Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve's acclaimed FPS, has reached yet another incredible milestone, as the 7-year-old game's popularity shows no sign of slowing down.
Originally released back in 2012, CS:GO has merely strengthened the series' standing as one of the most dominant forces in the history of FPS titles. Despite a fairly simple formula, it has once again proved effective.
This has never been reinforced more than on March 14 2020, when CS:GO hit over 1,000,000 concurrent players for the first time ever. It is thought to average over 11 million players per month, but had not previously hit 1 million players on the game simultaneously.
CS:GO's incredible popularity is highlighted in the consistently high player counts displayed over the week of March 7-14. The concurrent player count rarely falls below 500k and, depending on time of day, tends to sit between the 500,000 and 1 million player marks.
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Going free-to-play is undoubtedly a factor in its success, with players not having any barrier to trying the game and so are far more likely to dip their toes in and then stick around.
Another likely reason is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It has prompted the cancellation of large-scale sporting and esports events on an incredible scale, including all of CS:GO's ESL Pro League Season 11.
In order to ensure the safety of players, fans and our crew in the current global dynamics, Season 11 of #ESLProLeague will be played entirely online and the finals will be moved from Denver to a studio location.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) March 11, 2020
As nations across the world strive to delay the virus' spread, people exhibiting symptoms are being encouraged to self-isolate. This has probably forced a number of people inside, who are playing video games in an effort to entertain themselves as they stay indoors.
In response to the news, the official CS:GO account simply tweeted: "Thanks a million".
Thanks a million.
— CS:GO (@CSGO) March 14, 2020
The record reinforces CS:GO's standing as one of the most popular games in the world. The idea of having 1 million players on the game, all at the same time, is hard to fathom.
While Valve's response was fairly casual, the unbelievable support from fans of the game over the years is a testament to its staying power.