I want to start this article off by saying that I am by no means a professional player, analyst, or figurehead. I’m simply an avid player of the counter-strike franchise. I started playing CS when 1.5 came out and since then I have clocked several thousand hours throughout the franchise history.
Development has been stagnant for years… until last month
One of the primary concerns surrounding CSGO is that large changes and improvements have been rather stagnant since 2014. The last operation was ages ago, and overall the game has gotten stale. That is until a couple weeks ago when the Panorama UI was released. However, this update is purely visual and simply a large overhaul to the menu system.
What does Panorama UI mean?
I predict that Panorama UI is one of the first steps to revitalize Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The new UI system is the same one implemented in DOTA 2 and really brings counter-strike back into current standards. I believe the redesign is being used as a way to hold users over while they implement larger changes surrounding the game. That brings into question if they have plans to overhaul CSGO or simply start working on the next iteration of the franchise.
Global Offensive Twitch stats are less than to be desired…
This image shows the decrease in viewership over time since 2015. Since then the average viewer rank has been 9th.
The stream views and ranking for CSGO has been consistently lowering since its peak in 2015. I believe this is mostly due to the changes in skin trading, gambling, and large streamers. Most large streamers have switched games to more popular titles such as Fortnite. Examples of this are Shroud, and Summit1g.
So is it dying?
I do not think CSGO is dying in the least. Counter-strike has always been a game with a small tight knit elitist community. Skin trading and twitch opened counter-strike up into a mainstream monster and gained traction because of lucrative opportunities surrounding skin trading, gambling, and the time of its release. Since trading restrictions were put in place, and gambling prohibited the game has seen a large decrease in viewership as well as players. These people who stopped Caring about the game where players who were never intended to play counter-strike in the first place. In a way I feel like valve created a purge to bring counter-strike back to its former glory. Players who stay dedicated to the title and continue to play and enjoy the scene will continue to be benefitted with updates and changes to improve gameplay for real fans.
CSGO has one of the largest E-sports followings of any game, and in that aspect of watching professional tournaments I believe counter-strike has never been better. Just recently we have a major with twitch viewership exceeding 1.3 million viewers.
Big changes are bound to come to light and I’m extremely excited to see what is next for the franchise.