Counter-Strike skin sells for $400K, probably the most expensive gun in videogame history

The most expensive AK-47 in Counter-Strike history.
(Image credit: Valve / zipeL)

The surprise announcement of Counter-Strike 2, currently in a limited beta and due to launch this summer, came with one very important piece of news for existing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players. All of the weapon skins from CS:GO will be carrying over to the new game. CS:GO's skins market has always been a fascinating side element of the game's success, and rare skins going for silly money has been happening for a long time now, but this element of the CS2 announcement saw even fairly unremarkable skins begin to spike in value.

Now, an AK-47 skin has become the most expensive gun in CS:GO and probably videogame history (thanks Dexerto). The skin is a minimal wear StatTrak Tier 1 Case Hardened AK-47 with a Blue Gem pattern, the latter of which is pattern 661 which, apparently, is the blue-est Blue Gem one can get. In addition to this, the gun has four Katowice 2014 Titan Holo stickers applied to it, which are each valued at around $60,000.

Minimal wear means the gun is actually the second-best condition it could be in: A factory new variant of this item does not currently exist but in theory could one day be unboxed. Oh, and the kicker: This is the most expensive individual gun, but the most-desired and valuable skin in CS:GO skin remains the Blue Gem Karambit knife in the below video, which last year was allegedly the subject of a $1.5 million bid (which the owner turned down). It's not even the biggest single CS:GO transaction, which would be this (unconfirmed) sale of an AK-47 case hardened and a Souvenir AWP Dragon Lore for $775K (which if legit would conveniently value each gun at just under $400K).

CS:GO skin trader zipeL brokered the sale for his business colleague Luksusbums, which included the AK-47 and a version of the Blue Gem Karambit (which is in well worn condition and thus significantly less valuable than the above factory new version). zipeL claims the total value of the trade was over $500,000, with $400,000 of that for the AK-47 skin, and it was completed on April 16.

zipeL then went on to have a bit of a brag about it: "to all those nerds that said come back to me when the AK sells for 400k you are delusional zipeL, hello bitches." I've asked zipeL some questions about the sale and for some financial proof of the transaction, and will update with any response.

That is perhaps the thing worth bearing in mind here. CS:GO skins are a speculators' market, and one that's going through a pretty unprecedented period of excitement because of the CS2 transfer news. Over the years I've seen many claims about this or that skin being sold for megabucks, but rarely do you ever see the cold hard proof of such sums of cash changing hands. To be clear I'm not disputing that this particular transaction happened (after all, we live in a world where people buy NFTs of apes), so much as noting that what CS:GO's skins market is going through right now is weird, unprecedented, and it's hard to know what's real and what's merely a mirage.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."