While PUBG mobile might have taken the whole scene by storm, it’s still not the same. The game is fine, no doubt, however, it lacks a thing. And what is that? I don’t know; maybe passion, stealth, synergy or finesse. That shall apparently be a matter of discourse at a more convenient time. At present, let us acknowledge the decisive subject of utmost repute that ruled our hearts during the adolescence. Counter-Strike: a pastime that was not just a game, our hearts back then throbbed in sync.

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These days, it’s not the same. Nearly a hundred stacked within a server hoping for the chicken dinner is all good. But, do you recall a classic Terrorists vs Counter-Terrorists clash for their collective glory? Once you die, there’s no revival of health. And upon death, you’d spam the chat or voice apparently being an intense backseat gamer. 16vs16 casual server or rather we used to call it ‘pub server’ was the epitome of bliss. For the competitive breeds, clan servers were the site to showcase their supremacy. However, the fight for the #1 position on a game tracker was an actual feud.

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All the way, rushing home from school and the first thing you would do is switch on your computer. The prolonged nights of Counter-Strike during summer vacations were indeed mesmerizing. Above all, LAN parties were some of the best adolescent memories with homies by our side. I was an amateur back then playing against bots when one of my classmates told me that we could connect to a server and play together. I was in complete disbelief at first. But, as I did what he instructed and taada! We were playing together.

We had it all in those days. Nowadays, however, things aren’t that simple. We have these games that are filled to brim with microtransactions. Today, we have to purchase weapon skins, costumes, etc. but it lacks the local community flavor of Counter-Strike. Back then, we were able to change our player model to any anime character we loved. I remember switching to master chief and changing my rifle skin to match Halo auto rifle coupled with the custom firing sound. Everything was possible with just a little knowledge about modding.

The unique rewards for winning might be petty yet they had a place in our heart. It wasn’t about what we got as rewards, it was the passion that drove those fights and the sheer thirst to prove myself and my clan as the supreme.