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COVID-19 & eSports: CS Global Offensive Sets a New All-Time High Record for Average Number of Players

Posted on April 17, 2020 by Johannes Turunen

Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has set a new record for the average number of players.

When the game was changed to a free free-to-play model in November 2018, player numbers started to quickly rise. But the reason for the new record also coincided with the new Shattered Web update released last November and was a great success indeed.

CS:GO as a sport

CS:GO, also known as Counter-Strike Global Offensive, is a very popular multiplayer first-person shooter game, where eSports professionals and recreational players alike compete all over the world. It was first released in 2012. CS: GO has proven to be an exceptional game in the world of e-sports alongside games like League of Legends and Dota 2, whose numbers only increase as the game gets older and becomes more retro. In terms of e-sports, the number of tournaments continues to grow and more teams join to compete for big prize money. 

Here’s a quote from a professional CS:GO player about how he turned pro:

“I was already playing video games a lot in middle school. I basically missed my studies and turned into a pro when I got the chance to play full-time. Now I play for ENCE eSports public. I get a monthly salary that is made possible by our sponsors. Tournament winnings are subject to a commission, so it’s a win-win for all.

The best thing about this is the feelings of competitive situations when you have to keep your head calm under pressure & make decisions in milliseconds. It’s addictive. Yes, quite a few young men probably also prefer to play and travel around the world than to be in a traditional job, if they have the opportunity!”

Effects of COVID-19 on eSports

During the COVID-19 lockdown, eSports is gaining popularity all over the world – fans of traditional sports have to wait until the end of the year before getting back to watching their favourite teams and athletes in live action. Many of these sports fans are now following eSports, as it’s the only sports that can be done in compliance with social distancing so to speak. Other sports fans have turned to playing poker with their friends instead, finding new poker rooms to try at BeastsOfPoker.

According to Esports Earnings, CS: GO has distributed the prize money in the second largest amount in history, $ 90.2 million. First on the list is Dota 2, with $ 291.7 million. Coincidentally, both games have been released by Valve Corporation, so the number of fans of Valve has grown as well!

According to SteamCharts, the game has experienced a big recovery, reaching the highest readings in history for the average number of players, at around 470,000 entries at the moment. While the game has experienced spikes in player numbers in the past with new skins or upgrades, 2019 was a great year for the average number of players, rising to over 61,000 players – the highest since 2015. We’re expecting the player numbers go climb further if the COVID-19 lockdowns continue.


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