Counter-Strike 2 announcement sparks record high in CS:GO players

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The announcement of Counter-Strike 2 has sparked a surge of interest in CS:GO, leading to a new record high of 1,519,457 concurrent players, as confirmed by Steam Charts and SteamDB.

The current highest number of players playing CS:GO surpassed the previous record, which was achieved in April 2020 when many players were in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two factors can explain the recent surge in CS:GO players. Firstly, the excitement among fans for the upcoming release of CS2 has contributed to the increase. Secondly, dedicated CS players are granted exclusive beta access to the new game.

Another reason behind the recent’s spike could be the nostalgia factor. Many former or inactive players yearned to experience Counter-Strike’s heyday before the arrival of CS2.

To be eligible for a CS2 beta invitation, players must have many recent hours on official Valve servers. They must also maintain a good community reputation and have no previous account bans.

Since its launch, CS:GO has steadily gained players and has had few drops in player count in a given year, except for a prolonged low point in 2018. Even then, the game still managed to attract over 400,000 daily players.

The release of the free version of CS:GO in late 2018 has helped to stabilize the game’s average year-over-year player count at around one million.

Streamers’ record grows

Another chart that has witnessed a substantial surge in numbers following the unveiling of CS2 is the Twitch viewer count.

According to Stream Charts, within the first 24 hours after the announcement, CS:GO’s peak concurrent viewers on Twitch in 2023 soared to 852,100, with people tuning in to watch streamers play the beta.

Pro CS:GO player Owen “smooya” Butterfield, who is currently teamless, is among the streamers who benefit from the hype around CS2.

He received access to the Limited Test version of the game and began streaming it. As per Stream Charts, he attracted an enormous audience of 192,000 concurrent viewers, surpassing his previous viewership record by over 170,000.

With 158,500 Peak Viewers, Canadian streamer Michael “shroud” Grzesiek trails behind smooya. He also claimed the top spot for Hours Watched, with over 1.1 million.

There has also been a rise in channels streaming CS:GO, including streamers who do not usually play the game. Among them are Rubius from Spain, loud_coringa from Brazil and eliasn97 from Germany.

These streamers gained access to the updated game on the day of the testing. Within a few hours of broadcasting, they became some of the most popular streamers in their respective languages.

Counter-Strike 2’s launch

Valve has previously announced that CS2 will be released as a free update in the summer of 2023. Although the game bears the number “2” in its title, it isn’t exactly the second game in the Counter-Strike series.

Rather, it is similar to Overwatch 2 in that it is primarily a technical upgrade over its predecessor. CS2 is expected to replace CS:GO and will offer a range of enhancements over the previous version.

The Washington-based company is implementing minor modifications that will significantly impact the game. For instance, smoke will behave more realistically, moving, reflecting and billowing more naturally than in CS:GO.

This change will allow players to utilize smoke to fill open areas, cause disorientation and even distract opponents inside buildings while they execute their plans.

Valve has given a visual upgrade to older maps by adding new rendering effects and new maps that showcase the engine’s improved lighting and reading abilities.

The video game developer also improved the servers for CS2, which now record actions in real-time rather than at specific intervals or “ticks.” This improvement is intended to make the game run more smoothly and responsively.


Counter-Strike is a series of multiplayer tactical first-person shooter video games in which teams of terrorists battle to perpetrate an act of terror while counter-terrorists try to prevent it . (wikipedia)

Valve Corporation

Valve Corporation is an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. (wikipedia)


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