The reasons why CSGO is so popular

By William Davis


Jul 7, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains one of the most popular global esports games as it nears its 10th anniversary next year. It was a successful competitive title right from the start and it hasn’t seemed to slow down despite newer games competing for the FPS crown.

Esports fans continue to love CSGO

Is it because of its fanbase and gaming community? Or is it the million-dollar tournaments or the ease of playing it? To shed more light, here are the biggest reasons why it’s still well-loved and popular in 2021.

Large community

CSGO hasn’t lost its luster compared to other games. The game has established a massive playerbase over the years. In early 2020, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive reached 24 million monthly active users.

Straightforward, intuitive gameplay

The entire game revolves around the concept of “kill or be killed.” Although the “good guys vs. bad guys” theme encompasses most game genres, CSGO uses it pretty straightforwardly. Players use guns and other weapons we all have seen in the news or television shows.

CSGO is the leading esports gambling market

As summarized by PR Newswire, the esports gambling market will reach $13 million in 2025. Besides the actual game, CSGO is known to be the major contributor to esports gambling. CSGO’s betting community is one of the biggest in the esports betting industry.

Shaun from BETANDBEAT told “Betting real money on CSGO matches is very intuitive due to the very real gameplay – there are no monsters or complicated creatures! Instead you have two teams facing each other in a basic FPS game, the good guys vs the bad guys. The game is packed with strategy, speed, and skills. CSGO betting is very much in opposition to other eSports games such as Dota 2 or LoL. These popular titles require knowledgeable players to bet as the rules of the game are so complex for the average person foreign to video games.”

Exciting ecosystem with skins, items

The appeal of CSGO goes beyond playing the game and placing bets. Skins and items have created a following and a world of their own, which revolves around online marketplaces. Some players consider skins and items to be quite valuable, like digital gold.

Incredible events, livestreams, and competitions

Like the company behind CSGO, many franchises organize events, in real life and in-game. CSGO holds tournaments both locally and intentionally. The prizes in these competitions can range from $1,000 up to $1 million. In many ways, esports as a whole are on the verge of overtaking regular sports in terms of popularity and hardcore following.

What could threaten CSGO’s prosperity

The saying “all good things come to an end” may end up applying to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eventually. There isn’t a game that’s eternal in people’s hearts, especially across generations.

Fans growing tired

Even though there’s an uptick of CSGO players, some take a break from playing it or stop completely. Because the game is so simple to grasp, it can be a double-edged sword: Easy to love but easy to detach yourself from.

Some gamers might point out that its gameplay flatlined and became repetitive. Moreover, some new FPS games like Fortnite have more fun graphics and appeal more to the younger generation.

New FPS games

When the fans grow tired, they will eventually find other games to play. Being so straightforward means being easily replicable. CSGO could be overtaken by something similar with improved gameplay or a little more “salt and pepper” on it. Think Riot’s competing title, Valorant. This game reinvents CSGO’s gameplay, adding things like abilities.

Too much cheating

When players want to excel, they will find a way to do so. This thinking has led to players making hacks or cheats to win in CSGO. Valve has developed the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) to mitigate the problem. The program is used by more than 100 games, including the Counter-Strike franchise.

According to SteamID, the highest number of VAC bans in the past three months is 13,426. The number has died down to below 700 accounts as of late. However, the data doesn’t show how many are playing CSGO. Also, it’s hard to put a definite number of cheaters out there as they will always find a way to enter the game. We recently reported about Valve’s own admission on letting cheaters in trusted games.

Even though new games are popping up every second, CSGO is still the game to beat. Uncertainties are still evident, but the reasons stated above prove that the game still hasn’t lost its popularity. The game’s still moving in an upward direction, and its developers don’t see it waning any time soon.


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