Surprising no one, the latest round of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) cosmetics have released and the rarest are fetching over $1,300 USD. The new Shattered Web operation brings new character models and new weapon skins, and speculation often drives up the price of items to extreme levels for items that confer no competitive advantage to players.
Currently the most expensive cosmetic appears to be the Gungnir skin for the AWP sniper rifle, which sold for about $1,300. The Containment Breach is listed on the marketplace for a little over $1,000, and the AK-47 skin, Wild Lotus, has an asking price of $1,750.
Such speculation is business as usual for CS:GO. Many of these items are limited in quantity and not expected to return following the release of the next batch of content. This means that players often hype up the value of cosmetics based on how well they believe these will hold their value in the long run. Of course, most of these are incredibly rare compared to the millions of skins that players own, most of which may only be worth pennies.
The most expensive cosmetic skin ever sold was also for the AWP sniper rifle. Known as the Dragon Lore, this skin sold in January of 2018 for about $61, 052.63. It is unique because of its collection of stickers, consisting of PGL, G2 Esports, Cloud9, and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, who was MVP at the Boston Major 2018 and played for Cloud9, the winner of the tournament. Almost purely cosmetic, this combination of rare stickers makes the cosmetic item a one of a kind and a piece of gaming history.
Valve is no stranger to creating products that players will pay ludicrous sums of money to own. Team Fortress 2 also used to see intense speculation drive prices up for cosmetic items in the short term. As of late, however, the economy has downshifted a bit thanks to the game reaching what is considered the natural end of its development life. That can also be attributed to a recent glitch that sent the economy reeling.
For now, players will continue to speculate on the newest CS:GO skins. We'll have a better idea of these long-term value of these cosmetic items within a few weeks, once all the initial hype has gone down. Like most events, the initial values are likely to drop since none of these skins seem particularly special. Still, they'll retain values far higher than most other cosmetics in the game.