You would have heard by now that one of Valve’s popular games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has gone down the free-to-play route. And this is not the first time that one of its game has traverse such a path, with the first being the sequel of an old classic, Team Fortress 2. And even though I may have touched upon the subject of Prime in my last CS:GO article, Counter-Strike is now free to play, it is nothing but a brief exposure as to what it really is. So what does it mean to have a Prime status as opposed to those without it.
To truly understand the purpose of Prime, without its recent addition of Prime exclusive loot and cosmetic, I’ll explain how to obtain it and how it works. Due to CS:GO ‘Danger Zone’ update, every non-Prime user prior to the CS:GO free-to-play model have now been elevated to Prime status and the free-to-play players can get Prime status with just 15USD. Besides paying for it, you can also obtain it via leveling up your CS:GO profile to the rank of Lieutenant (rank 21 and it is a separate rank from your competitive ranking entirely), and suffice to say it it’s a longer, grindy route to take.
And as for myself, I obtained it not by any of the methods mentioned above, but via a Prime promotion. Back when Valve first introduced Prime, everyone was offered an instant promotion to Prime status for their CS:GO profile, provided that that account is linked to a valid phone number. And if you happen to have multiple CS:GO accounts using that same phone number, only one of the accounts can have that status.
It is not surprising that some players have multiple steam accounts just to play the same game. It’s understandable really, as there are trolls, smurfs, and hackers in most online communities, and CS:GO isn’t spared by it either. With that in mind, the intention of Valve introducing Prime to its community is to improve the user experience. By enabling Prime matchmaking, you will be up against fellow players that are relatively close to your skill level and have a very low chance of encountering hackers in your match.
And hackers themselves wouldn’t run the risk of using their Prime account to play with hacks or to test it, as they could not create another Prime account without using an entirely different phone number when they do get banned. Thus Prime acts as a deterrence against hackers while at the same time reshuffle its players to their appropriate skill level.
It’s entirely fine if you’re opposed to coughing up 15USD to pay for Prime status, as the game is free-to-play and none of its game modes is being limited for you to play. But do remember that if you encounter a player that is way beyond your skill level or someone that is incredibly suspicious, you’re in a non-Prime matchmaking session.