Users and usageDespite being over eight years old, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains as popular as ever with gamers. The monthly active users (MAU) of the game peaked at 24 million in February 2020 and CS:GO still attracts millions of devoted fans every month. The game was one of the most played titles on Steam in 2019 and has peaked at over one million concurrent players on the gaming platform. CS:GO is also a popular game among viewers of online games on the streaming platform Twitch. It regularly ranks as one of the most streamed games on Twitch and has viewership peaks well into the hundreds of thousands.
eSportsAs 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 Intel Extreme Masters was watched by an average of over 273 thousand viewers worldwide in 2020. The pinnacle of the CS:GO tournament, the final between G2 and NaVi, was watched by a peak audience of over one million viewers.
Long gone are the days where video gaming was just a hobby, as some of the highest earning CS:GO professional eSports players earn well into the millions of U.S. dollars for their exploits within the game. It is no wonder that the best players in the world are able to earn the big bucks when the cumulative Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament prize pool worldwide stood at 21.77 million U.S. dollars in 2019. Indeed, the success of the game as an eSport shows no signs of slowing down as the game's tournament prize pool is estimated to reach 45.6 million U.S. dollars by 2023.