Dreams and Nightmares contest: community’s choice


October 21 witnessed the conclusion of the Dreams and Nightmares skin contest. Over four months, creators from the Workshop designed a whole bunch of awesome finishes. Very soon, Valve will announce the winners. And while we’re waiting for that moment, the CS.MONEY Blog is presenting five skins that received the community’s accolades. Let’s check them out together to see which skin entries the CS:GO community wants to see in the next case. 

*November, 22 UPDATE* Valve has announced the Dreams and Nightmares contest results!

Note: neither we nor the users who voted for skins in the Workshop can influence the outcome of the contest. We simply selected several curious skins that might make it to the finalists’ list. Or might not.

Terms of the contest

From July 22 to October 21, Valve was accepting skins for the Dreams & Nightmares Contest, an event with a $1,000,000 prize pool. As the name suggests, all skins must be devoted to dreams, nightmares, fantasies, and other figments. The creators of the top 10 best finishes according to Valve will be declared the winners. Their skins will become a part of the next case, and the creators will receive $100,000 each. 

In addition to clear-cut themes, the contest had restrictions on weapons. For example, the contest case will include two Covert skins — for the AK-47 and MP9. Three slots will go to Classified items: the MP7, Dual Berettas, and the FAMAS. Another five slots will be occupied by Restricted guns: the XM-1014, PP-Bizon, G3SG1, M4A1-S, and the USP-S. And finally, Mil-Spec skins will drop for the Five-SeveN, SCAR-20, MAG-7, P2000, Sawed-Off, MAC-10, and the MP5-SD. 

Let’s now proceed to look at the selection itself.

MP9 Baku

Creators Madara and Blazer drew inspiration from Japanese mythology for their MP9 Baku. The legends of the Land of the Rising Sun feature a spirit called baku. It’s a benevolent yōkai feeding on dreams and nightmares. Baku are extremely popular, appearing in manga, anime, architecture, and even occasionally popping up in Western culture. 

The skin’s appeal isn’t confided to the beautiful legend it’s based on — it also catches the eye thanks to the stunning level of execution. The vibrant and rich pattern is accentuated by normal maps. Depending on the lighting, a hypnotic pattern emerges on the sides of the gun. A skin like that certainly deserves a slot in the next case.

AK-47 True King Desert

Most entries for the contest were AK-47 skins. Small wonder: it’s the most popular gun in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, after all. Choosing just one skin was a challenge, but we eventually decided on the AK-47 True King Desert by 2Minds

The key figure on the skin is a dragon stretching from the buttstock to the fore-end. Around it are tongues of fire, a few clouds, a moon, and a scaly pattern on the forearm. An amazing skin that can even compete with the AK-47 The Empress

M4A1-S Soul Thief

M4A1-S skins include a lot of worthy candidates too. However, our pick is the M4A1-S Soul Thief by BORIS_theCHEATER. The work dropped in the Workshop quite recently — the creator uploaded it just in the nick of time. 

The drawing of the orange skin revolves around a simple plot: a monster devouring the soul of a hapless victim. Bonus credit goes for the way the weapon’s elements are interpreted. Like the trigger being an extension of the monster’s claw and the victim being locked in a removable magazine. Mesmerizing! 

PP-Bizon Dream Cipher

The PP Bison isn’t exactly among the most powerful guns in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Despite its low price and huge magazine, players use it once in a blue moon. The problem is its low damage and rate of fire that result in the gun’s inferiority in terms of DPS to literally every other gun in its category.

This lack of popularity notwithstanding, Frostbug decided to make a skin for this very gun and named it Dream Cipher. The finish plays around the idea of mazes and puzzles. The magazine is made to resemble a tube with a password, the gun itself covered with a labyrinthine pattern. Laudable work with the weapon’s geometry — and an all-round great skin for an outsider gun.

FAMAS The Dream Maiden

The fifth item on our list is a design by Midnight Witch. FAMAS The Dream Maiden is an alternate look of another work by the same creator. The look is built on the same tricks as the FAMAS Eye of Athena, which is already part of the game. 

The skin is executed in the colors of the night: shades of navy and light blue. Apart from the full-face girl portrait, the weapon is embellished with flowers and stars. The weapon finish is especially unique because there are currently no decent blue skins for FAMAS. We need some of those.  

The contest resembles Artifact

During the contest’s submission period, Valve mainly focused on the new Operation Riptide and PGL Major Stockholm. Dreams and Nightmares ended up somewhat lost amid such big events. For instance, the game’s Twitter only features one mention of the contest: an announcement with a link to a page with the rules. 

Even now, after the submission deadline, the community doesn’t even have a shortlist of entries. As a result, the height of the hype wave around the contest amounts to a measly one point on the Beaufort scale. 

But here’s the good news. We love skins and respect Workshop artists. The CS.MONEY Blog regularly posts themed inventories and sometimes interviews with creators. Visit the blog more often 😉

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