Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Statistics & Facts

Published by Christina Gough, Mar 7, 2019
The popular multiplayer first-person shooter video game series was first introduced in 1999 as a modification for Valve’s Half-Life. The game became a lucrative title for the publisher. In 2016 alone, the most recent installment in the series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) was ranked third among the leading paid games on Steam, having generated more than 67 million U.S. dollars in revenue on this one platform alone.
The game revolves around two teams attempting to reach their objectives, mainly – terrorist trying to execute acts of terror, and counter-terrorist aiming to prevent those attacks. Competitors are then rewarded for their individual performance with in-game currency, further used to purchase advanced weapons increasing effectiveness in subsequent rounds. Players may also buy virtual goods such as skins - unique visual designs modifying the looks of the weapons. This practice is what made Counter-Strike infamous in 2015, when a scandal emerged around external online gambling including teens illegally betting on the skins. Following a number of lawsuits and a Federal Trade Commission settlement, the case came to an end in 2017. Nonetheless, the damage was done as it was estimated that in 2016 a total of five billion U.S. dollars was wagered on CS:GO skins.

Users and usage
Counter-Strike’s popularity is apparent on many levels. It was recently found that CS:GO was one of the leading games among gamers and eSports viewer worldwide, as it reached 9.6 percent of this community; it was second only to League of Legends in the ranking. What is more, the game had a 26 percent penetration rate among eSports viewers alone. In terms of user gender distribution, Counter-Strike seems to be a game that is appreciated more among men than women. As it was discovered, 75 percent of the game’s fan base was male, with women accounting for the remaining 25 percent. CS:GO also managed to secure a title of the third most played game on Steam in 2018, when it gathered 321.4 thousand concurrent players at peak time, in addition to being the fifth most watched game on Twitch that same year.

eSports presence
As it is the case with other multiplayer games, Counter-Strike also found its spot in the eSports universe. Unlike League of Legends or DOTA 2, which have their own dedicated championships, CS:GO professional players compete in numerous single and multiple game tournaments, for example DreamHack, ESL One and Intel Extreme Masters, just to name a few. In fact, the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters Katowice was the second most viewed eSports tournament in the world as of late, with 46 million unique viewers watching the competitions. While the events take place all over the world, the majority of the most successful gamers originate in Europe. Latest figures show that 11 out of 15 highest earning CS:GO professional eSports players come from Sweden, Denmark and Slovakia, with the a few top earned amounts attributed to Brazilians. The game is also a popular way to make extra money among general eSports enthusiast who can simply bet on the outcomes of tournaments. As a matter of fact, Counter Strike held the second highest share of the total amount wagered among other eSports games in 2016. All this bodes well for the future of the game in the world of eSports.



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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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Important key figures

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Counter-Strike in eSports

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