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Should CS:GO matches be shorter? Some of the game's biggest personalities think so

The community has been arguing whether CS:GO matches take too long and here is why.
Should CS:GO matches be shorter? Some of the game's biggest personalities think so

Jacob "Pimp" Winneche, a former professional player and current analyst, sparked the conversation on Wednesday, saying that the current economy system in the game renders the 30-round games obsolete.



MR15 means “max rounds 15”, referring to the upper limit of rounds in a half. Pimp suggests that this could be shortened to MR12, which is used by Riot Games’ new FPS game VALORANT.

With this format, a team would have to win 13 rounds to close out a game while a 12-12 scoreline would take it to overtime.

MR12 was used for a period in Counter Strike 1.6 and esports veteran Jason “Alchemister5” Baker thinks “it is worth testing a switch” in CS:GO.



But why are matches noticeably longer? Multiple small factors contribute, but timeouts are the most impactful element. Each team has four timeouts per map and these are rarely unused.

Before calling a timeout, however, a team waits for the 20-second freeze time to count down, calls the 30-second timeout, and have another 20-second freeze time. So each timeout costs closer to 50 seconds with the addition of the extra freeze time. Eight timeouts per map and you got an extra 6 minutes and 40 seconds.


Pimp CS:GO matches be shorter? should cs:go games be shorter? Are CS:GO games too long? Why are CS:GO games so long?
Pimp feels that the current format is too long. (Picture: StarLadder)


Add to that the minimum three-minute halftime break and we are closer to ten minutes of additional time per map. These timeout rules and ad breaks weren’t in place in the first few years of CS:GO, which is one of the main reasons why matches seem to be longer now.

Round time and bomb timer were increased by ten and five seconds, respectively, in 2015, which adds fifteen extra seconds to each round if the bomb is planted. If a game goes to 30 rounds, that is potentially an extra 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

With these seemingly minor changes combined, maps take 10-15 minutes longer to finish than they used to. MR12 could solve that problem by decreasing the maximum rounds from 30 to 25 but would it work fundamentally? How would it affect the gameplay?

To answer this, we have to bring up another CS:GO update, which massively overhauled the economy system. The loss bonus system became more forgiving and the economy reset became a less common occurrence. With this more lenient economy system, we started seeing more gun rounds and less ecos. Losing the pistol round wasn’t that big of an issue anymore. More weapon rounds lessened their importance because they didn’t have that make-or-break aspect anymore.

MR15 was necessary before this update because the pistol and the first weapon rounds were critical and the losing side needed more time to recover their economy. With this problem out of the way and any single round’s impact reduced, MR15 might no longer be necessary.

If the gameplay isn’t affected too much, why not try MR12?

Shorter games are also crucial as the fanbase might start to lose interest if every best-of-three is taking four to five hours. As Tomi "lurppis" Kovanen, General Manager of Immortals pointed out, it would be a lot harder to re-engage fans than to keep them. So that could be a motivation for Valve to change things up, to keep things fresh and interesting, and to implement MR12.



Do you think CS:GO should have shorter matches? Let us know your thoughts in our Twitter poll.