I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a branch of a game that is almost two decades old, and continues to draw massive crowds in astonishing world-class venues around the globe. It may be the penultimate form of esports, with competitions being around longer than some of the semi-professional players have been alive. ESL Counter-Strike has been well on their way in their tenth consecutive season, and they've just released metrics showing that they continue to rise in popularity with the fiercely competitive game. \n \nThis comes in contrast to other, newer esports, where investors have been vocal in concern of a new league's staying power. Among the newest esports are Blizzards foray with the Overwatch League, which has had its fair share of peaks and valleys as meta's unfortunately overstayed their welcome for months longer than expected by fans and professional players alike. Call of Duty has also interestingly announced a competitive league that has been written on before; surprising due to the recent hit-and-miss nature of the annual franchise. \n \nhttps:\/\/twitter.com\/ESLCS\/status\/1191433240516673537 \n \nYet as these leagues will come and go, we can expect Counter-Strike to remain an esports staple as reported-engagement numbers continue to climb for many leagues across Twitch. \n \nThe popularity of Counter-Strike assuredly holds some semblance mystery to the industry, as copying its success seems a difficult mountain to climb for developers. \n \nThere's the credit that Counter-Strike receives by originally being a mod for the world-renowned Half-Life game, which was then spun into its series with CSS. Being attached to a legendary series (although afraid of trios) is surely one method that Counter-Strike can receive its prestige from. \n \nAdditionally, the rounds play out uniquely; there's the occupation of space, terse movements across maps as operatives quietly jockey for position until the inevitable duel that feeds information to both teams. A well-rounded selection of various firearms and utility round out the bunch that all require unarguable skill to use; weapon sprays can be learned to near pinpoint precision, utilities used from specific map points can deny intelligence gathering from the opposition, and sprinting around with your knife trying to gather kills out does little other offer the enemies an easy kill. \n \nYet also to be credited is ESL themselves; they've focused on how to create razor-sharp storylines that vibrate throughout every tense match of the upper echelon of professional Counter-Strike. By circling their proverbial wagons of teams around singular storylines, and spreading the competitions around both a winter finals and a summer finals, ESL seems to have cracked the esports code that other leagues would be wise to imitate. \n \nFans win all around with these numbers, as more high-stakes Counter-Strike is surely on the horizon.