Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Sets A New Record, Beating Fallout 4 and GTA5 Combined

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Sets A New Record, Beating Fallout 4 and GTA5 Combined
Credit: Valve via YouTube

Another day, another record was broken by a game that is older than many gamers of the modern-day; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has broken yet another record for the title, eight years after it released on August 21, 2012, by Valve.  This record, however, isn’t merely the concurrent players continuing to increase as it has done since July of 2019 when the title became free to play and included what is known as ‘Prime matchmaking’.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has surpassed one million concurrent players, becoming the third title on the Steam platform to do so; it has fallen in line behind PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, and Dota 2 to claim third place.

If you combine the all-time peak for massive hit games such as Fallout 4 and Grand Theft Auto 5, you still fall over 200,000 players short of what Counter-Strike is currently boasting; an impressive number to be sure.  Despite boasting a rather impressive number, and the quantity being rather current, many are reporting some difficulty in finding matches within the title’s competitive matchmaking.

The reason for this is the same reason as it was the last time Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was making the news for breaking records; not many people are using the in-game competitive matchmaking anymore.

After Valve dropped the update that allowed users to change their character models in-game, the default matchmaking experience has been largely avoided by the majority of players that are looking at entering Counter-Strike for its legendarily difficult competition.  Valve-based matchmaking has turned into an iffy experience featuring hide and seek with modern-day weaponry, rather than the high-stakes chess match and dueling that the title is known for.  Adding on top of that issue is the experience of cheaters inevitably arising as you play through your matches, and people have started looking elsewhere for their CSGO experience.

This has led to the increasing popularity of third-party matchmaking services, such as ESEA, and FaceIt.  Both services offer a complete service from skill-matching to anti-cheats that vary from what Valve offers; a bit more intrusive, yet it ensures that the playing field is even.  Cheaters are typically not offered a second chance, either, meaning the experience is frankly far better than what Valve can currently offer.

Some third-party matchmaking services come with a subscription cost in order to queue in their servers, so it’s likely only an option if you’re willing to, metaphorically, go hard to the paint with the Counter-Strike competition.

Yet with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive continuing to gain momentum and traction, as players of other titles become increasingly annoyed and frustrated with the goofy quirks and mechanics of modern-day shooters, many are wondering if Valve is looking at refreshing a bit of the competitive experience.  The ability to remove operator skins from competitive queues would be a fantastic step in the right direction and bring a lot of users back into the default fold.