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CS:GO Skin MarketWatch: Steal Niko's look and get some gloves on a budget

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Katrina.Tuliao, CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

CS:GO Skin MarketWatch is a weekly look at the best deals and trends when it comes to skins. Every week we'll help you get maximum value out of your loadout, highlight pro player inventories or clue you in on some must-buy skins.

Skins make the CS:GO world go 'round. Whether you're a casual who only plays deathmatch on custom servers or an esports pro playing at the upper echelons of competition, skins are an important factor to the game.

Like a nice pair of sneakers, a custom paint job for your car or LEDS on your keyboard, your look matters, and CS:GO is no different.

Why you shouldn't buy an AWP skin, yet

Those of you in the market for an AWP skin might be hovering your mouse over the buy button right about now, seeing as how the price points for certain skins have dropped over the last three or so months, but don't go melting your credit card just yet.

These small price drops are in the short-term only, they're largely inconsistent and, most importantly, they don't show the bigger picture. Compared to six months or a year ago, many AWP skins are still more expensive now than before.

For example, the average price of a Field-Tested StatTrak AWP Asiimov is about $93.71 from the past 180 days, but if you only look at the sales averaged from past 30 days, that price jumps up to $108.54. That's about a 16 percent increase.

This trend also holds true for bigger ticket skins such as a Factory New StatTrak Hyper Beast. Its average sale price from the past 180 days is $196.62, but that number jumps to $217.49 when looking at sales averaged from the past 30 days, which is about an 11 percent increase.

In other words, right now is not the best time to be a sniper on a shopping spree.

(Above) The 180-day price history for a Field-Tested StatTrak AWP Asiimov. (Below) The 30-day price history for a Field-Tested StatTrak AWP Asiimov. Graphs from CSGO Analyst on April 10.

It's been nearly two years since the last Covert AWP skin was released with the May 26, 2015 update, the Hyper Beast from the Falchion Case. Maybe the release of a new Covert AWP skin could disrupt the marketplace, but historically this hasn't been the case with previous cases.

The prices of the CS:GO skin market seem to ebb and flow of their own accord, and though there have been some short-term price drops, it's unclear if these trends will persist. A wait-and-see strategy might not be the most attractive financial advice, but may be the best option to get a choice AWP skin for less.

(Note: All prices were taken from CSGO Analyst on April 10.)

Player Inventory Highlight: NiKo

FaZe Clan won SL i-League Season 3 over the likes of the French super team G2 Esports, surging underdogs HellRaisers and ELEAGUE Major 2017 champions Astralis. A major key to that victory was, of course, the Bosnian phenom Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and so we'll take a closer look at his kit and breakdown the cost.

  • Gloves: NONE
  • Knife: Factory New Karambit Doppler (Phase 4) - $368.40
  • USP-S: Minimal Wear StatTrak Kill Confirmed - $139.96
  • Glock-18: Factory New Fade + NiKo Cluj-Napoca 2015 sticker - $296.45 + $2.66
  • Desert Eagle: Factory New Blaze + juaNiKo Name Tag - $67.94 + $2.25
  • UMP-45: Factory New Blaze - $14.16
  • M4A1-S: Minimal Wear Mecha Industries - $21.98
  • AK-47: Factory New StatTrak Point Disarray + 4x mousesports (Holo) MLG Columbus stickers - $88.80 + $3.24
  • AWP: Field-Tested StatTrak Asiimov - $108.54
  • TOTAL COST: $1114.38

(Prices taken from CSGO Analyst's 30-day average on April 10.)

All things considered, $1,000 is quite a lot of cash to drop for a full compliment of guns, however there are a number of attainable items if you're looking to emulate the FaZe star. One of the cheaper items on the list is his M4A1-S choice, a Minimal Wear Mecha Industries that you can get for a pretty reasonable $20 (ish), but if there was one item in his kit that's a must have (and that won't break the bank) it's his juaNiKo Factory New Blaze Desert Eagle.

NiKo will pick up the Tec-9 or FiveseveN on occasion, but his real signature pistol is the Deagle. A Factory New Blaze Deagle (plus name tag, it's important) will cost you about $70, a modest price point for the intrepid pub star wanting to pull off stuff like this:

Buying on a budget: The Cheapest Gloves

The release of the Brothers In Arms update — and therein the Glove Case — from November last year was a meme come true for the CS:GO community and gloves have been the new hotness ever since.

They have a similar drop rate as knives, making them just as rare, but you have the added benefit of essentially being able to use them all the time, regardless of you're CT or T and regardless of what gun you're using. There aren't any StatTrak variations for, say, seeing how many times you hit the "weapon inspect" key, but gloves are some much needed flair that all Silver players should have.

Unfortunately, like most of the rare, sought after items in the game, they come with a pretty hefty price tag. But you don't want to be the only scrub on the serve with the default gloves, so here's a quick rundown of the cheapest color scheme for each glove type:

  • Bloodhound Guerrilla - $201.42
  • Hand Wraps Spruce DDPAT - $127.12
  • Moto Eclipse - $114.43
  • Sport Arid - $112.96
  • Specialist Forest DDPAT - $109.25
  • Driver Convoy - $101.84

(Note: All prices are for Battle-Scarred exteriors, averaged across all sales according to CSGO Analyst on April 9.)

Bloodhound gloves appear to be the most sought after glove type, as their least expensive color, Guerrilla, is still twice as expensive as the least expensive gloves, Driver Convoy.

While the Driver Convoys are definitely the most economic choice, do yourself a favor skip the tactical gardening gloves and spend a few dollars more for the Sport Arid, Moto Eclipse or Specialist Forest DDPAT.

(Left) Battle-Scarred Driver Convoy. (Right) Battle-Scarred Specialist Forest DDPAT.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

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