By Pavo Jurkic
May 11, 2019
Let’s talk a bit about one of the most popular esports titles in the world. Not just today, but in all of esports’ history. As the title implies, I am referring to CS:GO. Well, technically not just CS:GO but CS:S and CS 1.6 too. These three games are the epitome of esports shooters with their round-based action, fast-paced plays and high skill ceiling making them the ideal games to both play and watch.
In the sea of CS:GO related content, most of which is digested via YouTube, there is a whole bunch of informational and educational movies with production value and behind-the-scenes takes on the scene. Yep, I’m talking about documentaries. And not just any documentaries, mind you. Today, I’ll be your guide through the best CS:GO documentaries available online.
And trust me, you’ll be surprised to see just how many great CS:GO documentaries there are. Starting from the very beginning of the Counter-Strike saga (the good old days of early 2000s CS 1.6) and stretching all the way to today, CS events have fueled the ardor of gamers all around the world. That said, if you wish to relive some of the best moments in CS competitive history or just sit back and watch an informative documentary about your favorite game, this short list of the best CS:GO documentaries is bound to keep you busy for hours on end.
This list of the five best CS:GO documentaries will cover everything from the earliest days of CS 1.6 all the way to the biggest teams and players of today. Yep, there’s plenty of options out there so I’m sure you’ll find something that’s up your alley.
So, without further ado, let’s kick it off with the first of the best CS:GO documentaries!
I’m sure we can all agree that Half-Life games are among the greatest video games ever created. Not only were they the best shooters at the time of their release, but they also fueled the winds of change that ended up captivating the entire gaming industry. These games created the perfect ecosystem for the game that turned out to be one of the most watched and most played esports titles – CS:GO. Yep, the origin of Counter-Strike goes back to the days of Half-Life. Two college kids created a free to play mod for the game and called it Counter-Strike… And the rest is history.
As everyone’s favorite Half-Life mod started reaching greater audiences, its creators (alongside Valve which had already taken great interest in the highly popular mod) had to tackle the issue of patching. Back then, the internet infrastructure was not developed enough to facilitate thousands of players downloading patches. And that’s where Steam came into play, as the perfect solution delivering multi-server download capabilities for Counter-Strike patches.
Driven by the huge success of Counter-Strike 1.6, the revamped Source engine was released back in 2004. However, it was met with mixed feelings and didn’t really live up to anyone’s expectations, let alone Valve’s. Fast forward to 2012 and the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the esports tale of this fast-paced shooter finally started shaping up the way it was supposed to.
That’s about it as far as Counter-Strike: A Brief History goes. I won’t go into further detail because I don’t want to spoil the actual documentary. It’s pretty short, roughly eight minutes, so it’s a real must-watch for everyone involved with CS:GO in any way. Oh, and yeah, Thorin is one of the commentators which is yet another reason why you shouldn’t miss out on this one!
Very similar in presentation to Counter-Strike: A Brief History, G4M3RS: A Documentary is a fully-fledged esports documentary lasting roughly 70 minutes. That said, it’s bound to satisfy your craving for proper esports documentaries.
G4M3RS portrays the beginnings of Counter-Strike much in the same fashion as the previous entry on this list, however, it delves into a few of the more nuanced details. For starters, in addition to focusing on the industry experts, this documentary also makes sure to represent the professional players as they take their first steps in the world of pro gaming. The end result is a picture-perfect exhibit of the state of affairs in the pro-gaming industry at the time.
In all honesty, G3M3RS was one of the first esports documentaries I’ve ever watched so it has a special place in my heart. Realistically speaking though, we’re talking about a quality documentary that would put many newer ones to shame. It manages to capture the essence of the lives of pro gamers (at the time) in a brilliant way. Displaying their hard work, dedication, sacrifices and, in the end, either fantastic victories or heartbreaking defeats.
With all that in mind, if you’re looking for one of the best CS:GO documentaries out there, G4M3RS is surely a worthy specimen. It will pull you back in time to the so-called golden era of CS when winning matches was about much more than lucrative prizes… It meant bragging rights, fame and legendary status in the pro community… things we often take for granted these days.
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the greatest Danish team out there. Astralis has firmly established themselves as the most dominant force in CS:GO over the last year or so. Winning a total of three Majors, the most recent of which were back-to-back, speaks to more than mere stats. Dev1ce, dupreeh, gla1ve, Magisk, and Xyp9x make the GOAT CS:GO roster, and that’s indisputable at this point.
However, their gameplay qualities, team cohesion, and individual brilliance haven’t appeared overnight. Astralis’ journey to the top of the CS:GO scene was a lengthy process that took a couple of years to finally become a reality. And if that’s something you’d like to investigate, Astralis’ Youtube channels sports an entire series labeled Astralis: To the Stars. There are five episodes in the series which comes in at a bit under two hours in total.
These episodes will guide you through the history of Astralis’ CS:GO roster. Their biggest defeats, victories, semifinals curses, and perhaps most importantly, the influence the support staff have had on their success. These five mini-documentaries perfectly sum up the internal processes behind Astralis’ dominance over the CS:GO scene.
That said, if you’re a fan of the Great Danes you should really check these documentaries out!
TheScore Esports’ documentaries are pushing the boundaries of high-budget esports productions and are currently presenting a unique, cooperate take on gaming content.
No matter if you’re an avid fan of LoL, CS:GO, Dota 2 or virtually any other esports title, chances are TheScore Esports has something that’ll capture your attention. At the time of writing this article, there are more than one hundred entries in their “The Story of” esports series, some of which are definitely among the best CS:GO documentaries ever created.
But there’s more to it than just CS:GO. TheScore Esports’ The Story of documentaries have touched upon a wide variety of topics. Everything from the greatest professional players, esports titles, in-game weapons, popular casters, most thrilling matchups, and legendary-tier weapons. The Story of series covers it all…
As for the duration, you’ll find they’re just as diverse as the topics themselves. Some are five minutes long, some are ten, and some even stretch out to more than half an hour. Depending on the topic at play, of course.
Best of all, TheScore Esports is continuously pushing out new documentaries) on their YouTube channel. With that in mind, if you’re looking for your daily dose of CS:GO documentaries, there’s a whole bunch of stuff on that channel you should check out.
And finally, after checking out four of the best CS:GO documentaries out there, it’s time to dig deeper into the fifth one. This one is sort of similar to Astralis: To The Stars, but as opposed to a series it’s one doc featuring the birth of FaZe Clan’s superstar roster. NiKo, GuardiaN, olofmeister, rain, and karrigan, four of which are still in FaZe’s active roster.
FaZe Clan: Going for Gold begins by following the team in their quest for the shiniest medal at DreamHack Masters Malmo in 2017. Despite a demanding training regime (both in-game and fitness), this brand-new superstar roster that was expected to win the tournament showed issues very early on. Surprisingly, FaZe got eliminated in the group stage, before the real competition even began.
The second part of this CS:GO documentary follows FaZe Clan at the ELEAGUE Major. I don’t want to go any further here since that’d be packed with spoilers. Instead, let’s just say there were several thrilling matches featured here… one of which took a surprising turn that ought to awe those of you who aren’t already familiar with the tournament. It was really a brilliant moment and FaZe Clan: Going for Gold, in a manner befitting the title of one of the best CS:GO documentaries out there, painted a perfect picture of all the drama in Boston.
Even though many people claim the golden age of Counter-Strike was back in the days of CS 1.6, I’d like to argue otherwise. Yes, the passion for the game was perhaps slightly more visible back then. The players, the coaches, the managers, and the fans, they all lived for every single victory. Today, even though the ardor still exists, the intensity just isn’t there anymore. It’s as if the players are ashamed to go crazy in front of millions of fans. It’s as if they’re scared they’ll become an eternal meme within the CS:GO community.
Be that as it may, there’s no way around admitting that these films really are the best CS:GO documentaries out there. The folks over at TheScore Esports are doing an especially fantastic job with their mini-documentary series. I have to shout them out and emphasize what a wonderful work they’ve been doing over the last couple of years.
Furthermore, Valve is also very active so far as promoting the esports industry (especially their two biggest esports titles, Dota 2 and CS:GO) is concerned. With a couple of top-tier esports documentaries, Lord Gaben helped ensure our favorite industry has a legacy that will live on for future generations.
That said, if you’re up for some good old Counter-Strike content, sit back, relax and enjoy our list of the best CS:GO documentaries. You’re bound to find something that’s up your alley. Something that will not only provide you with an hour or so of fun but will also fuel your urge to go back to your PC and play a couple of matches.
Cheers guys and thank you for reading!