Contraband rarity.
For that reason, The prices went through the roof as a Stattrack Factory New went from $20 to over $150 in a record time. With Valve eventually changing the design, the skin became less trendy and slowly faded away from most players inventories with a new wave of futuristic designs making it to the game such as the M4A4 Cyber Security.
AWP Doodle Lore, M4A4 Temukau
The first glance at the latest added case left everyone in awe with how beautiful the skins looked, Flashy colorful skins is what most players desire. Add a waifu to the mix and players would go crazy over getting that skin. It seemed as if Valve knew what would get the community excited, so much as to setting a new record for active players. But, what they didn’t know was that two of the best skins in the case might be stolen.
It all started when accusations were surfacing on Twitter about the M4A4 Temukau being stolen, Strong evidence were provided to support the claims.
The evidence was not focused on the M4A4 itself but about other skins within the same collection that were submitted to the workshop.
Unexpectedly, the conversation steered onto another skin which was even worse than the M4A4 Howl. The AWP Doodle Lore was simply stolen without any major changes to the design and finding the original artwork wasn’t that hard since the artist was featured in multiple interviews around the internet.
The artist ended up filing a DMCA complaint which made Valve act fast to change the skin into what can be described as underwhelming compared to the previous version.
Up until now there are no updates regarding the M4A4 Temukau from Valve, and considering the long period of time since the release, it’s safe to assume that the skin is clear of any suspicions.
While some try their best to come up with great designs like the M4A4 Desolate Space, others take the easy dirty route. It is enough of a reason for Valve to do their due diligence to ensure the originality and ethnicity of a skin before releasing it.
This is a reminder of the importance of creativity and originality in skin design. As the popularity of skins continues to grow, developers need to ensure that their designs are not only visually appealing but also ethically sound, and it's the artist’s original work.