Saif K.
9:40 15th Feb, 2023

CS:GO And The Stolen NFT Scandal Explained

CSGO a popular game has been in news for a scandal linked to NFTs and stolen artwork. Is Valve the parent organisation really guilty?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is a popular Multiplayer First Person Shooter (FPS) Developed by Valve. Counter-Strike has been popular among its community for various reasons, one of them being the existence of its community servers.

Most of these servers have their custom weapon skins, which only change the look and feel of the weapon without giving any advantage. Launched in 2012, CSGO received little traction but things took a massive twist after the Arms Deal update on August 14th, 2013.

Skins and CSGO’s very own economy were added which was quite game-changing. Like every successful NFT Project, the main idea behind this update was to let the community trade their desired NFTs or skins.

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Initially, only 100 different weapons and knife skins were released. You could own multiple skins but each one of them would be unique. Each skin has its float condition which ranges from Factory new (0.00-0.07) to Battle-Scarred (0.45-1).

Let’s say you are holding multiple X skins, all of these X skins would be unique (because of different floats) similar to the NFTs in the Bored Ape Yacht Club. As the float value goes towards the lower end of the spectrum, the skin will appear to be more “worn out”.

Another factor that separates these X Skins is their pattern numbers. These pattern numbers have different patterns which in some skins change their look entirely. These pattern numbers or pattern indexes range from 1 to 999.

Since the Arms Deal update, Valve has been constantly adding skins to CSGO. These skins could be made by Valve themselves or picked from CSGO’s very own Community Workshop. Where the community can showcase their love for the game and create various things like maps, stickers, weapon skins, etc. in the hopes that Valve might add them to the game. Just like OpenSea or Rarible, but the buyers/owners of an NFT would be Valve.

If your design is what Valve is looking for, they will go ahead and introduce your skin in the game. CSGO’s latest update introduced a new CSGO case which works as a loot box with new skins.

The creator of a community-made skin would receive revenue shares for his skin, the exact amount is unknown since they have all signed an NDA and will not disclose it. Rumour has it that these creators get paid a lot. This temptation drives a lot of other artists to make a quick buck by using other artists’ artwork.

Something similar happened in CSGO’s most recent weapon case called Revolution Case. The weapon skin in particular is the AWP | Doodle Lore. The AWP | Doodle Lore is a doodle-ish take on the infamous AWP | Dragon Lore, which is one of CSGO’s Holy Grail of skins.

Dragon Lore Doodle Lore Zelta

Since the Dragon Lore is a Valve-made skin, it didn’t mind putting the skin in as the AWP is one of the most iconic weapons and it’s a fun take on the inexpensive Dragon Lore that every fan dreams of owning someday. The inclusion of the skin was taken well by the community.

Doodle Lore CSGO

Until a Twitter user @theDanidem started to share about the latest skins being stolen artwork. He went on a lot about the other skins in the game that could also be potentially stolen artwork, but the one that stands out the most is the AWP | Doodle Lore. Not only is the concept of the Dragon Lore stolen, but also the dragon design has been stolen.

The Dragon on the skin is from an NFT made by an artist who goes by @vexx_art on Twitter. There are a lot of similarities between the NFT and the skin including exact design copies. The NFT Artist then declared on Twitter that he has filed a DMCA complaint to Valve. We are unsure about the outcome of the DMCA, but this isn’t the first time Valve has mistakenly added skins with stolen artwork in the game.

Before this, one of the most renowned skins in the game called the “M4A4 | Howl” was a product of stolen artwork too.

M4A4 Howl CSGO Zelta

After the news was out, Valve decided to cut its supply by removing it from the case, changing the artwork, and giving it an all-new rarity known as the Contraband Rarity.

In this decade-long journey of CSGO, there have been many instances where skins with stolen artwork have been added to the game but no other skin has the contraband rarity.

Valve just released an update on the 15th of February 2023. This Update now replaces the AWP | Doodle Lore with the AWP | Duality. This means each and every AWP | Doodle Lore, whether unboxed or yet to be unboxed, would be replaced by the AWP | Duality.

What does this mean for the CSGO and the NFT community?

As for the CSGO Community, a lot of people will be stocking up on the Doodle Lore in the hopes that due to a glitch, the Doodle Lore will not be converted. If it works out, it might be a new collector's item stored away in the shadow realm, away from any ordinary enthusiast's sight

As for the NFT Community, especially as an artist, there are bad actors everywhere, there will be people trying to copy your art or your style, but rest assured if your art is stolen and uploaded in CSGO's Community Workshop, chances are high that it might not get put into the game. For that tiny little mishap, That Valve does go ahead and put it in the game, you could file a DMCA. Just ensure that you have strong evidence backing you up.

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