There doesn’t seem to be any way to stop the growth of Counter-Strike: Global Offence at the minute. Valve’s timeless shooter, which has seen a meteoric rise in its player count over the last couple of months, has broken the all-time record for average players and peak players again.
In the last 30 days alone, CS:GO has pulled in an average player count of 506,835 and a peak player count of 901,305 on Steam Charts, far surpassing anything the game has ever achieved before. This is likely to be due to the game’s free-to-play status and the success of Operation Shattered Web, a four month battle pass full of challenges across Casual, Competitive, Wingman, and Danger Zone modes.
Valve’s classic shooter recorded a peak of 850,000 players in April 2016, but this is the first time in nearly four years that the game has been able to break that record – and that number is still rising.
We should expect to see both figures continue to climb given that Steam itself broke a few records this week as well. The platform now has nearly 19 million concurrent users – the highest it’s ever recorded.
But while it’s great to see the CS:GO ecosystem flourishing, there is, sadly, a downside. According to Nors3, a sharp increase in the number of VAC bans has been recorded.
Since the game went free-to-play in December 2018, more than 8.8 million accounts have been hit with the ban hammer. Although SteamDB doesn’t track the bans by game, a recent report revealed that new Steam accounts were being set up to play the shooter, so it’s likely a large proportion of those bans correspond to CS:GO. In the last three months alone, more than 1.19 million accounts have been VAC banned.
CS:GO cheats are a real problem, but it’s good to see that despite an increase in negative behaviour, the game continues to thrive. Hopefully, with the start of the new competitive season, we’ll continue to see more players pick up an AWP and fight for mid control.