I used to review Counter-Strike maps as a teenager, for free, for fun, for fansites. If you’d have told me then that thirteen years later, I’d still be writing about them for fun, but as a career, I’d have said, “Well, obviously.” What else was I ever going to do?
Global Offensive’s new Operation Phoenix pack (or, “Pho3nix”, but I’d rather not) let’s you play eight top-voted community maps through the game’s competitive mode.
$3 let’s you play those maps on official servers, with all the requisite stats tracking that entails. The pack also delivers you a fancy gold coin to display those stats, and introduces 13 new community-created weapon finishes.
If you had told me back then that one day the best map creators would be getting paid for their work, I’d have been similarly unsurprised. When Valve picked up Counter-Strike itself so they could publish and continue developing it in-house, they gave some money to each of the contributors who’d made its maps. But even back then, they were talking about how map creators might sell their work directly to players, rather than Valve acting as a commissioning middle manager.
The eight maps voted for the community to be added this time around include Cache, Motel, Seaside, Montessori, Downtown, Thunder, Ali, Jingo, Favela, Agency and Biscuits. Click through to the Operation Phoenix page to check which of those I made up.