One of the biggest driving forces behind the success and popularity of CS:GO is most definitely the game's skin market.
Following the introduction of the Arms Deal update in August 2013, skins formed a virtual economy due to their rarity and other high-value factors that influenced their desirability.
This soon led to skin gambling and some really big affairs around it. The biggest scandal was the one which included Trevor "TmarTn" Martin and ProSyndicate, owners of CSGOLotto.
CS:GO skin gambling is definitely a dark part of CS:GO history (Picture: Valve)
Despite some questionable ethical issues behind the CS:GO skin market, and even some legal grey areas, this important part of the CS:GO community continues to thrive to this day, and it is even one of the biggest reasons why we still don't have the CS:GO Source 2 Update.
Most of the trades in this economy are being done with Steam money, which can not be pulled out from this closed system, but that doesn't mean that people won't spend astronomical sums of real money just to have some of the exotic and rare skins they desire.
We've heard stories before that some people were paying tens of thousands of dollars for some rare skins, but this latest sale is absolutely insane.
As reported by ohnePixel, who's known as someone well informed about the CS:GO economy, earlier this month a Chinese collector purchased StatTrak M4A4 | Howl 4x IBP 0.003 for $100,000+ in cash, which means that is was a non-Steam transaction.
Apparently, a Chinese collector just purchased this 4x IBP 0.003 ST Howl for $130,000 in cash. If this amount turns out to be true, it sets the new record as the biggest cash trade in CS:GO history. pic.twitter.com/7Vu3wbXFqE— ohnePixel (@ohnePixel) July 3, 2020
According to ohnePixel, if this amount turns out to be true, it sets the new record as the biggest cash trade in CS:GO history.
The first reported amount was $130,000, but he later clarified that $130,000 is the sum for which Chinese buyer would sell it for, and he bought it for around $100k, which still makes it a record for a skin purchase.
This StatTrak M4A4 | Howl is apparently this most expensive CS:GO skin in history (Picture: Valve)
It looks like the Chinese market is really into this and rich Chinese gamers are willing to spend an insane amount of money for things like CS:GO skins.
Twitter user xMercy, who says he is a CS:GO collector, shared information that a Chinese collector bought over $700.000 worth of "extremely high-tier items", including paying $65,000 for the Souvenir Dragon Lore.
A Chinese collector bought over $700.000 worth of extremely high-tier items this past week. 🇨🇳🔥— xMercy (@xMeRcY_CS) June 12, 2020
He also bought the $65k Souvenir Dragon Lore and some other unapplied Katowice 2014 Holo Stickers that are on his Storage Unit. 💰 pic.twitter.com/NH5LUx6yzR
Of course, you should take all this information with a grain of salt, since these are all second-hand reports from people who are generally into this market as well, and probably have at least some interest to share this kind of stories and create narratives about extremely expensive trades.
Yet, there is no doubt that people are willing to pay insane amounts of money for skins in video games, especially people who are rich collectors, so we wouldn't be surprised if all these stories are 100% true.
Are you spending money on skins in video games? And if yes, how much?