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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive opens up premier matchmaking for all

CS:GO
(Image credit: Valve)
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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has opened up Broken Fang Premier—the competitive matchmaking mode previously available only to those who'd bought the Broken Fang pass—to all players. The Premier mode's big addition is the introduction of a pick/ban phase at the start of every match, where your teammates shout things like "not Dust please" and "I quit if ve choose Overpass" over alternate voting rounds.

One caveat is that non-Prime players will not be matched into the Premier mode. When CS: GO went free-to-play, all players who had paid for the game automatically gained 'Prime' accounts, while those who begin in the F2P version can either pay for a Prime upgrade or wait until they hit level 21 to gain the status (the idea being to put a paywall/timewall in front of throwaways and smurfs). So almost everyone can play Premier mode, unless you've just started.

Operation Broken Fang is due to run until April 30th, so there's around a month left to complete its various missions and rack up the rewards. I've been having a tremendous time with it, and Premier mode is the icing on the cake when you've got a team together, so fill your boots.

The full release notes for the patch are here, continuing the regular pace of updates throughout Broken Fang, which to my mind is the best pass CS: GO has had yet. As well as serious quality-of-life improvements, this season has also seen the developers leaning into some community silliness, such as the badly-drawn sticker capsule.

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This latest release also comes with a small community nod: "Adjusted Zeus texture to read Zeus X-27. For the record, this counts as a Zeus skin." The Zeus is a handheld taser and one of the few elements of the game that doesn't have skins: therefore, fans constantly ask for Zeus skins, and there's even a twitter account dedicated to calling for them. It just goes to show: Valve is listening, even if its responses come with a helping of humour.

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."