CS:GO's New Music Kits Are A Homage To Video Game Music

CS:GO's New Music Kits Are A Homage To Video Game Music

Written by 

Mackenzie O Brien


20th Aug 2021 15:21

On August 13, a new update brought six Music Kits to the world of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). While music kits have long been a way for people to express themselves in-game, these new additions are extremely special.

The recently-added Music Kits feature various video game composers, which many fans see as a homage to video game history in general. For this reason, the Music Kits were received positively, which has brought new attention to CS:GO.

Thanks to the new update, players can enjoy the works of Austin Wintory, Chipzel, Laura Shigihara, Jesse Harlin, and Sarah Schachner in-game. These artists have been pivotal in video game history, as their music has been featured in numerous titles across multiple platforms and genres.

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The New Music Kits

The new in-game music came as a bit of a surprise to fans, as they were not expecting a homage to the genre of video game music in CS:GO. Prior submissions were rock or electronic music, which made the announcement of six new tracks even more shocking.

An August 12 announcement post on the CS:GO blog unveiled the new Music Kits, where the short post generated a lot of hype, as it was the first time that these types of tracks were featured in-game.

The new update brought a diverse range of music into the game, from polka-metal fusion to electronic. No matter what genre a player enjoys, there is a track from the new Music Kit drop that best fits their needs.

CS:GO's new music releases include "Mocha Petal" by Austin Wintory, "Vici" by Freaky DNA, "KOLIBRI" by Sara Schachner, "~Yellow Magic~" by Chipzel, "Work Hard, Play Hard" by Laura Shigihara, and "Astro Bellum" by Jesse Harlin.

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CS:GO's Place in Video Game History

The addition of these artists is pivotal in video game history, as this is the first time that the CS:GO developers have directly addressed these instrumental artists.

For years, people have flocked to video game music to explore new sounds and revisit old classics. The genre is constantly growing and evolving, which has allowed more people than ever to get involved. Video game music is a pivotal part of any game, which is why many people return to it years later to relive their favourite moments.

The artists picked in the most recent drop of Music Kits are representative of the video game music genre, which has sat well with a variety of fans. The inclusion of this music makes sense, especially since CS:GO has been pivotal in the FPS genre and esports in general.

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CS:GO was released in 2012, as the latest instalment to the Counter-Strike series. The series kickstarted in 1999 with the pivotal title Counter-Strike. Since Counter-Strike's initial release, the game has swept the world many times, appearing in tournaments, competitions, and plenty of streams.

According to the Counter-Strike website, CS:GO still gets quite a few unique players every month. In last month alone, the game boasted 23,565,733 unique players, which is incredible for a game that is nearly a decade old.

The Composers Behind the New Release

With all this in mind, it makes sense that the CS:GO developers would want to represent a part of video game history in their in-game world. Considering CS:GO is a part of video game history itself, these iconic artists are an excellent fit for the expanding in-game soundtrack.

We've broken down the contributions of these artists below. Hopefully, after reading our list, you'll come away with an appreciation for the ever-expanding genre of video game music.

Austin Wintory

Born in 1984, Austin Wintory is an award-winning composer that is most recognised for his work in Flow and Journey. His work in Journey was so ground-breaking that it was nominated for a Grammy. Wintory also worked on Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Command and Conquer: Rivals, among other games.

Wintory began playing the piano at a young age, composing music throughout his childhood. His contribution to the world of CS:GO is a culmination of his musical knowledge over the years. "Mocha Petal" combines polka music with heavy metal to create a fun, grungy musical escapade that has captivated the CS:GO audience since it was announced.

Freaky DNA

Freaky DNA is an electronic music group that is based internationally, in both Vancouver, Canada, and Munich, Germany. Freaky DNA is most prominently known for their work on Retro City Rampage, which has largely been described as a classic soundtrack.

Freaky DNA's "Vici" combines classic video game sounds with analogue synthesizers and opera to create a truly unique soundscape. Vocals in this soundtrack were provided by soprano Leanne Koch. These vocals add an extra layer of atmosphere to the song, which has made it a staple in this new release.

Sarah Schachner

Born in 1999, Sarah Schachner has been a pivotal composer in movies, television, and video games. She has been playing piano and violin since a young age, which led to further exploration in the musical world.

Her work has made an appearance in The Lazarus Effect, Now You See Me, Iron Man 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. She is prominently featured in the Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed series, which has allowed many people to discover her work.

Her submission for the Music Kits update, "KOLIBRI" presents dystopian elements with a gothic twist, giving players an immersive, unforgettable experience.


Northern Ireland musician Chipzel is best known for her work on various indie titles. She works primarily with chiptune music, first debuting with music she made on the Game Boy.

Over the years, Chipzel has worked on Dicey Dungeons, Super Hexagon, and Interstellaria. She has also released her music, delving mostly into the genre of chiptune in her career.

Her Music Kit piece, "~Yellow Magic~" is a fun, inspired romp of a song, packed with many different musical styles and flavours. Fans of her work will definitely enjoy her contribution to the world of CS:GO.

Laura Shigihara

Classically-trained pianist Laura Shigihara is a recognisable video game music composer that has worked on countless indie game titles. Her work has been pivotal in the genre, with many people noting its fantastic production.

Titles she has worked on include Plants vs. Zombies, Deltarune, To the Moon, and more. She has also worked on the ending theme for Minecraft: The Story of Mojang, directly collaborating with C418 in the process.

Her song for the Music Kit update, "Work Hard, Play Hard," features a wide variety of musical sensibilities. The track delves into retro video game territory, featuring old school synthesizer components and 90s dance elements. Combined, this track leads to plenty of fun and makes a statement.

Jesse Harlin

Jesse Harlin has a decorated career in the video game music industry. He used to be a Staff Composer for LucasArts, where he created the soundtrack for Star Wars: Republic Commando. He is also well-known for his work on the game Mafia III and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Harlin's musical expertise came in handy when he was writing his Music Kit submission. "Astro Bellum" is a homage to spacey, sci-fi music, filled with some 70s and 80s sensibilities. This track features space opera elements, as well, which is a direct homage to his earlier work.

The Importance of Music Kits in CS:GO

Music kits have been pivotal in the CS:GO community, as they allow players to express themselves after they've won a round. Over the years, Music Kits have served as an MVP anthem, allowing entire servers to know that a player has bested the bunch.

Now, players have more options than ever for their MVP theme. They can choose dozens of different songs and jingles, from video game music to rock and grunge. Once purchased, the player can set these songs as their MVP theme, allowing the whole server to know when they've won.

Like most of the Music Kits that have come before, the six new kits contain StatTrak technology. This addition allows the user to track how many times their MVP theme has played, which can be useful for players looking to back up their wins with hard facts.

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Impact of the New Kits

The new music kits have taken the CS:GO world by storm, as they allow players to express themselves in a variety of different genres. These iconic new tracks also pay homage to the history of video game music, which has made many fans extremely excited to get their hands on them.

With the StatTrak capabilities, combined with awesome new theme music, players can win in style, capturing their favourite musical elements along the way. It is fitting that CS:GO has decided to pay homage to the genre of video game music, especially considering it is a huge part of video game history itself.

With these new songs making waves across the video game industry, fans are excited for more crossovers like this one in the future. Fans of both CS:GO and video game music are anxiously awaiting upcoming news regarding future Music Kits. Until they drop, we will have to wait and see what the CS:GO developers have in store next.


Mackenzie is a Freelance Journalist at GGRecon, she has experience in the social media side to the gaming industry.

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