It is fascinating to think that CS: GO is still a massive game in 2023, even though it was released over a decade ago. In fact, the game continues to set records for the number of players and is still at the very cutting edge of the esports scene.
Developers Valve announced that CS2 will be released this summer at some stage, and plenty of players are eagerly awaiting the release, but there is always a bit of tension around these releases, too. Will it be quite as popular as CS: GO?
The Sensation of Counter-Strike Games
The very first Counter-Strike game came out before the turn of the millennium.
Not many games take over 10 years to reach their peak of users. In May of 2023, there were more than 1.5 million concurrent players online at any one time, on average. There are a number of things that have contributed to this growth even after all of these years.
One of the main things that drives the growth is the CS: GO competition scene. As a competitive esports game, it has become more and more popular. Many of the CS: GO major tournaments now offer millions of dollars in prize money. The ESL Pro League has 32 teams and is split into regional divisions around the world.
Another reason for the growth is the money coming into the sport through broadcasting, sponsorship, and the commercial side of esports. Some sponsorship comes from gambling companies, and there are even tournaments that have taken place in conjunction with betting companies.
Thunderpicks’s World Championship is a great example. Thunderpick is one of the biggest platforms for CS: GO betting and now Counter-Strike 2 betting introduced to the professional world of esports as the sequel. This will be one of the first tournaments to use the new game. Thunderpick is one of the esports betting companies offering a lot of markets on CS2 as well as the security of cryptocurrency gambling. They are also sponsoring the Evil Geniuses CS: GO teams: EG Blue, EG Black, and EG Gold, in all of their tournaments.
There is a lot of uncertainty regarding whether or not the game will replace CS: GO in certain tournaments, but most seem to be making the change quickly once the game is released. In 2024, it is likely that most of the major tournaments will take place on CS2. The game will be different, but it is expected that professional players will quickly be able to adjust.
What Do We Know About Counter-Strike 2?
There is a limited beta release of CS2, and some information has been leaked by Valve. Here are some of the main points we know so far.
1. It Was Developed on Source 2
The game uses the Source 2 engine to run. The first game to use this platform was Dota 2 back in 2015, but since then some games have been made completely on the Source 2 engine. These include Dota Underlords and Half-Life: Alyx, as well as the new Counter-Strike game.
2. It’s Coming This Summer
This doesn’t leave a great deal of time for the game release. It was announced in March that CS2 would be released sometime in the summer and there isn’t a huge amount of time left in the summer for the release to drop.
3. It’s Free
CS2 is technically a free update. Those who play games in the Counter-Strike franchise will not have to pay for this update.
4. Items Will Be Ported
People who have bought items on CS: GO will still have these items available when they play CS2. Purchases can be ported over to the new version of the game.
5. It is Available to Play Solo or Online
There are still a huge number of gamers who value solo games, and the campaign mode on CS2 will come as good news for those who would rather play on their own or can’t easily play online.
6. Tick Rate Will Be Vastly Improved
The tick rate determines how quickly and smoothly data gets updated on a server in any online game. The official server will be much quicker than previous iterations and unofficial servers could reach 128Hz tick rate.
Conclusion – Will CS2 Be As Popular?
It is very likely that CS2 will be as popular, if not more popular, than CS: GO. The mechanics of the game won’t be vastly different, and the focus seems to be more on modernisation. After 11 years, most games start to date, and it seems that Valve’s focus has been on bringing the game into the 2020s.
This is no real risk for the game developers. It is not like the game is going to flop, as it has kept the essence of what has made Counter-Strike: Global Offensive so popular.