The State of the CS:GO Player Count in 2023

Updated · Mar 06, 2023


A name that doesn’t need much of an introduction.

This has to be the most popular tactical shooter game in the world.

Its rounds aren’t long, it’s simple to learn, and it’s quite fun. All that explains its success and the big CS:GO player count when it was first launched.

But how do things look now, the year of the game’s tenth anniversary?

Let’s check out some key Counter-Strike player count statistics to find out.

Developers: Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment

Year of release: 2012

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Genre: Competitive FPS

Striking CS:GO Facts (Editor’s Choice)

  • CS:GO became free to play in December 2018.
  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive reached a million concurrent players in March 2020.
  • The peak of CS:GO concurrent players is 1,305,714.
  • The CS:GO player count saw a 17% decrease in June 2021.
  • Between 30 and 40 million per month people play CS.
  • In 2018, the game made over $400 million in revenue.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has more daily players than Overwatch.

General CS:GO Info

The idea behind Counter-Strike is simple.

You’re either a police officer or a terrorist and you have to take the opposing team with the help of your crew.

Still, there are some twists to it that make it really interesting. Will this be enough to keep the CS:GO player count high in 2022?

1. CS:GO started as an attempt to port CS: Source onto consoles.

(Source: PC Gamer)

There’s a long-standing CS:GO vs CS:Source debate, but the former was actually intended as successor to Source.

Valve and Hidden Path were working on this project together. At one point, however, Valve’s plan became too big for a simple console port.

Valve’s intentions to bring together the Source and CS 1.6 communities changed the project. Initially, that seemed like mission impossible.

Enter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Against all odds, it solidified the Counter-Strike player count across multiple platforms.

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive became free to play in December 2018.

(Source: Dot Esports)

When did CS:GO get popular?

Counter-Strike is one of the most popular FPS game series of all time, and GO was popular from the start. That said, things really started to look up for it when it switched to in-game purchases and became free.

But was that the only reason why CS:GO got popular?

3. CS:GO has one of the largest esports betting communities.


There are plenty of reasons why this game is so popular.

Counter-Strike has a stellar reputation and a huge community of dedicated players. Any game with that name is bound to attract attention.

What’s more, CS:GO is simple, intuitive, and has flashy items. But most of all, it relies on online betting and tournaments.

eSports generates billions of dollars per year, and CS:GO has one of the biggest online gambling communities.

CS:GO Population

Let’s see how the CS:GO player count varies throughout the years.

4. Global Offensive reached one million concurrent players in March 2020.

(Source: Dot Esports)

How many people used to play CS:GO at its peak?

Although it was already eight years old at the time, the game peaked in March 2020. Over one million people played CS:GO simultaneously! And the numbers kept growing and peaked in April.

The constant content updates sure played a part. But the real boost came from the transition to a free-to-play model.

Thanks to that, the concurrent Counter-Strike player count increased by 200,000 in just one month.

5. The peak concurrent player count is 1,305,714.

(Source: Steam Charts)

Most games reach their peak player count on the day of release, but not CS:GO. Because of its predecessors’ devoted fan bases, it didn’t go off right away. It was a late bloomer.

It surpassed one million in March 2020. But April 2020 was even more successful, with 1,305,714 concurrent players.

How many players play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive now?

So far, the peak for January 2022 is 895,365.

6. The CS:GO player count decreased by nearly 17% in 2021.

(Source: TheGamer)

In June 2021, the company saw a 16.75% decline. That was following Valve’s attempt to reduce cheating and hacking in ranked matches.

It did that by introducing a $15 charge for the Prime status, which brings more benefits, including the opportunity to play ranked.

People can still play for free but without any drops, XP, Skill Groups, or Ranks.

The CS:GO player base was seriously disgruntled with this. Luckily, the decrease was significant but not detrimental to the game.

7. In 2021, the average number of CS:GO monthly players varied between 31 and 37 million.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

These are some pretty big numbers, especially considering the May 2021 Prime paywall changes. In fact, it is a huge increase compared to 2020, when the numbers varied between 22 and 29 million.

8. The peak number of daily CS:GO players is over two million at the beginning of 2022.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

It reached this number for the first time in February 2021 and it hasn’t dropped below two million since.

Unlike the monthly averages, the peak daily player numbers were not affected by the Prime paywall changes.

9. Overwatch has fewer daily players than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

Although it’s a newer game, Overwatch is far behind. It has daily peaks of around 600,000 players and barely nears seven million average monthly players.

It is the sore loser in the Overwatch vs CS:GO player count battle.

CS:GO eSport

This game wouldn’t have been half as successful if it weren’t for the eSports aspect. Popular tournaments broadcast contribute heavily toward its immense popularity and the competitive scene and so do countless individual streamers.

Basically, if you have the skill to kill in CS:GO, you can stream it.

Now that we saw how many players play CS:GO, let’s check out the eSports facts.

10. The game had a revenue of over $400 million in 2018.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

By the end of 2018, CS:GO had made around $414 million in revenue. Sadly, not much else is known about this game’s profits.

Well, we do have some info on the topic.

11. The newest Counter-Strike makes less money than Valorant.

(Source: TalkEsport)

We compared CS:GO to Overwatch. Now, let’s take a look at the Valorant vs CS:GO player count. After all, the two are direct competitors.

At the start of 2021, Valorant was the sixth top-grossing game. Global Offensive was breathing in its neck from the seventh position.

12. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen is the most profitable CS:GO player worldwide.

(Source: Statista)

As of September 2021, his earnings equaled $1.93 million.

Among the top five current CS:GO players are Xyp8x with 1.91 million, dev1ce with $1.89 million, gla1ve with $1.76 million, and Magisk with $1.53 million.

The list goes on. According to Statista, there are 15 active CS:GO players with earnings over $1 million.

13. CS:GO was involved in one of the biggest eSports gambling scandals ever.

(Source: Dot Esports)

Global Offensive took eSports to a whole other level.

The rules of CS:GO online betting are pretty standard: guess which team will win and get paid.

However, in 2016, a popular streamer, M0E, claimed that one of CS:GO’s gambling platforms revealed to him game results in advance. Plus, it didn’t pay what it owed him afterward. However, other accusations followed and ultimately led to two lawsuits.

Valve, Counter-Strike’s developer, and Twitch, the most popular game streaming platform, took action to solve the raised issues. Luckily, the two companies managed to mitigate the consequences for the game.

Wrap Up

The stats and facts above prove that CS:GO isn’t dead.

It’s fun, simple, and a big name in the eSports industry, and this is reflected in the CS:GO player count.

Even a decade after its release, it’s still a hit.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.