A little over a month ago, we reported on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) reaching a new high with its player base at 876,000 players. As of today, those numbers have been shattered as Steam Database tweeted out that the game’s concurrent player base has now skyrocketed well over 1 million, breaking its previous record. This distinction has catapulted CS: GO over another well-known Valve title, Dota 2.
CS:GO has set a new record of ONE million concurrent players, which makes it the third @Steam game to do so. 🚀
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) March 14, 2020
Most of this is due in part to the company keeping up with the quality of life updates, the constant events with special items and cosmetics, and the free-to-play model that was implemented in late 2018 that is now paying off in a huge way. The current event, titled Shattered Web, consists of numerous additional in-game content, especially if you purchase the Operation Pass. This seasonal purchase gives you brand new skin-themes operators to use on either the Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist teams, and they can be used on any map including the all-time classic de_dust 2.
However, one unintended side effect to this sudden surge of players may have something to do with the recent events in the real world, specifically with the coronavirus. With numerous cities and countries on lockdown, a lot of people suddenly have some more time on their hands and may be looking to pass some of that time with video games. This, of course, is mostly conjecture, as there is no definitive proof of this having any direct effect on multiplayer games such as CS: GO. The virus outbreak has had a devastating effect on the video game community, with E3 2020, GDC, and most esport events being canceled due to concerns of attendees being infected.