Credit: Valve

CS:GO will soon celebrate its 10th birthday and still is the most popular game on Steam by quite a margin. But March was not a good month for the title, as it lost a significant portion of its player base.

In March, CS:GO’s average player base declined by roughly 50.000 players, a drop of 8%. To put this in perspective: Team Fortress 2, the other Valve brainchild, has an average of 60.000 players.

CS:GO is still a very healthy game, with over half a million players on average and peaks near a million. But the loss of 8% of its player base in a single month is a significant blow.

Image: Steamcharts

Why CS:GO lost players in March

There are several contributors to the drop in players.

First of all: March is always a bad month for gaming. With the winter coming to an end and temperatures rising, people often chose to touch some grass over grinding Faceit.

Another factor is the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, several European countries decided to lift restrictions. People playing CS during lockdown were now given the freedom to go out, and many opted to do so.

A third, smaller factor is the war in Ukraine. The CIS region is a significant part of the player base in Europe.

A final contributor is heavy competition from different titles in March. Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, Dying Light 2. The list of big titles released in the first months of 2022 is long.

And given the option to queue yet another Mirage game or spend an entire night dying to Radagon of the Golden Order sounds like an easy choice, right?

While Josse van Dessel covers a variety of topics ranging from FIFA esports competitions to professional chess matches, his greatest emphasis is on the world of Counter-Strike, where he covers the title's biggest events and its latest roster moves. Josse also covers local market news in his native Netherlands.