CSGO was first released way back in 2012, and in the last decade, it has arguably become the leading esports game. However, in the last ten-or-so years, the game has remained relatively the same, boasting an ‘if-it-ain’t-broke’ ecosystem that doesn’t necessarily need to be changed. If we look at the lifecycle of games, it stands to reason that by now, the player base would have started to move on, but CSGO seems to still be a popular title. Now, we’re looking at the game in the wake of the Counter-strike 2 announcements from Valve in March 2023 and asking the question, is CSGO dying?
Traditionally, a new video game will be announced, released, updated, and then eventually, it’ll die out or be replaced by another game in the series. However, despite existing for more than ten years, this is the first time Counter-strike is receiving a large update. While it’ll fundamentally be the same game, the changes are set to revolutionize gameplay strategies.
It’s time to get into the statistics, facts, and figures, and see exactly if CS:GO is dead in 2023. And, through this discussion, we’ll definitively answer the question, is CS:GO dying?
Will CSGO Ever Die?
Let’s be honest for a moment – CSGO has created a remarkable legacy over the past decade. It has been the leading esports game for many years, and it has given way to the creation of a ‘skins market’ worth billions of dollars. It’s one of the most bet on esports games in history, and the tournaments within its ecosystem are quite simply legendary. It’s a hugely valuable platform that has given rise to some of the most recognizable esports competitors ever.
It doesn’t matter what aspect of the industry you look at – CS:GO arguably tops or ranks highly in every respect. For instance, CSGO betting has infiltrated almost every betting platform on the internet. If a provider doesn’t have CSGO betting, that’s something of a red flag. There is a huge and ongoing scrabble to sponsor CSGO organizations, and merchandise sales in the CSGO world top almost every other esports title out there. There is still the question of whether CS2 will see the same level of success but with pro leagues moving straight onto the new game after the Paris Major, bettors and fans won’t be far behind. There’s such a strong performance on all fronts that it might seem silly to ask if CSGO is dead in 2023.
But will CSGO ever die?
Firstly, we took a look at SteamCharts.com, an aggregate platform that offers player information for any game hosted on Steam. At the time of writing this article, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is sitting pretty in the number one spot, effortlessly beating down some of the biggest and most popular games in the world. If we access historical data, we can see that CSGO hit an all-time high peak concurrent player count in April of 2020, and since then, it has remained relatively consistent.
In fact, the peak number of players was hit in March 2023, coinciding with the announcement of the Counter-Strike 2 limited test, suggesting that more and more new players are still joining the game. That certainly isn’t the performance of a game that could be considered to be dying. By sheer numbers alone, CSGO is the most popular game in the world at the moment.
Was CSGO Player Count Rising or Falling in 2022?
As we approached the end of 2022, it seemed that CS:GO was getting increasingly popular and that theme continued into early 2023. Taking data from the popular statistics platform, Statista, we can see that CSGO has experienced a pattern of substantial growth between 2021 and 2022. While there was a mid-year dip, the figures were once again on the rise, bolstered by some extremely popular esports tournaments that typically take place through mid-to late-summer.
There’s no way CSGO is dying at the moment – there are simply too many players for that concept even to be considered factual. Clearly, the stats above show a growing CSGO player count in 2022, a trend that is still ongoing in 2023. The jury is still out on whether CS2 will affect the player stats. However, the fact that the update exists at all confirms that Valve still has faith in the game. In fact, this could be the way to keep the momentum of new CS players up.
Are CSGO Esports Still Popular?
CS:GO’s esports scene has been a leading driver of the industry for many years. It has essentially worked to lay the foundation that allowed many other platforms have grown. Even today, a decade after its launch, it remains the most popular esports game in the world. There’s very little direct competition to CSGO, aside from VALORANT, which was first introduced in 2020. This is essentially a carbon copy of CSGO. It’s a hero shooter as opposed to a standard FPS title, and it boasts bright colors and more diverse mechanics.
Many people have found themselves asking recently, “Will VALORANT kill CS:GO?”, but we’ll answer that in a moment.
As we’re talking about the esports industry, we’ve pulled data from escharts.com, a one-stop shop for esports data and statistics. According to this platform, CSGO is the all-time 2nd-place title for total prize money. It’s also in 2nd place for the number of tournaments overall. In terms of peak viewership, CSGO comes in 5th, having secured 2.7m views during the PGL Major Stockholm in 2021. There’s still a huge amount of popularity and power behind the average CSGO tournament.
If we look at TwitchTracker.com to gauge social performance, we can see that CSGO is still performing incredibly well on Twitch. This is where almost all CSGO esports are broadcasted. Millions of users tune into the action on a regular basis. At the time of writing this article, CSGO is the 6th most popular title on Twitch, up from its 12th-place position when we checked its performance one year ago.
It’s still an insanely popular game for both viewers and players, further suggesting that, no, CSGO is not dying.
The Verdict – Is CSGO Dead?
There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that, right now, CSGO is dying. There are incredibly strong numbers coming out of the CSGO scene. Across all aspects of the esports industry, it’s one of the most popular games to exist. There’s a reason why some of the best CSGO teams in the world are some of the richest gaming organizations on the planet, after all. Ultimately, CSGO has a dramatically loyal fanbase, a thriving esports betting landscape, and almost no competition.
At the moment, there’s nothing to suggest that CS:GO will slow down anytime soon. In fact, it appears to just be getting stronger with time…