CSGO Breaks Steam Record Amid Counter-Strike 2 Reveal

As news of Valve’s upcoming Counter-Strike 2 continues to break, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has reached an unprecedented number of concurrent players over 10 years after the game’s release. Today’s record number of CSGO players has launched Valve’s free-to-play shooter into the number two position previously occupied by Amazon Games’ free-to-play MMORPG Lost Ark, which attracted a massive player count during its February 2022 release.

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Counter-Strike has long been one of the premier competitive shooters in the industry, beginning as a humble Half-Life mod that would grow into a global eSports phenomenon. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been the series’ current iteration for over a decade, but despite its age, the game has remarkably grown in popularity over the years. The explosion in popularity of streaming platforms like Twitch has brought competitive gaming to massive audiences, while the game’s free-to-play model and lax system requirements make it easily accessible to any gamer willing to accept the challenge.

Due to a combination of those factors along with recent news of Counter-Strike 2, CSGO smashed its previous record of concurrent players on Steam which was around 1,350,000 in February. Today’s peak player count for CSGO was a staggering 1,507,212 concurrent players, though the number has already fallen to nearly half that many later in the day. This record placed CSGO in the number two position of all-time concurrent players, just ahead of Lost Ark’s 1,324,761 record but behind PUBG‘s colossal 3,236,000 record. However, CSGO has absolutely crushed both of those games’ current player counts, with Lost Ark peaking at just 94,860 while a still-impressive 454,795 players were logged into PUBG on Steam.

Counter-Strike 2 will be a free replacement for the aging classic, and a number of Counter-Strike 2‘s features have already come to light. Unsurprisingly, Counter-Strike 2 will feature massively enhanced visuals and lighting, though this could be a hindrance to those outside of its inevitably raised system requirements. As a direct upgrade, longtime players can thankfully retain all their unlocked cosmetics and progress rather than having to abandon years of valuable loot. Although on the surface it may just seem like a cosmetic improvement, the new volumetric smoke clouds from smoke grenades will make them a more effective tactical play. Grenades and gunfire can help dissipate the smoke, which gives players an opportunity to counter it.

Of course, there are plenty of other improvements such as upgraded maps along with a critical upgrade to server tick rates that should make the game more responsive than ever. A few lucky players are already experiencing these features during Counter Strike 2’s Limited Test, but everyone else will have to wait until summer for the big release.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is free-to-play on PC.

Source: Steam Charts

Source: Gamerant

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