Valve’s announcement of Half-Life: Alyx saw their Index headsets fly off their virtual back in November 2019, and again this week when they were briefly back in stock. I may have to wait at least eight weeks before my Index arrives on my doorstep, but I haven't had to put a penny towards it, thanks to my flashy CS:GO inventory.
As someone who had jumped on the HTC Vive train when it released, I was mildly interested in the Index when it launched. Games like Beat Saber, Superhot and Doom VFR had me reaching for the Vive every now and then but the low-res screen really bugged me. To begin with, the Index's hefty price tag was a strong enough deterrent, and issues surrounding the controllers persuaded myself and my partner to steer clear of it. That was, until Half-Life: Alyx was announced. Dropping another $999/£919 on a new VR kit is far too much for a single game, right? Then again, this is Half-Life that we're talking about, here (not to mention that we've built a decent VR library over the years).
Mulling things over during the Christmas break had us discussing HL:A more often. It was clear that we were starting to get excited and we started to find ways to justify the purchase. We agreed that new base stations were a little extravagant and shaved off £230. The Index may have been out of stock, but we were determined to be ready for it the next time it reared its headset. Browsing through our Steam inventories, we realised that our Index money had actually been sitting in our accounts for months, tied up in our CS:GO knives.
In the height of our CS:GO addiction, we'd splashed some cash and each invested in a knife. Having timed our purchases when the market value dipped, we slowly purchased more valuable blades. Starting with my humble Gut Knife Rust Coat, I was now the proud owner of a Phase 2 Flip Knife Doppler and a Karambit Lore. My other half rocked a Falchion Fade. While it was fun to flex our wares in a community that's salty around 90 percent of the time, we'd had our fun and no longer had time to play CS:GO anywhere near as often. It was time to cash out. We bid goodbye to all three, along with a few AK and M4 skins to top up our wallet to Index-level. Come March 9, we made our order and now face an agonising wait for it to be fulfilled.
To put the market into perspective, my Karambit sold for around £350, with the other knives fetching well over £100 each. While this sounds like a lot, it's relatively low compared to some of the rarer skins, such as the coveted AWP Dragon Lore. CS:GO weapon skins can range from as low as a few pennies to over £1000.
My partner and I never bought our cosmetic items to sell them on. We just really liked the look of those knives, and have spent hundreds of hours rushing B with them in hand. While I'm slightly saddened by how little time we set aside to play our favourite FPS nowadays, I'm happy that we can put that money towards upgrading our VR setup.