ESEA is a super popular service that you have probably heard of if you play the popular shooter game Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Many in the community feel as if regular matchmaking is broken, with trolls, smurfs, and hackers. The rank system is also messed up for some. And of course, pro players cannot really use matchmaking to get quality practice matches. There was a problem, and ESEA decided to fix it. They created a third party matchmaking tool that had better service, more balanced ranks, community controlled members, and special ranks for top tier players. Players here are serious about the game and are generally fun to play with. Today we will be reviewing this tool so you can know whether or not to subscribe to it.
What’s the price?
The first thing to go over is obviously the cost. It isn’t free to run such kind of service, and of course, they have to turn a profit. The cost of ESEA is seven dollars a month through PayPal or eight dollars a month through the steam community marketplace. You can also get discounts for buying year long subscriptions. While this cost may seem high at first, it is justifiable if you play CS:GO a lot. Imagine you play one game a day. You get thirty high quality games with good teammates and all the other benefits. To me, I would gladly pay a quarter each time I played match making to get a good experience. If you only play Counter Strike once or twice a week, however, the price may be a turnoff.
Next, let’s talk about their ranking system. Each player here is assigned a rank between D- and A+ based on their performances in the first ten matches they play. Losing and winning games affect your rank so you are almost always playing with people at a similar skill level to you. I recently bought ESEA a week ago, and am currently C+, while I am a Silver elite in regular matchmaking.
Already I can tell you that my teammates have better communication and that I am having more fun in general in ESEA matches. My teammates make callouts, are friendly, and frankly actually care about the game. There are no trolls, no smurfs, no hackers. And best of all? The people are actually as good as me! I am usually fragging around the same amount I am dying, and people are not doing random stuff that ruins the game. The ranking system of this service is a major plus and a super cool thing.
Now let’s talk about their matches themselves. You can form teams on ESEA and they do offer competitive ladders and leagues for their subscribers, but assuming you just want to play a quick game you are going to use their PUG game mode. Now PUG stands for a pick up game. Basically, it is matchmaking with a few twists. As mentioned before, you are going to get better teammates who communicate, are around your skill level, won’t be annoying, and are chill guys. You also get cool features like a knife round, overtime, halftime breaks, and other small little things that make the match seem more professional.
The time it takes for you to find a match is low at only a few minutes due to how popular ESEA is. The matches are on a one hundred and twenty eight tick server, which players who play CS a lot know has been a hot button topic for a long time. One twenty eight tick servers basically provide smoother gameplay and a lot less lag between client and actual gameplay then the sixty four tick servers that Valve uses. If you are a decent player, then the difference is actually a lot, so you will notice the better tick rates almost instantly if you do decide to subscribe. PUG’s are basically matchmaking but better, and as a current ESEA subscriber, I can say that I absolutely love them.
In addition to these excellent PUGS that are a lot better than anything Valve offers, ESEA also has a thriving forum full of educated CS members. You can have a good time talking with others or get your questions answered in a serious way! The forums have come to be my personal CS helper. If I am doing something wrong, someone is always there to help me fix it! In addition, the members of this platform are super fun to interact with. I love the forum system that these guys have.
They also have something called karma. Karma is basically a self moderating system which helps you to only play with the best players. Basically, every time you play a match, you either get plus one or minus one karma. If you get more karma, you are respected and admired. If you get negative karma, however, consequences start piling up. At negative five karma, you cannot buy flashbangs or molotovs. At negative fifty karma, you are banned for a month with no refund. Basically, be a chill dude that people like and you will be fine. However, if you act like a little know it all or are a terrible player, you will probably get kicked out of ESEA.
The aim maps that are offered to subscribers should be mentioned, as they are excellent. They have aim maps across all regions so you can hop on and just practice your aim for however long you want. They have different maps that really help. My favorite part is that higher ranked players are usually willing to help out noobs like me. I was having trouble aiming and almost everyone in the server (max limit of ten) had some advice for me. It wasn’t sarcastic advice like “get better noob” either. Crosshair placement and different practice modes were mentioned and with their help, I have gotten a lot better at aiming. If you are tired of Valve’s shitty deathmatch servers, the aim servers here are perfect for you.
Stats are something that everyone likes to know to keep track of their progress in the game and as a player as a whole. Luckily, unlike Valve, ESEA tracks your stats so you can know your progress. They track your kills, deaths, assists, and everything else you could ever want to know. Through a week I have one hundred and twelve frags and a hundred and fifteen deaths. I couldn’t know that with Valve but I do know that with this service. Just another cool feature to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to subscribe.
So let’s recap. You get better matchmaking games, better aim practice, a helpful community, and a bunch more for seven dollars a month. If you play Counter Strike a decent amount than it should be a no brainer to subscribe! ESEA is basically a perfect CS with the features we want, and I absolutely love it! Give it a try, and I think you will love it too!