CSGO player count explodes after CS10 anniversary update

Steven Rondina • August 17, 2022 10:11 pm

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s player count has enjoyed a significant boost thanks to CS10 with the peak concurrent player count hitting its highest number in ages.

CSGO overtook Dota 2 as the most popular game on Steam a long while ago, but that doesn’t mean things have been smooth sailing for the game. In June 2021, competitive matchmaking and drops were made exclusive to those with CSGO Prime status, with that distinction put behind a $15 paywall. This effectively removed the game’s free-to-play status, something that saw the player count plunge.

In March 2021, CSGO had an average player count of 740,000 and a peak concurrent count of almost 1.2 million according to Steam Charts. By the end of July, the average player count was barely over 500,000 and the peak player count was down to 763,523, which effectively meant the game lost a third of its players.

CSGO has been slowly climbing back since then. On the heels of the 10th birthday update, the game has seemingly regained all the ground it lost with the Prime matchmaking update.

CSGO player count surges during CS10 event

On August 17, CSGO hit a peak player count of 1,039,889. This was the game’s first time topping 1 million players since April 2022 and the highest total player count since May 2021 right before the Prime update. The jump follows small month-over-month gains in the CSGO player count for June and July, though this didn’t fully offset a hard skid in activity throughout the Spring. 

CSGO 10th birthday coin
CSGO 10th birthday coin

The big question is whether that tally was an aberration or part of a larger return. The spike over 1 million comes when fans are being incentivized to return with the CSGO 10th birthday coin. The coin requires players to get some games in and is only available for a limited time. This may have artificially inflated the player count to some degree, though only time will tell.

Regardless, the numbers are trending in a positive direction for CSGO. Things are still far away from the Spring 2020 peak where CSGO averaged over 850,000 players and topped 1.3 million concurrent, but this should still be welcome news for fans who are worried about the game’s longevity.

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