To a degree, Counter-Strike 2’s official release fell flat and failed to completely satisfy the millions of players worldwide who expected a spotless release and a new era for the game. As Shakespeare once said: "Expectation is the root of all heartache."
A spectacular launch with exciting new content, skins and an industry-leading anti-cheat was what the community expected. Unfortunately, reality struck and CS2 didn't land with as much as a splash as some were expecting.
The game launched with many issues still present and without much to offer as fresh content besides the Premier mode.
This premature launch has resulted in Valve being unable to catch a break with the community’s backlash. Though the future is bright, the present time is looking dim.
The subtick system is still causing a stir with the latest update after Valve removed some movement aliases that overrode subtick, resulting in more consistent grenade jump-throws and movement similar to CS:GO.
Amidst all the underwhelming release chaos, one of the biggest aspects of the game took a hit, and skin prices have plummeted after an unprecedented rise over the hype of the CS2 beta.
For months, the market skyrocketed during the Limited Test after getting the first glance at the skins under the new engine and lighting. Though players expected another bump in prices after the release, things took a turn for the worse and the prices tanked. But, why?
Expectations vs Reality
To understand why the prices of skins tanked after the release, we must first recall the community’s vision during the Limited Beta Test.
During that time, most players were living a vivid dream, an optimistic vision which rather was too good to be true.
After finally experiencing the long-awaited Source 2 engine with shiny reflective lighting, expectations were as high as the sky. The game would reach new player count records, new skins and game content including a game mode and the possibility of having a new operation a few weeks after the release.
Many players acted on those expectations, believing more players would create a higher demand for liquid skins which explains the excessive buying, creating an investment hype that lasted for months.
It’s safe to say Shakespeare was right about expectations, as they caused enough heartache.
Why did prices drop after the release?
Since the expectations were far from reality, it caused a negative reaction within the community.
The official release turned out to be underwhelming with fewer things to be excited about, and with the player count relatively staying the same, investors got a hard reality check and were left with thousands of dollars in inventory value without a clear future.
The twist of faith was enough for most to start selling, and without any buyers, sellers were undercutting one another (listing their items lower than others to minimize losses).
Almost a month since the release, undercutting is still dominating the market for most liquid skins on popular marketplaces like Buff 163, without any signs of stopping.
Another reason that could explain the drop in prices is the continued changes and updates to skins and stickers. Valve have been working their fingers to the bone, shipping updates almost daily to keep up with the latest bugs and issues players encounter.
So far, the developers have made significant changes to the Doppler finishes including Sapphires, Emeralds as well as gloves and some other play skins.
(Moment of silence for all RMR 2020 stickers investors, as they were nerfed for the first time since the Limited Beta Test).
Though the community is split in regards to welcoming the new changes, they still created the factor of “uncertainty”, as any future update could potentially ruin the finishes resulting in more investment losses.
Since keeping the skins is risky, the only option left is to sell and undercut yet again to create an infinite circle of despair and losses.
The future of skins in CS2 remains shrouded in mystery, as we’re still yet to see how the market will develop over the upcoming months once the game is polished like a model’s nails. But until then, play smart and don’t invest in hype.