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  • Abridged Arena Array:
    • de_dust and de_dust2, though dust2 more than dust. In recent years, dust has died a slow and painful death due to people having finally begun to realize that the map is heavily flawed; forcing choke-points to always occur at just two locations, and both being heavily favored for the Counter-Terrorists to claim victory. It's for this reason that dust2 exists, which is a much more balanced map for both sides.
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    • cs_office is also quite overused. There's just something about locking down the projector room as a terrorist that people find engaging...
    • de_dust2 & cs_office are very popular deathmatch mod maps.
    • In zombie maps, it's often one of the "lila" or similar maps.
    • Two extremely popular custom maps are fy_iceworld and fy_snow, where guns spawn on both sides of an incredibly tiny map.
      • cs_deathmatch gets it fair share of love thanks to it's simple 2 sided turfs layout. It's one of the oldest known custom map since the launch of original CS.
      • For Thai players there is cs_untitled, an extremely tiny open air map. So tiny in 1.6 people love to set starting cash to maximum and spam HE grenades right into each other's spawn during buy time.
  • Broken Base:
    • Which is the best Counter-Strike, 1.6 or Global Offensive? To this day there are continued debates regarding the direction Global Offensive (the most popular game in the franchise yet) is going. One view thinks that Global Offensive is going on the wrong track, with an increasingly large backlog of Scrappy Mechanic, Scrappy Weapon, and unfixed problems, and people are saying that the game should go back to the way it was in classic 1.6, just with updated graphics. At the same time, there is also a view that Global Offensive is a natural progression of the Counter-Strike series, and that people should be getting used to new things instead of clamoring to their nostalgic views of the past. The debates just never end.
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    • de_nuke. It's considered CT-sided to the point where losing 5-10 on T side is considered a good score for comeback. Part of the fanbase argues it makes for exciting matches (Down to the Last Play happens frequently), others think it should be removed from competitive pool since it favors team that starts on CT. Valve seemingly agreed with the former group, moving de_nuke to reserve group (and almost certain redesign) and replacing it in competitive with a reworked de_train.
    • Crouch delays Explanation  in Global Offensive. A fair mechanic to reduce crouch spam, or a true Scrappy Mechanic that causes deaths that, from the perspective of one getting killed, seems like they shouldn't have happened?
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    • Should the CZ-75 Auto's decreased kill reward be raised to normal? Those in favor of increasing its kill reward cite the more glaring problems with the weapon as of the time of this writing; its longer draw time compared to other pistols and its small magazine and reserve ammo. Those against this suggestion say that the CZ-75 pays for itself by allowing its user to steal a dead enemy's rifle, and say the kill reward is fine as it is.
    • Bullet penetration and wallbang damage. 1.6 was very lenient about it, to the point where in some places it was possible to spray significant damage through what (according to texture) was a thick stone wall. GO went the other way, removing most wallbang spots and incresing damage falloff for penetrating bullets to the point where the AWP is the only weapon capable of doing significant damage through most bangable walls. Proponents of the former system argue it awards map knowledge and discourages camping. Others say it's unrealistic and discouraging to less experienced players.
    • Balancing of pistols in Global Offensive is often debated. Some pistols (namely the Tec-9, Five-SeveN and P250) are seen as overpowered, due to decent movement accuracy, forgiving magazines, low price and the ability to one-shot an enemy with a headshot at close to medium range (sometimes outdoing the M4s in those ranges). Some think that it's a necessary evil, as overpowered pistols make eco rounds easier to win, while others disagree and think said pistols should have lowered movement accuracy and/or damage.
    • The introduction of Agents, Player Character to obtain and choose from, has been divided the base hard by the casual players who liked personalization against competitive players who feel that the ability to choose player models throw the "identifying enemy or friendly players on the map" gameplay out of the loop. It's even worse for colorblind players. E-sports events reportedly have banned the use of custom Agents.
  • "Common Knowledge":
    • Counter-Strike is said by many to be a series of First-Person Shooters where you can only hipfire, except when using the AUG and SG 553. While technically true, the phrase's implications slowly transformed so that many are now applying the hipfire mechanics of other games (i.e. highly inaccurate and significant spread) to this game, when the mechanics in Counter-Strike are different and more similar to the effects of aiming down sights in other games (i.e. your fist shot will always hit dead center, the rest will be affected by recoil, which can be reduced by standing still and/or crouching). The characters also do aim down the sights in third person, there's just no first person animation for it.
    • This track is commonly recognized as "Counter-Strike 1.6 Theme". In reality, original 1.6 never had any music. The track itself is actually from Deleted Scenes and was ported to 1.6 by pirates.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Weapon wise, most players stick with the M4/AK and AWP, with only a few other weapons such as the FAMAS/Galil being bought by people who don't yet have the money for the others. This can best be seen with the SG 553, which has its advantages over the AK and is only $300 more expensive, but in spite of that is still routinely ignored in favor of the AK.
    • Seems that in CS:GO, Valve is unable to avert it for M4A1-S and M4A4. For a while A1 ruled supreme, since its only drawback was smaller ammo capacity. After price increase, lowered damage and lowered rate of fire, most of players went to A4.
    • An October 2018 update revealed how strongly this trope can affect the behaviour of an entire playerbase. That patch reduced the price of the AUG to $3,150, making it just $50 more expensive than the M4. Almost instantly, the AUG became the preferred weapon of choice for Counter-Terrorist teams, as its new price point made people see it as a worthwhile upgrade over the M4. In a March 2019 patch, the AUG was returned to its original $3,300 price point, and player habits didn't change. Players had gotten so used to buying the M4 for almost 20 years that they had ignored the AUG until an extra incentive to buy it was provided, even as the AUG was always in many respects the superior weapon.
    • YouTube might lead one to think that the only strategy of Russian players is to buy the P90 or TEC-9 and rush B, сука блять!
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The chickens on cs_italy. They were removed from Source, but came back in Global Offensive.
      • There are chickens in various maps in CS:GO. In fact, chickens sometimes spawn in Deathmatch mode, and give 1 point when killed.
    • de_season. When it became apparent that de_nuke would be removed from competitive map pool, a large part of the community wanted season to replace it instead of de_train.
    • The Anarchist faction on cs_office. Their over-acted lines and general look (looking more like teenage rebels than terrorists) have led to much love among the fanbase.
    • A specific character model for the Balkan faction (nicknamed 'Ido') became incredibly popular among players, something Valve has acknowledged.
    • cs_agency. A community map that had appeared four times in Operations and received a warm reception due to its fun gameplay and stylish appearance.
  • Fan Nickname: Players jokingly call the remakes of Nuke of Inferno; "New-ke" and "Infer-new" respectively.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Most modern Korean, Taiwan, or Chinese free to play FPS adopted gameplay and mechanics similar to Counter-Strike, with the most infamous one being Smilegate's Crossfire. And then in 2008, Nexon licensed Counter-Strike and released their own free to play spin.
    • Search and Destroy game mode in various shooters including Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
      • Zombie mode as well. Even Call of Duty, the game everyone else rips off these days, included a similar Infected mode starting from Modern Warfare 3.
    • CSGO introduces Wingman mode, where the map is even smaller and the match is two players versus two players. It was then followed up by Gunfight mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
    • Critical Ops, a free-to-play mobile game that plays very similarly to CSGO and even include weapon skins, and non-paying players can grind in game points to unlock crates.
    • CSGO itself jumps into the Battle Royale Game bandwagon with "Danger Zone" although there are significant gameplay differences (such as everybody is wearing yellow jumpsuits, the ability to rescue hostages for money and every player is equipped with a tablet to buy and deliver weapon via drone)
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The AWP/AWM was long considered one (and still is, even after nerfing) due to its extreme power (it only did less than the full 100 damage with a leg shot). A later addition that gets this treatment are the semi-automatic sniper rifles.

      Due to changes in the money system, though, the AWP has since been accepted as legitimate weapons in Global Offensive due to their now hard to purchase status, and nerfing by reducing payout per kill. So while it is still very much a Game-Breaker that wins rounds easily, it is still generally acceptable as a competitive weapon and not a Scrappy Weapon. (the auto-snipers on the other hand...) Humorously, this ends up in an AWPer who kills an entire 5-man team receiving a measly $125.
    • As of release day R8 Revolver is definitely broken beyond belief. It has damage comparable to an AWP and absolutely ZERO penalties for shooting on the move, all for $850. It's supposed to be balanced by a delay between pulling the trigger and shooting, but this can be bypassed completely by firing with a right click (at a cost of some accuracy, negligible even at the medium range). Result is, no one fires with a left click and every player with an AK or M4 essentially has an AWP as a secondary weapon. And to top it all off, you can use the secondary fire while defusing the bomb.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • How surf maps were born.
    • The de_train remake in Global Offensive had a pigeon that one can step on and see the entire map as the bird flew away with a fully-armed and armored man standing on its back. Naturally Valve has removed this, but not before placing a sign inside the map asking you not to step on the birds.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Regarding Counter-Strike: Neo (the Japan-only oriented spin-off of Counter-Strike, changing the art style towards a much-more Animesque style,) its existence tickles the funny bone of every Counter-Strike fan who watched the older CS parody videos before the website went down for good. One specific vid discussed ways to make Counter-Strike relevant to younger gamers by making the game more anime style, full of Kamehameha-style laser blasts, so the game can appeal to Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z fans. Keep in mind that the video was made in 1999, right when the Pokémon and anime craze hit the U.S. the hardest.
  • Memetic Molester: Russian player Dosia has been lovingly dubbed the "Sex God" by HLTV and Twitch.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • BOOM HEADSHOT
    • DOOR STUCK
    • Juan Deag, basically CS's version of FalcoMaster3000.
    • The extremely stupid victory phrases in Global Offensive have become a minor meme in the Counter-Strike community.
    • Added a boiler to boiler. This patch note announcing the undoing of the Artifact Title of a room in Inferno became memetic almost immediately after the patch was released.
    • Two quotes by the British SAS in Global Offensive have gained memetic status and even their own stickers: "Are we rushin' in or are we goin' sneaky-beaky like?" which is said randomly at the start of a round and "Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!" which is a cheer.
    • "Let's roll-oll!" Every game in Global Offensive begins with the ST-6 "Let's Roll" voice clip. Occasionally the clip will stutter adding an extra "oll" at the end. Valve patched this but brought it back (along with a sticker referencing the glitched quote) after fans got upset.
    • СУКА БЛЯТЬ (SUKA BLYAT). A phrase famous for being spoken by Russian players. Roughly translates to "whore bitch" or "fucking bitch". Often used in conjunction with "Rush B" and P90s (commonly thought to be noob weapons and memetically associated with Rush B).
    • "Don't be a loser, buy a defuser."
    • On the Game Mod side of things, "func_vehicle"
    • Any Real Life building that splits the road into two may referred as cs_italy.
    • From the professional/streaming scene:
      • Due to the perception of North American CS as being subpar when compared to European, any failed grenade will usually be referred to as a NA Nade/Smoke/Flash/Molly. This has even extended past grenades to other things like strategies and spray control. Similarly, a well-placed grenade will usually be referred to as "EU".
      • Getting a kill with a grenade is referred to as a "Kobe".
      • Hiko's inhuman reactions.
      • Current Fnatic player Olofmeister will always be known as "Boostmeister" thanks to this play.
      • Summit1G dying to his own molotov has led to a kill with a molly being dubbed a 1G. It even got popular enough to get its own BetterTwitchTV global emote.
      • Twitch chat's seal of approval for a good play is "GOD (player name)". Likewise, "BOT (player name)" refers to a bad play (referencing the Artificial Stupidity of CSGO's bots). It started with Ni P's allu, and took off from there.
      • MLG Columbus 2016 featured a commercial for G2 Esports player ScreaM's new line of mice, which used a piano music track, cinematic camera shots, and a melodramatic narration by ScreaM in his heavy French accent. "They talk about my one taps" has since become a meme related to the player.
      • DaZeD rants about getting killed by Glawks!
      • Streamer and former pro m0eTV is better known for his rages than his actual gameplay.
      • KennyS said that "Kio was the problem" after EnVyUs dropped k1oShiMa for DEVIL. The phrase has since become spammed whenever a struggling team performs better after replacing one of their players, in the form of "(replaced player) was the problem"
      • KQLY-style. KQLY was a former Titan player famous for a jump pistol headshot in ESL One Cologne 2014. After he was VAC-banned later in 2014, the meme took off mocking him by calling all jumpshots KQLY-style shots.
      • M 1 6 R / M 1 6 R-0Explanation 
      • Word.exeExplanation 
      • "Check HLTV". The Counter Strike news site HLTV.org carries live score trackers of games in progress, which updates slightly faster than watching livestreams. Saying "[X] team won, check HLTV" started as a common Troll move in Twitch chat, but the phrase took on a life of its own both to as a way of declaring unlikely comebacks and Curb Stomp Battles well before they could plausibly happen, as well as to joke about things that HLTV obviously cannot track.
  • More Popular Spinoff: Since the 2000s it is more well-known than Half-Life itself.
  • Narm:
    • The voice acting for several foreign languages in Deleted Scenes was positively horrible. The Spanish dub takes the cake with ¡Muere cerdo! (Die, you pig!) shouted in the most childish and nasally voice ever heard.
    • Hell, all of the English voice acting in Deleted Scenes is ultra-narmy as well.
    • English terrorist voices in Global Offensive on cs_office. Why do terrorists speak like Totally Radical fratboys?
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Averted. Lets just say that "Gooseman" wanting to evolve and change Counter-Strike up radically with a sequel, and later on an attempted Spiritual Successor in Tactical Intervention, was met with severe backlash to the point that the game was removed from Steam. To wit, the game ends up as a poor man's Rainbow Six, the very same series which the first one inspired Counter-Strike in the first place!
  • Paranoia Fuel: Camping tactics, combined to the fact that classic (pre Global Offensive) Counter-Strike maps are unusually sprawling compared to most contemporary FPS at the time, leads to this naturally as a lone hostage rescuer could be greeted by lone camping T that will unsuspectingly hose the unfortunate CT, giving the round win to the T.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • de_cobblestone. The original version was hated for the sheer amount of AWP-friendly spots where Counter-Terrorists could hide. The rebooted version has a simplified layout, less towers and a more closed-off mid section which favors rifles. While having a solid AWP player (or even two) is still important for victory, the map is now much more balanced and popular in competitive.
    • de_overpass was a poorly designed map at release (many considered it to be a mediocre attempt for Valve to inject some new blood into the game), but it is now considered a perfectly viable competitive map.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While it isn't as bad as Team Fortress 2 due to the lack of advanced gameplay mechanics, Bots who fill in for an absent player in competitive play in Global Offensive will almost never follow commands, even at the cost of their own lives. While this is fine for punishing players who are a bit kick-happy, it's absolutely frustrating when you're stuck with toaster A.I. because of a Rage Quit or the absentee simply hasn't gotten into the game proper. And, in the latter case, when the player finally does get into the game, the bot is automatically killed, preventing the rejoining player from playing until the next round.
    • The "Locked Crate" mechanic where you need to purchase a key for 2.5 dollar to unlock the crate containing randomly selected weapon skins. While the skins didn't give any significant advantage over the others, it has since become a thriving commodity of trading in the Market, price based on rarity. This mechanic originated from the infamous Mann-Co crates in Team Fortress 2 and it has seep to other games like PAYDAY 2 and Killing Floor 2. Mitigated, however, that all the mentioned games has a "Market" functionality on the Steam client where one can purchase the desired weapon skins in price gauged by the community and rarity.
    • The segregation between "Free" and "Prime" players. While intended to deter cheating, upgrading to Prime for new players is generally discouraged due to the disproportionately high price (twice the regular CSGO price while it was paid) and how the system discourages "old guards" playing with the "new bloods" (and how most of the old guards have been moved on to another games). That being said, "Free" players can upgrade to "Prime" after reaching level 21.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Riot Shields for Counter-Terrorists have yet to make a reappearance since 1.6, as the only way to kill shield users were to grenade them, time the shot correctly when they move the shield to pull out their pistol, or get lucky and somehow pop the shielder through the vision hole.
    • AWP/Auto-sniper rifles. Banned on a plethora of servers due to their overall "cheapness." While AWP has the excuse of being a competitively viable weapon due to just how powerful it is, auto-snipers especially are considered noob weapons as their increased rate of fire gives them a much smoother learning curve (with the AWP, missing the first shot if the enemy sees you is usually a death sentence), while being economically unbeneficial due to their extreme cost, making them rare sights in competitive games.
    • The M294 and P90 which are considered too noob-friendly when the player just spams their 100 and 50 round belts/mags non-stop. Think of it like how people view W + M1 Pyros from Team Fortress 2. Both the weapons get an extra kick in the knees due to being the most expensive weapons in the game, making them competitively unviable as well. Even worse, an attempt at balancing one of them leads to some more problems, which is...
    • The $2000 Negev. In 2017, Valve made the Negev $2000 dollars (meaning you can get it as early as the second round) and gave it "Suppression" mechanics (basically the first 10 bullets go everywhere, the rest become fixed to a perfect point slightly above the crosshair), ostensibly to test the weapon and try to make it more relevant. This ended up being seen as a ridiculous joke by the community as the new weapon mechanics are not very effective and removed the fun aspect the original Negev's ridiculous firing rate had. The $2000 price also meant that the weapon could appear anywhere and basically ruined many tactics in the metagame.
    • After being nerfed, the R8 Revolver became one due to its delayed fire mechanic and near useless alt-fire. The patch that introduced the new Negev somewhat helped by reducing the length of the trigger pull, but it's still not quite as popular as the Deagle.
  • Song Association: An unofficial server mod did this to Chesney Hawkes' The One and Only.
  • Sophomore Slump: All the various games and spin-offs released between 1.6 and Global Offensive are considered to fall to this. Although Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Neo, and Nexon's two F2P spin offs are subject to Fanon Discontinuity by most, Counter-Strike: Source is subject to most of the controversy. Due to Source being the most popular game in the series for the longest time while simultaneously being considered the weakest of the 3 "main" games, most of the inevitable arguing is centered around whether or not CSS is a good game.
  • Stop Having Fun, Guys: There are a portion of servers that ban the AWM, the auto sniper, the auto shotgun, the CT shield, and they're usually the same ones that cycle solely between de_dust2 and cs_office. Enough of those servers exist that, in any other situation, use of the contrary will result in the regulars letting you know of their disgust with your choice, generally with an ample amount of expletives to accompany said disgust. While many of them do receive legit hate due to their power, the enforcement is often a bit too aggressive, making it difficult for newcomers to enjoy.
  • That One Achievement: Good luck trying to achieve "Ten Angry Men" in CSS without hacks. Dominating, and killing, 10 different players in a match requires a lot of skill. This is only usually achieved on maps that run 24/7. Though as of 2015 it's possible to acquire achievement by fighting against bots.
  • That One Level:
    • No one likes to play cs_militia. The house the Counter-Terrorists have to invade is just too Terrorist friendly.
    • de_dust ended up going this route after people realized just how Counter-Terrorist friendly the map is. Literally everyone prefers to play de_dust2 over it.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Whenever Valve does anything at all to the game, complaints a-plenty may arise.
    • The Operation Wildfire update for Global Offensive brought a new and improved de_nuke... which turned out to be filled with unnecessary and framerate-killing clutter, disruptive background noise, and a silo on bombsite B that can be easily planted on and defended. Things had calmed down a bit after Valve implemented optimizations and people started getting used to the new design.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The CZ-75 Auto pistol has been derided as being overpowered and drowning out the other pistols, even the mighty Desert Eagle, prompting some people to call Global Offensive after the pistol was introduced as CZ-GO. It has been nerfed since its introduction but still remains an effective weapon. However, the weapon is seeing descent into Scrappy Weapon territory due to having a pathetic kill award, despite having a small magazine and only one extra in reserve.
    • The Terrorist-only TEC-9 pistol for the same reasons as the CZ along with a high magazine capacity and low recoil on the move. Players often refer to this gun as the "REKT-9", and players who stick to it are sometimes derisively referred to as "Klebolds". Like the AK-47, it is often picked up by Counter-Terrorists if they're able to kill a Terrorist wielding it while some prefer sticking with the Five-SeveN. It has been nerfed to have lower magazine capacity (from 32 to 24) and range, but it's still the best option for eco rushes.
    • The P90: with its easy-to-use spray pattern, low movement penalty, and fast firing speed, it's a silver's worst nightmare. However, in higher levels, a rifle player can do much more damage to a P90 user in a shorter amount of time than the P90 can do to them, rendering it useless. It's jokingly called the ELO-90 sometimes to reference the community viewing it as a Skill Gate Weapon.
    • Similar to the above, the auto-snipers are considered to be too easy to use, and with poorer-aim lower players, a spam of auto shots is enough to take even an awper down. However, at higher levels, an AWP outduels the auto-sniper every time. It does, however, have a few tiny specialized roles in competitive play, like shutting down buy round rushes.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Many accuse Valve's decision to add Danger Zone (Battle Royale) mode as this, although there is unique gameplay differences.
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