March 01, 2024

Astralis players ask Valve for Default Female Skins in CS:GO

In a move to promote gender inclusivity in the competitive gaming arena, the Astralis Counter-Strike women's team has penned an open letter to Valve, the developer of the popular first-person shooter game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), now known as CS2. The letter, spearheaded by team rifler Josefine Jensen and co-signed by teammates Aurora Lyngdal, Marie Toft, Anja Soelberg, and Isabella Ferslev, asks Valve to include default female skins in future patches of Counter-Strike 2.

CS:GO Female Skins mod

Expressing their love for being part of the global Counter-Strike community, the Astralis players draw attention to the current disparity between male and female skins within the game.

According to the letter, using a female agent skin in CS:GO comes at an additional cost, while default skins are exclusively male. The players argue that this discrepancy is not only unfair but also creates an unwelcoming environment for female players.

The letter, which notes the feeling of being "only guests at the party," emphasizes the need to boost the game's default skin options. While acknowledging that CS2 includes female agent skins, the Astralis players highlight that these are part of previous CS:GO operations and can only be earned in-game or purchased on the community market. Players are calling for more accessible default female agents to be integrated into the game due to the costs associated with obtaining these female agent skins, which range from $9 to $51.

The players argue that the current situation is likely a historical artifact from the early days of Counter-Strike, when the core game mode featured five male Counter-Terrorists facing off against five male Terrorists. Despite the straightforward nature of their request, the Astralis players note the negative reactions received from some Counter-Strike players, including dismissive attitudes and personal insults. This, ironically, reinforces the players' argument that such a request should not be a contentious issue but rather a step toward a more inclusive gaming environment.

The open letter suggests that Valve, as a reputable game development studio with experience in designing diverse characters, is fully capable of implementing default female agent skins into Counter-Strike 2 and CS:GO.

The players emphasize the need for this content boost by pointing out the community's reaction, which reflects resistance or belittling attitudes.

CS:GO Female Skin

In a recent interview, Josefine Jensen revealed that the team has not received a reply from Valve since their initial correspondence in January. Despite facing negative comments, Jensen remains focused on the positive responses and is hopeful for a constructive resolution. She emphasizes that there should be no difference between male and female agents, advocating for an equal number of free female agents as male agents in the game.

As the debate unfolds, the call for default female agent skins in one of the world's premier competitive FPS games reflects broader discussions within the gaming community about inclusivity and gender representation. The Astralis players' initiative sheds light on the potential positive impact of such changes, both in attracting more women to the game and creating a more welcoming environment for existing players. Ultimately, their call for default female skins in CS:GO and increasing the number of skins in CS2 signals a step towards a more diverse and inclusive gaming landscape.

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