Is CSGO Dying?

The Truth in 2021

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Let’s face it – we’ve been living with CS:GO for a really long time. It first launched way back in 2012, and since then, it has remained relatively the same. Admittedly, it boasts an ‘if-it-ain’t-broke’ platform, but in 2021, are people getting tired of CSGO? We’ve discussed the lifecycle of video games before, and one thing that can cause the downfall of a franchise is the stagnation of the games themselves. With that information in mind, we’re asking that all-important question: is CSGO dying?

Now, we’ve just mentioned the ‘lifecycle’ that video games go through – let’s expand on that. Traditionally, a video game will be announced, released, updated, and naturally, it’ll die out or be replaced by another iteration. In 2012, CS:GO was released to effectively replace Counter-Strike: Source, but since then, nothing has really changed. There have been many updates and a lot of fresh content to enjoy, but fundamentally, it’s the same game.

It’s time to get into the statistics, facts, and figures, and see exactly where CS:GO is in 2021. And, through this discussion, we’ll definitively answer the question, is CSGO dying?

Is CSGO Dying?

Will CS:GO Ever Die?

For CS:GO, we simply must highlight the fact that it has created a remarkable legacy over the last decade. From the legendary esports tournaments to the multi-billion-dollar skins market, CS:GO has had an unbeatable impact on gaming as a whole. It’s one of the most played games in history, it boasts a massively valuable platform, and it’s iconic where esports are concerned. Every year, tens of millions of dollars change hands on esports stages around the world.

When it comes to other areas of the business, CSGO thrives immeasurably. For example, let’s look at CSGO betting – these markets have driven esports betting up at an exponential rate as the vertical has become more popular in recent years. According to statistics, CSGO is in the top three games for esports betting, being joined by the likes of League of Legends and Dota 2. With a presence like that, it might seem silly to ask if CSGO is dead.

But will CSGO ever die?

Let’s take some key data from SteamCharts.com, which details the player information for any video game hosted on Steam. As we write this article, we can see that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is ranked number two out of every single game on Steam. It is a very small way behind Dota 2 – and we’re talking just a few thousand players at the peak. In terms of overall hours played and peak players, CSGO takes the top prize every time:

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Image Credit: SteamCharts.com

Is CSGO Rising or Falling in 2021?

Sure, we’ve identified that CSGO has a huge player base and massive numbers, but is that consistent?

To answer this question, we looked at Statista, one of the world’s leading data aggregation platforms. From 2016 to the summer of 2021, we can see the peak concurrent player count for CSGO on Steam, and the graph we’re presented with tells quite an important story:

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Image Credit: Statista

As we can see, CSGO reached an all-time low in mid-2018, crashing down to a peak count of around 400k players. Around springtime in 2021, coinciding with the COVID pandemic, CSGO’s peak player count exploded, rising beyond 1.3 million. However, moving into the summer of 2021, the most recent figures show a massive crash, with CSGO’s player count falling to its lowest point in eighteen months.

Is CSGO dying? If you’re looking at that graph, you might be starting to question yourself. Furthermore, charts displayed on SteamCharts.com also verify this rocky concurrency:

Image Credit: SteamCharts.com

However, there has been something of an uptick in the last 30 days, suggesting that CSGO’s player count may be recovering slightly.

Is CSGO Esports Still Popular?

Let’s be frank – CSGO’s esports scene has been a leading driver of the community for many years. It has laid the foundation that many platforms have grown from, and today, it remains one of the most popular esports verticals in the world. There’s very little competition, save for the title of Valorant, which was introduced in 2020. In many ways, VALORANT was a carbon copy of CSGO, but the developers tweaked it into more of a hero shooter than a standard FPS title.

Many people have asked, will Valorant kill CS:GO, but we’ll answer that in a moment.

To answer this question, we’ve pulled in data from escharts.com, a one-stop shop for esports data and statistics. It’s here that we learn something quite damning – we have to go through six listings on the ‘peak viewers’ chart before we find a 2021 CSGO tournament. In terms of peak hours watched, we have to go through eight listings. If you’re asking, is CSGO dying, these numbers don’t look positive in response.

According to TwitchTracker.com, CSGO’s Twitch numbers peaked in January 2018 (1.3m), and in terms of Twitch ranking, the game currently sits in twelfth position on the charts. If we switch over and examine Valorant, CSGO’s esports and content rival, we see a peak viewership of 1.7m, with the game currently sitting in fifth place on the charts. However, while Valorant started strong and slowed down rapidly, CSGO has remained relatively consistent in viewership.

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Image Credit: TwitchTracker

What’s The Verdict? Is CSGO dying?

The answer is No! Right now, it doesn’t seem like it. There are still strong numbers coming out of the CSGO camp, and although the player base has dwindled in the last few months, it’s showing signs of coming back up. There are whisperings among the fans online that the CSGO pro scene may be in need of a revival, but that’s another discussion. After all, the world’s best CSGO teams are still some of the richest and most capable organisations in the gaming world.

Ultimately, CSGO has one of the strongest foundations in esports, it boasts a massive and loyal fanbase, a thriving esports betting landscape, and very little competition. We’ll make a solid prediction and state that CSGO should be around for a very long time to come.

That is unless Valve makes a shock announcement with another iteration…