CSGO’s average player count breaks all-time record to kick-off new year

Andy Williams

Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has surpassed a major milestone for the first time as it approaches its eighth year as a premier esport.

CS:GO has stamped its place firmly as the gold-standard for first-person shooter esports. Despite being a multi-platform title, the vast majority of its player base stems from PC.

While Valve’s flagship FPS has retained the traditional model of open circuit competition, the bridge between the casual and competitive gameplay is pivotal to its success.

CSGOs Operation Shattered Web.
Operation Shattered Web is Counter-Strike’s latest operation, since November 2017.

Even Seven years after CS:GO’s release, the player base is continuing to grow — and at a rapid rate. New content in Operation Shattered Web has pushed it to new levels of popularity in early 2020.

On January 26, CS:GO surpassed half-a-million average players for the first time in the game’s history, after clocking 504,128 average players in a 30-day period. Data via Steam Charts.

Steamcharts' CS:GO statistics.
There is a clear upward trend in Counter-Strike’s player statistics.

After a dip in player interest throughout the first half of 2019, Valve’s flagship FPS steadily crept its way back towards the major milestone. 

After a string of major tournaments and the release of Operation Shattered Web towards the backend of November, player interest spiked and Global Offensive smashed its previous all-time average player record.

Steamcharts' CS:GO statistics.
CS:GO surpassed half-a-million average players for the first time in its history.

A major part of this success is CS:GO’s renowned competitive play, with the Elo system at its core. Elo is a method of calculating a player’s skill level relative to their competitive environment, while counterbalancing for a player’s opponents strengths/weaknesses.

Put simply, it allows players to seamlessly transition between casual and competitive games. Meaning that the appeal (to an otherwise taboo game mode) is far greater, so ultimately more people are enticed to play.

On top of this, player interest is likely still overflowing from Valve’s decision to move to a free-to-play model back in December 2018.

The peak concurrent viewership record of 850,485 still remains untouched from April 2016. However, with Valve’s new competitive schedule set to be implemented during the 2020 season, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the previous record is broken.

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