In this article, I will be condensing all the pros and cons of using maxrounds 12 and how it is linked to other aspects of CS:GO. The maxrounds discussion is strongly linked to the way the economy works in CS:GO as well as having an impact on the production of events, the viewership experience and the competitive integrity of the game. I will take a look at all of these points to evaluate how changing the maxrounds might affect them.
The current state of the economy in CS:GO
It is first necessary to outline the various issues faced with the way the economic system is currently playing out in CS:GO. The main concern is that teams have too much money on too many rounds. Due to the round loss bonus and the lack of the reset mechanic, a situation is often reached where teams get rewarded too heavily for losing streaks. This often results in huge comebacks, where teams will lose 6 rounds in a row and then end the half 8:7.
On the T-side, a situation often occurs where, if a team reaches the max loss bonus in the middle of the half, they will be able to buy for the remainder of the game. Teams will save up money if they win rounds, and if they lose rounds, they will still be getting enough to half buy at the very least, with bomb plants adding to this, resulting in the T-side having a decent chance to win any round in this scenario.
On the CT-side, teams have gotten a lot better at identifying when to save their weapons and when they have to go for it. Often, if a site is taken and it’s 3v3, they will simply save their guns. This results in situations where, if the CTs are building up their loss bonus and keeping players alive on the rounds they lose, they are also able to buy almost every round.
To put it simply, the current state of the economy results in almost every round being significant. There might be 1 or 2 rounds where the enemy team is on what we might consider a ‘full-eco’. The rest of the rounds will probably have some kind of buy, with both teams having a decent chance of winning. It’s also very easy to make comebacks, and games are more likely to end with both teams reaching double-digit scorelines.
For a more in-depth discussion on this, check out the HLTV confirmed podcast episode on youtube.
The Origins of Maxrounds 12
Players who are new to the scene may think that the idea for using maxrounds 12 might have come from Valorant, but during the earlier versions of Counter-Strike, this was the original format. The reasons for the change to the more familiar maxrounds 15, was that players felt the pistol round had too much significance on the result of the game. Winning the pistol round pretty much guaranteed you 3 rounds. If you were able to win the first gun round on top of that, this would allow teams to begin the half 5:0. On very CT-sided maps like Nuke or Train, just these 5 rounds on the T-side would be considered a good half. So introducing more rounds lessened the significance of the pistol round.
There have been many changes to the way the economy works since then, but the main reason for implementing maxrounds 15 is no longer as significant a factor. The pistol round doesn’t guarantee you the first 3 rounds, as there are many options open to teams, and winning the second or third round is very possible. This, combined with the fact that teams are able to purchase on more rounds in the half, could be an argument for the viability of using maxrounds 12.
Production and Viewership Experiences
Due to there being more rounds of significance and matches often reaching higher total rounds played, the average length of a match has steadily risen. This, combined with teams utilizing their pauses to their fullest, often results in matches taking longer than 60 minutes to finish. If the match goes into overtime, it might take 75-90 minutes to finish. From the production point of view, this means very long days and a lot of lengthy matches to get through in order to fit into a schedule. This might be why we often see tournament organizers resorting to running multiple matches at the same time.
From the viewership point of view, the amount of time required to follow the scene closely can seem overwhelming. Matches that can take up to 4 hours if they reach a 3rd map, (with all the breaks between maps and analysis) as well as multiple matches running at the same time, can test the endurance of even hardcore fans.
In the same way that a BO3 ensures a higher level of competitive integrity when compared to a BO1, so does playing more rounds during a map. If you are trying to determine who is the better team on each map, the larger the sample size of rounds, the better. Lessening the rounds will have a negative effect on the competitive integrity of the game.
Changing the rounds to address the current economic state of the game only to then have changes made to the economy might also be an absolute disaster, having future unforeseen effects that are more far more negative than the positive effects we see now.
Players and teams will more than likely resist any kind of change like this. They have built their entire careers playing a game with maxrounds 15, and that is what they are used to.
I believe that there are positives and negatives that a change like this could bring. For me, the most compelling argument in favor of this change is making the game more digestible from a viewership experience. Taking into account all the other aspects, however, I’m not sure if it is worth it. I believe the only way we’d see a change like this being widely adopted is if it came straight from Valve. Until then, it remains merely an interesting discussion.
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