Nick J. March 15, 2020
After breaking the one million player mark yesterday for this first time in the franchise's 20-year history, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has done it once again this morning.
After posting an all-time high early Saturday, CSGO smashed it's record once again on March 15 with 1,024,845 concurrent players, all planting bombs and forgetting to buy defuse kits as one.
While the record-breaking weekend may have something to do with the increasing amount of people staying home as a result of COVID-19, that doesn't take anything away from CSGO's accomplishment that many were a part of today.
Counter-Strike hits new highs, and it doesn't matter why
After Valve's wildly successful Operation Shattered Web, an already-growing player count skyrocketed. Since its release in November, Shattered Web has helped CSGO maintain and increase its concurrent player number, a fairly good indicator of how popular a game is.
Even more impressive, CSGO broke its record high from yesterday by more than 23,000 players. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive launched to little fanfare in 2012. Valve's FPS was a little rough around the edges at launch, but by 2015 the game's burgeoning esports scene had picked up a loyal and dedicated following.
CSGO's small team at Valve plinked away at Counter-Strike over the years, making small but steady improvements before a massive release brought CSGO's battle royale mode Danger Zone to the first-person shooter.
In April 2016, Counter-Strike hit its first peak before dipping in the traditional manner as summer came and went. While CSGO would see more peaks and valleys over the next several years, the current period of extended growth that started with the StarLadder Berlin Major in September 2019 has shown no signs of slowing down.
As of right now, the concurrent player mark still sits above 1,000,000 players according to SteamDB, an impressive feat for a game that came out eight years ago. In the past months, Valve has pushed an increasing number of UI updates, new content, and bug fixes to the game. The increased patch cycle comes as Valve wraps up its first new game in years, the upcoming VR-only title Half-Life: Alyx. The developer also has plans to release exclusive content for Counter-Strike on March 23 alongside the long-awaited Half-Life 2 prequel.
Whether or not the record-breaking weekend is due to people practicing social distancing during the outbreak of the infectious CODVID 19, they still have choices about which games to play.
And it looks like they're choosing Counter-Strike.