It's never a good thing when a developer must
step in and make a major change to a game because people decide to be nefarious
with the mechanics or features. This is the situation with in-game item trades in CS:GO.
Valve had to do the right thing and halt the
trading of some of these items. For context, CS:GO allows players to earn
containers that hold cosmetic items.
The said containers can be unlocked with keys
that you can either purchase in-game or from other players for real money. Of
course, the feature was meant to be capitalized on by legitimate customers,
which was the case initially.
However, newly purchased keys had to be
prevented from being marketable or tradeable, and the two concerns covered
below certainly contributed to this.
Unregulated real money gambling is quite a
concern and has even been the cause of class-action lawsuits being filed
This scandal features ProSyndicate and TmarTn,
quite popular YouTube stars. The two posted videos on their channels with
clickbait titles indicating that they got big winnings from a site known as
In fact, the two even showed footage of their
attempts to win on the site and doing so in tremendous fashion. Essentially,
CSGoLotto.com requires skins to be put up as bargaining chips. These skins
would have been earned in-game.
Based on how coveted each skin is, it's
assigned a value. Bets are then taken from a set of players, with a randomizer
picking a winner who gets the entire pot.
Keys can then be resolved with the platform’s
trading system and cashing out becomes possible through buying games as gifts
and selling the codes on multiple different platforms.
You may ask the question, what's the big deal
with two YouTubers using a gambling site? Well, HonorTheCall and H3H3
productions, two other YouTube channels, made quite an interesting discovery.
CSGoLotto.com was jointly founded by TmarTn
and ProSyndicate. Of course, this violates YouTube’s payment disclosure
requirements. This resulted in a lawsuit that initially involved Valve, but now
only includes CSGoLotto.com and other sites like it.
High Scale Money Laundering
This is arguably the more egregious of the two.
It may not seem that way because the names behind it are largely unknown, but
it heavily influenced Valve’s eventual decision to close things down.
The bulk of trading, instead of coming from
legitimate sources, was believed to be rooted in fraud. Essentially, after
commissions of credit card fraud and other financial infractions, fraudsters
need a channel to launder the money.
Digital commodities are often used to pull
this off. Of course, having a trading system as it did, CS:GO seemed to be the
The trading scandals surrounding CS:GO are
certainly cause for concern, especially when you consider accusations leveled
at Valve for encouraging gambling in a game marketing to children and even
enabling the money laundering and other less than stellar activities coming out
of the trading system. There’s a reason the game has more notable inquiries
than any other. Instead of buying items, we recommend you to dedicate time to
improving your gameplay. An efficient way to do so is hiring a trained CSGO coach who will help you
get better at any aspect of the game. Remember, skill wins you games, skins don’t