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Arms Race in Counter-Strike Go - is a certain game type in which you kill players on the opposite team to cycle through your weapons to reach the golden knife and win the game.

Every 2 kills, cycles a weapon to the next.

Every Knife kill automatically cycles your weapon to the next.

But I've noticed that when you killing certain enemies it sometimes cycles your weapon automatically. How exactly does this happen? Is it a head shot or a specific weapon you use or what?

Thanks

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You are correct in the two ways you've mentioned on how to level up, your question arises from missing the third way to level up.

The three ways to level up in Arms Race are:

  • Get 2 kills with a weapon
  • Get a knife kill
  • Kill the enemy leader

So the certain people would have been the enemy leader, which would level you up to the next weapon with a single kill on your weapon.

The Team Leaders can be easily seen in the mini scoreboard at the top of the hud:

mini score board - csgo

The CT leader will have a blue border around their icon and similarly the T leader will have a yellow border.

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    Something else related to current leaders, is that other players can see the leaders through walls (x-ray vision), when that player is attacking. – Lyrical Feb 3 '16 at 12:16
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    @Lyrical this has now been removed, you only see red outlines around a leader when they are normally visible, not through walls anymore. – Kyle Jun 17 '16 at 10:55
  • @Kyle That's nice to know, cheers :) – Lyrical Jul 1 '16 at 13:47

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