Valve

How many people play CS:GO? — 2024 statistics

CSGO is shooting for the stars.

Fact-checked
Release Date
August 21, 2012
Genre
FPS
Developer
Valve
Publisher
Valve

Launched in 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the acclaimed fourth installment in the multiplayer FPS series. Players partake as either Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists in one of nine modes, with objectives like bomb defusal or hostage rescue. Post-match, players earn in-game currency based on performance. CS:GO introduced matchmaking with anti-cheat systems and supports community-made maps. Since going free-to-play in 2018, user-created skins form part of loot boxes, spawning a virtual in-game economy and gambling system. Its eSports significance is undeniable, cementing CS:GO as one of Valve’s premier titles. Dive into the latest CS:GO statistics for a deeper understanding. For broader gaming trends, our video games industry statistics is worth exploring.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive key statistics

With such success, everyone is curious about topics focused on revenues, profits, the number of downloads, and more information about the game itself.

In 2020, Valve reached $1 billion in lifetime revenues.

(Source: Big Daddy Kreativ)

  • In 2018, CS: GO brought in over $414 million in total revenue.
  • Skin creators used to make $40,000 around 2017. However, nowadays, it has been estimated that they earn between $70,000 and $100,000.
  • Valve has paid up to $45 million to their skin creators community.

The big hole here is due to Valve keeping their numbers on the low and not revealing how much they are making precisely each year. But when looking at the number of players and the still-existing success CS: GO enjoys, we think that it is safe to say that they are making way more. The free-to-play model seems to suit as they make good money from different microtransactions, but the most loved of them all is, of course, the skins. Valve creates their own, but a few selected artists from the fanbase also get the chance to put their designs on the market, and players are crazy for those. Not only are they in the Marketplace, but you will get a cut if your design is included in one of the crates awarded to winners after a round (and requiring a key worth $2.50 to be opened). It is so big that a whole economy has been built on these, and today, you can indulge in gambling and betting with skins.

In March 2023, CS:GO had a record-breaking $100 million month in case purchases.

(Source: The Gamer)

  • In an astounding month for Valve, players purchased a whopping 39.5 million CS:GO cases in March alone, marking the most significant figure in the game’s 11-year tenure.
  • Prior to these speculations, Valve averaged monthly sales of approximately 20 million cases. Following the confirmation of Counter-Strike 2, this number nearly doubled.
  • Staggering potential returns for skin resells incentivize players to invest heavily in case unboxing, examples include a whopping $160,000 purchase for an AK-47 skin.

Valve’s monumental success with CS:GO’s cosmetic sales, especially against the backdrop of an upcoming sequel, signifies the game’s undying popularity and the undeniable allure of in-game cosmetics.

A significant portion of the CS:GO player community, driven by the allure of potentially high resale values for skins, demonstrates concerning expenditure behaviors, sometimes bordering on gambling issues.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive user statistics

Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists, it does not matter. Players are here to blitz through the maps, shooting the enemies, covering for their partners, and enjoying the tension of a good match. Connoisseurs will tell you: CS: GO is not just about going “pew pew.” A good marksman also needs strategy, which is what makes the matches that enjoyable. No smurfing, no camping, and no cheating allowed!

In May 2023, CS:GO had a record of 1.8 million concurrent players.

(Source: IGN)

  • When compared to other blockbuster titles, CS:GO trails only behind Krafton’s PUBG: Battlegrounds which set a jaw-dropping benchmark of 3.5 million concurrent players.

In May 2023, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) reached an impressive landmark, breaking its all-time record for concurrent players on Steam, registering a staggering 1.8 million players online simultaneously. This achievement overshadows the prior record, which stood at 1.5 million concurrent players. Not bad for a game released in 2012.

The enduring appeal and consistent performance of CS:GO over the past decade, coupled with the excitement surrounding the announcement of its sequel, stand as testaments to the game’s timeless allure and its cherished place in the annals of gaming history.

18% of CS: GO players only play CS: GO.

(Source: Newzoo)

  • Meanwhile, 10% also play Apex at the same time. Only 7% also play Valorant in addition to CS: GO, but a surprising 20% actually play all three games.
  • 13% of CS: GO players play the game because of boredom, 23% because they appreciate activities requiring teamwork, 35% felt like it would help them improve themselves and 21% were looking to be recognized and appreciated.

The poll was conducted in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany. Surprisingly, contrary to what we might think, it seems like players are willing to experience diverse experiences with multiplayer and not stick with just the one MMO. But at the end of the day, they have their favorite. When it comes to the reasons why players start with CS: GO, a lot of them wanted to better themselves, but it is not said if the priority was on getting better at video games or just trying to become a better person by interacting with a bunch of strangers in different situations. Few people started just because they were bored, which means that people usually come with prior information and a strong will or curiosity about the game.

49% of players only play CS: GO and do not watch streams or tournaments.

(Source: Newzoo)

  • 49% of players only play CS: GO and do not watch streams or tournaments.
  • 28% are more invested as they not only play the game but also keep both eyes on the eSports scene.
  • 23% are the popcorn gamers, only in the community because of the leagues and tournaments, but not to play the game.

It is pretty huge that almost half of the fanbase does not have any interest in the eSports scene because it is the best right now. And has been for a while. But it is also understandable when you see that people started playing CS: GO because they were competitive and wanted to prove themselves. If that is the most common mindset, you can bet that, yes, they would have a limited interest in watching a bunch of other players doing what they want to prove themselves.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports statistics

With his team-based, fast-paced, shooter-style gameplay, CS: GO has everything needed to ensure an exciting tournament. The opportunity was evident, and Valve jumped on it. The company was already used to it through Dota 2 and other titles from the Counter-Strike series. Hence, the game has been at the forefront of the eSports scene, dominating ever so fiercely and not ready to let newcomers take their place.

A grand total of $127 million prize money has been awarded through tournaments.

(Source: eSports Earnings)

  • It was the prize money for the PGL Major Stockholm 2021.
  • The PGL Major Stockholm 2021 had the biggest prize pool with $2 million.
  • The only other eSports circuit with a higher total is DotA 2, another game from Valve, with a difference of $149,359,831.

CS: GO has been around for a while now as the game is a major heavyweight in the industry. Valve saw potential and seized it as soon as possible, and it paid off as the company is now dominating the eSports with its two bigger games being at the top of the circuit.

Denmark dominates the top 5 of the players list and has earned the most at $17.8 million.

(Source: eSports Earnings)

  • Dupreeh is #1 with a total of $1,937,581. He is followed by dev1ce with $1,921,931.
  • Xyp9x is #3 with $1,919,480 while #4, gla1ve, shows a total of $1,771,642.
  • The last player on the list, Magisk, has earned a total of 1,531,040.
  • The United States is second with $12,669,824 and Sweden is third with $11,470,561.
  • Russia ($10,060,401) and Brazil ($9,684,710) managed to occupy the last two spots of that Top 5.

All those players are part of Astralis, one of the best teams on the CS: GO circuit. Most of that money has been earned when representing Astralis, which shows that they have an excellent synergy as a team. As we can also see, they all have been playing for quite a while, with some of them being professionals since 2012 and approaching their thirties. Which, with eSports, is most of the time the moment players retire. The Ukrainian player s1mple is the first one to break Denmark’s supremacy.

Nordic countries are really in their element with CS: GO, occupying up to 3 of the places in the top 10. As seen before, even if they are the first when it comes to ratio, they are all you can see when looking at the number of players in 1 million citizens. Surprisingly enough, CS: GO is something South Korea never felt invested into.

To sum up

CS: GO is a bit of a mystery: when looking at the game, it isn’t easy to decide whether it is intrinsically good or if skins are doing at least 60% of the work. They are so crucial that some accounts have been reported to be worth thousands of dollars just because of the skins owned. A whole system of betting and gambling exists, with skins at its center. It is to the point that certain countries even banned such websites and the loot boxes in-game as they were actually going against gambling laws in those countries (namely the Netherlands and Belgium).

However, with Valve and their policy to keep their numbers secret as much as possible, it is impossible to determine exactly how much they make from microtransactions. Still, when you see how much skin creators earn for less than 20 skins, it is easy to imagine the millions Valve must be raking in.

Apart from that, on the eSports side, CS: GO is just doing its own thing and has been for years. The tournaments are still really successful, and the prizes make many players want to be part of the professional scene. With controversies such as pro players betting on themselves or Valve canceling two essential tournaments, this community side is still doing very well.

Sources

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  • “38% Of Apex Legends Players Also Played CS:GO Or Valorant: Why Apex’s New Arenas Strategy Makes Sense”. Newzoo, 2021, https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/38-of-apex-legends-players-also-played-csgo-or-valorant-why-apexs-new-arenas-strategy-makes-sense
  • Newzoo.Com, 2021, https://newzoo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Newzoo_Breakdown-of-Five-Fanbases-1-1024×576.png.
  • Ngoc, Minh. “How Candy Crush, Pokémon GO & CS:GO Entertain A Unique Audience”. Newzoo, 2021, https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/game-franchise-analysis-how-candy-crush-pokemon-go-and-csgo-entertain-a-unique-audience
  • “Surveying The Scene: Examining The Demographics Of Esports”. Esportsbets, 2015, https://www.esportsbets.com/news/who-makes-up-esports-community
  • Reddit.Com, 2021, https://www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffensive/comments/n735i4/which_country_has_the_largest_share_of_the_csgo/. Accessed 15 Dec 2021.
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