M4A4 | Howl Skin History

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 M4A4 Howl skin

In the distant May of 2014, when the IBUYPOWER and TITAN Katowice 2014 stickers were almost worthless, and the CS:GO pro scene was just emerging, the Huntsman Weapon Case was released.

One of the most impressive drops from this case was a red M4A4 with a roaring wolf on its body. But if you look at this case now, instead of this impressive M4, you see a rather plain M4A4 | Desert-Strike. Also, if you look at the Howl itself now, you'll notice it's classified as yellow contraband quality.

So, why did this happen? Today, you will learn the history and scandal behind the most expensive and popular M4 in CS2, and incidentally, the only weapon skin of yellow rarity quality.

Creation Story

It's worth remembering that in 2014, there weren't many skins. The only notable M4 skins were the M4A4 | Asiimov, M4A4 | Bullet Rain, and the M4A4 | X-Ray.

In March 2014, a Steam user named Auzzii, in collaboration with Sic, uploaded a skin for the M4A4 called Howling Dawn, along with a sticker of the same name.

The description of the design was quite peculiar. "The design is inspired by a photo of my dog," - did the author's pet really look like a wolf? The explanation that followed didn't make things any clearer. "In a way, I created this skin because my dog is the complete opposite of a wolf."

The skin was so well-received by the audience and Valve that by May 2014, it appeared in the Huntsman Case collection.

Just take a moment to see what the old Huntsman Case looked like. The chest also included five more gun skins related to the creators of M4A4 | Howl: USP-S | Orion, Dual Berettas | Retribution, P90 | Desert Warfare, CZ75-Auto | Poison Dart, as well as the incredible AK-47 | Vulcan and, of course, the Huntsman knives.

M4 CS2 skins

By adding this case, Valve genuinely wanted it to be opened a lot.

Stolen Art

On June 12, the real author of the art used in the Howling Dawn skin and sticker emerged, revealing that the artwork was stolen.

Without much hesitation, he filed a copyright lawsuit.

"I didn't upload items to the Steam Workshop, and the spineless worm who did so didn't get any permission from me," - the artist was furious after learning about the theft of his creation.

Redesign

CS2 skin redesign 

Despite often being criticized, Valve handled this situation quite deftly.

The developers understood that leaving the skin in CS was impossible, but removing it entirely would be wrong, as many people had paid to own this weapon.

The authors of the stolen skin were permanently banned from the workshop. Additionally, all skins from the cases and stickers from the capsules associated with these individuals were removed.

This amounted to over 10 skins and stickers.

It was decided to keep the M4A4 | Howl in the game but with a redesign. Keeping the original would have been theft. Therefore, Valve decided to redesign the art on the M4A4 and the sticker.

The redesigned M4 and sticker became the only contraband-quality items in CS history.

Since then, the M4A4 | Howl could not be obtained from a case or through a trade-up contract. The number of M4A4 | Howls in the game became fixed, and no new ones could be acquired. Consequently, the price soared.

Interestingly, the M4A4 | Howl didn't immediately skyrocket in price after being removed from the case. Although the price increased, it wasn't comparable to today's prices.

Imagine if something similar happened today. For example, if it was announced that Printstream was a stolen design and all Printstream skins were being removed and made contraband quality. The price would skyrocket instantly.

Even though the price increased tenfold over three months, it remained stagnant for another 3.5 years.

An exclusive skin that could no longer be obtained, with such a history, remained priced the same for three years.

Eventually, some wealthy individuals must have bought many units, causing the price to surge.

There were slightly over 6000 M4A4 | Howl units. Nearly ten years have passed since this weapon became unobtainable, except through trade or purchase on the marketplace.

A significant portion of these M4A4 | Howl units are in banned or forgotten inventories. Another part is in the inventories of holders who bought many M4s and don't plan to sell them anytime soon.

That's why even the most worn M4A4 | Howl will cost you $1800, which isn't too bad. This would be a well-worn variant, as the maximum float value for the M4A4 | Howl is 0.40.

Therefore, even the most worn version retains the beauty of its art.

A Repeat of History

M4A4 Griffin CS2

After such a loud scandal, there was one amusing case. It happened with the M4A4 | Griffin from The Vanguard Collection. You may not have heard of it because the skin is quite old.

In September 2015, a rumor surfaced that this art was also stolen and it would soon become the second contraband M4 in the game. The M4A4 | Griffin's price doubled in one day, but as time passed, it was neither redesigned nor had its rarity changed. The M4A4 | Griffin was only purple in rarity, meaning there were a lot of them. This story ended up being uninteresting.

Conclusion

Due to its dramatic history, incredible rarity, and beautiful design, the M4A4 | Howl can rightfully be considered the most expensive, legendary, and one of the most beautiful CS2 M4s.

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