Counter Strike as a game has been around for a while and has only had microtransactions in the latest iteration, CS:GO. Since these have come about the game has increased in player numbers (not solely down to skins/microtransactions) but also increased in scandals, shady deals and scamming.
The main reason as to why 1.6 and source were so successful was the clutterless 5v5 competitive mindset of the players and easy esport integration aspect of the game. Skins and a new approach by the Valve devs has caused the game to now feel cluttered, boring and too monetised in my opinion.
I’m not saying all monetisation is bad, just consistently bringing out new, seemingly pointless additions to the game which doesn’t help it’s consistency and solidity in the esport world. These skins also bring the burden of match fixing and betting scandals.
Consider this, for Counter Strike to be a sport we need it to be seen my millions (check), reported on my the media (check) and have a solid set of rules which everyone knows (NO CHECK).
The constant updating of the game, adding of maps and changing of content does not create a solid set of rules, regulations and the easy implementation of an over-arching government body.
For example, the scandal that happened at Dreamhack last year about the fnatic boost on Overpass. Noone knew what to do, noone knew what the rules were, how to resolve the issue or how there could be such a game breaking bug in the game.
People aren’t as dedicated as the pros or the people who closely follow them, they can’t keep up with this constant rule changes, map changes and additional ‘content’. They need consistency and that’s what they got from 1.6 and source, and that’s why they were as big in esports.
We need a competitive esport friendly section of the game that doesn’t get updated as much and doesn’t have as much clutter and then we need the microtransaction filled, bug riddled, casual mode that we have at the moment separate. This will come with many benefits, a set of rules and regulations, a better more consistent and balanced map pool, less scandals about match fixing because certain individuals want more skins and most importantly, a pathway in to the mainstream, in to the world of proper sport.