CS:GO (or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) has long been one of the most popular games available on Steam. However, until very recently, it was way behind in player numbers when compared with other titles like DOTA2. Yet all that has changed, and the news has now been released that CS:GO has hit a major milestone when it comes to average player counts. Official figures are bearing out what users of esports betting websites have suspected for a while – that CS:GO now consistently has more players on Steam than DOTA 2. CS:GO is currently riding a steady upward path, yet other well-known titles seem to be steadily declining. But, can this first-person shooter from Valve maintain its lofty position, or will it soon be on a downward spiral?

A Steady Player Base

Over the past few years, CS:GO has generally held steady numbers of players. After its launch in 2012, the game’s player count grew steadily, and for the first four years, interest in the title grew. In March of 2016, the game’s all-time top average player count hit 379,427 and just one month later, the title’s highest peak of all time arrived, with 850,485 players concurrently enjoying gameplay.

A Declining Trend

Yet, after 2016, the trend began to drop. Player counts declined steadily during 2017 and by 2018 they were virtually in freefall. May 2018 saw the player numbers bottoming out at just 262,171 – representing considerable attrition from its peak figures. However, all of that changed in December 2018 when  the free-to-play model was released. Suddenly the player count began to spike, and since then, the number of players has slowly edged upwards. 

A Dip In DOTA 2 and PUBG

Historically, CS:GO and DOTA 2 have long been two of the top Steam games, but neither have ever been able to hit the heights achieved by PUBG (Player Unknown Battlegrounds). This battle royale title has, at its peak point, achieved average player counts of almost 1.6 million – something which neither CS:GO nor DOTA 2 have ever been able to aspire too.

Yet stiff competition surrounding this genre has begun to have devastating effects on PUBG’s average player count. Apex Legends and Fortnite have appeared on the scene and have siphoned away a significant number of players. Meanwhile, PUBG Corp has failed to combat the trend of player attrition. With its high price tag and equally high spec requirement long after its release, PUBG simply can’t compete on the same level.

While PUBG has steadily been declining in player numbers, DOTA 2’s player count still swings wildly up and down. In the first few months of 2019, it hit its most recent high point, partially due to the DOTA Auto Chess game mode which was created by users. However, this short-term player number increase hasn’t been maintained. 

Is CS:GO In The Lead Overall?

Although CS:GO’s current success and growth shouldn’t be discounted, it’s important to recognise that it’s only enjoying top position on Steam. Fortnite player counts aren’t regularly publicised by Epic Games while League of Legends’ player counts are only occasionally released by Riot Games. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of Counter-Strike, it’s all good news, and for those who are yet to give it a try, it’s the perfect time to begin playing!