CS:GO ban wave leaves over $2m in skins in permanent limbo

A CS:GO player points his gun towards the screen
(Image credit: Valve)

A recent CS:GO ban wave has caught over 40 accounts linked to in-game trading, resulting in a reported $2 million worth of skins being potentially lost forever.

As Dexerto reports, Valve’s latest ban wave is catching skin traders associated with gambling sites. While CS:GO skin trading has long been common in the popular shooter, it’s the link to gambling that Valve appears to be taking issue with – a ban wave in May also hit various traders who had dealt with gambling sites.

What makes this all murky, however, is one of esports’ favourite pastimes – beef. Earlier this week, a skin gambling website called CS:GO Empire shared a document of traders it alleges to have engaged in a scheme to “illegally launder” crypto through a rival site called CS:GO Roll. Most of the names on that list would go on to be banned by Valve that same day.

That prompted CS:GO Roll owner to address the issue on Twitter, calling it “sad” that “16 people who support themselves financially from trading skins on my and other platforms” have been banned “for a total cost of $2m in skins, because they have been falsely accused of money laundering with no evidence by this bitter individual.” 

It doesn’t end there, either. Other CS:GO skin traders who haven’t been banned have started selling their assets, assumedly to part with something that’s likely been through a skin gambling website. How much that impacts general skin value going up in smoke remains to be seen, but we’re already at quite a lofty sum.

While the public bad blood between the two sites has been rumbling on for a few months, it’s worth mentioning Valve updated its Code of Conduct to expressly mention gambling as a prohibited way of using your Steam account. People reporting others could bring something to Valve’s attention, though it all comes as the developer is looking to enforce the rules anyway.

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Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.