CS:GO Competitive Mode Explained

CS:GO Competitive Mode Explained

Before going into details about both teams, Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, I think it’s important to explain to you how a competitive match works. What’s important and how to play it properly.

If you’ve already played a few Casual games you might get a grasp of what’s important in a game of Counter-Strike, but also, you might not understand it completely yes. That’s why we’re here to help you understand it.


Unlike casual mode, competitive mode always pits two teams of 5 against each other in a 30 round match. The round time is 1 minute 55 seconds and the bomb timer is 40 seconds. It is not possible to switch sides during the game. After the first 15 rounds, the game reaches halftime and the two teams will switch sides. The first team that wins 16 rounds, wins the game. If both teams win 15 rounds, the match will end in a tie.
It is also important to note that with some of the recent updates to CS:GO, you’re required to have a profile rank of at least Private Rank 3 to be eligible for competitive matchmaking. 

Starting money in competitive mode is $800, whereas in casual mode it’s $1000. You also have to buy armor and helmet when you have money as opposed to casual mode where you always have armor+helmet at the start of the round. This also means that Counter-Terrorists have to invest in defusal kits in competitive because they dont spawn with it each round. One more difference is the ability to buy a total of 4 grenades. That makes it possible to buy 2 flashbangs a smoke and he grenade, or just buy 1 of each, flashbang smoke he grenade and a Molotov (incendiary).
Spectating is also limited to only being able to spectate your own team when you die. But chat is visible to all the players regardless of the player being alive or dead. But don’t worry, team chat is only visible to your team members.


While it’s currently in beta, Prime Account Matchmaking was added as part of the April 21, 2016 update. Players can opt-in to test the Prime account matchmaking by clicking on the More Info button located above the user's profile. There are some requirements to get your account to “Prime” status. Your profile rank needs to be at least Rank 21 to participate. You need to have a valid phone number to be able to complete the process. Keep in mind that only a single account can be registered to a phone number, meaning the player cannot upgrade additional account to Prime status without having a separate phone number. So if you have more than one account and only one phone number, consider which account you want to upgrade too Prime. Users with Prime accounts will be matched accordingly with other Prime account users. But if you’re in a lobby with your friends and one of you isn’t a Prime member, you can’t play Prime matchmaking with him.


There is a total of 18 ranks in the game.

The lowest rank you can get is Silver I, and the highest is The Global Elite. 
Players new to the competitive matchmaking mode will not have a skill group. To keep the game balanced for novice and experienced players, joining a competitive mode without a rank will place the player with others with no skill group or a low level skill group. Players without a skill group are limited to two competitive matches that result in wins or draws per day until they are placed in a skill group by winning 10 matches to get a rank (or drawing a match after your 9th win). When playing your first 10 matches to get a rank, you will progress based on your skill in the games you’ve played so far. So that means that if you get your first 10 wins fast, you will get a higher rank at first. But that also means that if you start losing matches after your initial first rank, you will most likely fall to a much lower rank. 

Here’s a list of rank distribution in CS:GO currently.

As you can see, the highest number of players are in the Silver or Gold Nova ranks. And The Global Elite consists only of 0.7% of total players. 
If you are highly ranked and your friend is not, you won’t be able to play together unless you have a 5 man lobby. That is because when searching for the match, game tries to make it a fair match and places you in a match with people with similar ranks to those in your team.


If a player has abandoned a match, cheated, or otherwise has committed poor sportsmanship, the player will receive a competitive matchmaking cooldown. When a player has a competitive matchmaking cooldown, the player cannot participate in any competitive matches for the duration of the cooldown. The player will be notified of any existing cooldowns by a yellow banner at the top of the main menu page stating the reason and the remaining length of the cooldown. The first cooldown will last for 30 minutes, the second is 2 hours, then 24 hours, and lastly 7 days. If you haven’t received a cooldown for a week, your level will go down by a level each week, starting after any existing cooldowns have expired. For example, once a 24 hour cooldown is over you would have to wait a week till the cooldown level (if you do not trigger another cooldown) goes from 24 hours back to 2 hours.

Reasons for a cooldown:

•    Abandoning a match
Leaving a competitive match mid-game, through direct player action or in-action. Losing network connection while in-game will yield the same result as abandoning a match.

Leaving or failing to connect to the server within the warmup period is also considered match abandoning.

•    Team disruption
Activities such as team killing, excessive team damage, or a player being repeatedly vote-kicked from matches in competitive matchmaking.

•    Cheating
Use of 3rd party programs, scripts, or other hacking techniques in competitive or casual matchmaking.

•    Idling
Excessive idling

•    Suiciding
Excessive suiciding (e.g. jumping off a building from the map Vertigo) will result in a cooldown.

•    Excessive kicking or being kicked too often
Kicking or attempting to kick too many people can result in a cooldown happening eventually. Also being kicked too often will result in a cooldown.

This concludes the part on Competitive matchmaking. Next as we already said is regarding both teams (T and CT) and your role in both of them.

Tomas love of Gaming began at an early age - shortly after he got a hold of his counsin's Gameboy. He is a self proclaimed Tech-Nerd and Gadget geek. Coffee addict ... mostly, noctural.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply