Counter-Strike record: 1 million unique players per month for a year

Counter-Strike record: 1 million unique players per month for a year

6 September 2023

Exciting times for fans of international esports all over the world. Just last week, we wrote a piece about the upcoming new Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, which is supposed to be released on Friday, November 10th, 2023, and that’s far from all. Another major esports hit, Counter-Strike, is also creeping closer to the release date of a new instalment. Counter-Strike 2 is expected to drop this month and millions of players around the world can’t wait. That’s clear from the hype and also from the fact that, for the first time in the franchise’s history, the game has seen more than a million registered unique users per month for a year, since August 2022.

Historical milestone

With the long-awaited launch of Counter-Strike now just weeks away, it looks like the franchise as a whole is going through its best moment yet. Never before did the Valve title record more than a million unique users every month for a year or longer. This milestone started on August 4th, 2022, when 1,039,889 players were online at once. The peak during this one-year period took place in April, when on the 27th no less than 1,818,773 players were logged onto the game’s servers at the same time. According to industry experts, what definitely helped to reach a year-long period of more than a million monthly players was Valve’s official announcement of Counter-Strike 2 in March of this year.

What also played a major role was the developer’s decision to launch the beta version of Counter-Strike 2 last month. In late August 2023, thousands of players were given access to the beta version, with a focus on players with Prime status and an active skill group in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. To give you an idea of the impact of this decision: on Thursday, August 31st, no less than 1,560,435 players were active on Valve’s servers. The expectation therefore is that the total number of players right after the launch of CS2 will be considerably higher even.

Players defend Valve after criticism

Despite the incredible numbers for Valve and the near-perfect approach to the release of Counter-Strike 2, Valve has also had to deal with some criticism from inside its community lately. More than a few players believe the criticism is unjustified though, and see it as a growing trend within the wider esports world where new updates and releases are accompanied by overly negative and often downright offensive criticism.

The biggest problem in this sense are people who are harshly criticizing the game without providing proper examples or constructive advice. These could be trolls as well, but in any case, fans of the Counter-Striker franchise have stood up online to defend Valve. Feedback is always appreciated, but there clearly needs to be some kind of reasoning behind it. Having said that, we don’t believe that it will have any kind of negative impact on the release of Counter-Strike 2, which is set to be one of the biggest moments of the year in international esports.