Scientific study finds CSGO to be most exciting esport to play

By Kenneth Williams


Jul 28, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Every player knows that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a tense game, but a new study from data scientists shows it’s the most exciting of all.

According to a survey of 140,000 gamers, CSGO reigns supreme as the most exciting game to play. The data scientists who developed the information relied on user feedback to rank games based on how much they required fast decision-making and quick reactions. CSGO ranks as number one among popular titles, above even MOBA esports games. The data itself is interesting, but it also tells us a lot about the kind of gamers that love CSGO.

Marketing research and data science company Quantic Foundry released the information as part of a broader analysis of popular games. The poll involved up to 140,000 gamers who voluntarily described their habits to the company.

Quantic created a graph with an axis for excitement and another for strategy. Games were placed based on how players rated them. Games that demand long-term thinking and slow decision-making are labeled strategic. Fast-paced games with on-the-fly options and high mechanical requirements are deemed exciting.

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With those two metrics, CSGO ranks at the very top of the graph above games like StarCraft and Dota 2. There’s a considerable gap between CSGO and the second-most-exciting game on the list, League of Legends.

Gamers consistently rated CSGO the most exciting esport game thanks to its frequent stressful situations and fast-paced reactions. Paradoxically, another study conducted in 2021 found that CSGO is also the most relaxing esport to play. Perhaps the two traits go hand in hand.

What makes CSGO more exciting than its competitors?

In addition to uncovering data trends for the game, Quantic Foundry also offers insight into the kind of gamers that regularly play CSGO.

According to the market researchers, CSGO players tend to want bursts of action compared to a slow burn of planning and execution. CSGO rounds take place over just a couple of minutes at most, and rounds are often decided by firefights that can resolve in milliseconds. All of this is broken up by quiet moments like death spectating and lining up grenades. This creates a consistent series of tense situations where players must make split-second decisions to win.

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The graph also lists some other games that rank high for excitement, so CSGO players might enjoy those titles as well. Other games that ranked highly include fellow esports titles Dota 2 and League of Legends. They’re much more strategic, but both involve quick thinking in team fights.

Valorant was not included in the study, but it would probably rank very close to CSGO given the many similarities between the two games. Riot Games’ tactical shooter contains more strategic elements, though its somewhat slower pace could detract from its excitement. Maybe future Quantic Foundry projects will focus on the reasons why players enjoy each game.


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