For a decade-old game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was doing great. The mainstream hype surrounding esports might have tapered off in recent years, but Valve's premiere shooter was still putting up chart-topping numbers on Steam. Now, just a few days after Valve confirmed Counter-Strike 2, CS:GO is more popular than ever.
As of the moment, a little over 1.1 million people are playing CS:GO. The last time CS:GO hit these many players was close to two years ago. However, what's even more amazing is the game peaked at 1,507,212, as per SteamDB.
The best part is that this is arguably just the culmination of a months-long resurgence in the popularity of CS:GO.
A closer look at the data shows that CS:GO has maintained a million-strong player count since December 8. This is the first time the game's concurrent players didn't go below a million in three years. The last time it happened was from March 5, 2020, through May 28, 2020, when it peaked at 1,308,963 players.
If this doesn't encourage Valve to release Team Fortress 3, we don't know what will.
Kidding aside, the hype surrounding Counter-Strike 2 likely fueled the game's latest record-setting surge.
Valve basically told players that the only way to get into the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test is to play on official Valve servers, have zero bans, and be an upstanding citizen. Official playtime is likely a key metric, which explains why hundreds of thousands of players are logging onto CS:GO in hopes of getting invited.
While this week was huge for Counter-Strike, most are expecting an even bigger explosion once Counter-Strike 2 is out. A lot of fans speculate that Counter-Strike 2 will smash through the concurrent player record quite easily, with some betting that it will break the two-million mark.
The most recent peak player count of CS:GO on Steam establishes it firmly on the No. 2 spot ahead of Lost Ark (1.3 million) and Dota 2 (1.29 million).
Despite the expected boom in popularity of Counter-Strike 2 once it's officially released, it's highly unlikely it will break the record set by PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS in 2018 with 3.2 million concurrent players.