Fighting for the Podium: CSGO vs PUBG
The rumors have been around for some time already, but with the launch of PUBG, more people believe that prime time of Counter-Strike has passed. With PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds topping charts on Steam and Twitch, people are wondering, “Is CSGO dying?” While it’s true that the number of players is declining, it doesn’t necessarily mean CS is doomed. In the process of researching the topic, I have stumbled upon an interesting video analyzing the current CSGO gaming trends and players fluctuations. After surveying my dynamics and asking a couple of friends, I mixed the information from the video with personal observations and came to the following conclusions. In the CSGO vs PUBG fight, does CSGO have some gas left in the tank to go against PUBG?
CSGO Isn’t Dying
If you are ready to mourn the decline of the iconic shooter, which has started an endless streak of similar games, cheer up since CSGO fanbase isn’t dying off as fast as it seems to be. Let’s have a look at the stats: It doesn’t look bad, right? The game has constant peaks in concurrent players, but here’s the comparison against the huge hit of the summer PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
PUBG has topped the number of concurrent players more than two times. Now, the stats look gloomy for CSGO, right? It’s easy to believe in all those “RIP CSGO” forum threads popping around. Not so fast! Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t be concerned:
1) It’s harder to get into CSGO.
CS has been around for a long time, which means that the average player base is not only older but also has a much higher skill level compared to PUBG. The latter one is still fresh, the gaming mechanics are new, and no one cares about showing advanced playing strategies since they haven’t been developed yet. People are playing for the fun of it.
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2) People are turning to spectating rather than actively playing.
Everyone can join a club or kickball in the backyard, but most people choose to watch pro players on the field, and they are still called “football fans.” Then why are we assuming that CSGO fans should only play the game, and not watch it? The Twitch statistics are showing that more and more people are turning into spectators rather than active players, but this doesn’t mean they are abandoning the game.
3) PUBG is still in its “honeymoon stage.”
The game is new, everyone is excited, and the bags are overlooked, because “hey, it’s been only a couple of months.” In CSGO most active players have probably reached the skill level, and it’s hard to push through, which means lots of frustration while playing. When CS was only gaining its popularity, everyone was excited about getting from silver II to silver elite. Now, the progress is not so drastic as it was before, upgrading to the next rank sometimes takes years, which again turns lots of people from actively playing to watching.
4) The changes don’t feel so dramatic as they did a couple of years ago.
A couple of new skins, new operation or map won’t naturally create the same hype major updates did years ago. The game was bad then, with horrendous lags and cheat loopholes, so every update made it dramatically better. The community was pleased and the consecutive player numbers spiked. Now, the game is in the best state it has ever been, and there’s little that can be done to improve it.
It seems that now players are kept only by the opportunity to earn by selling their in-game items (there are lots of services where you can trade skins for real money), but I believe CSGO will keep attracting gamers not only because of financial matters.
I am sure that the PUBG launch will do more good than bad to CSGO in the long term. Players are fed up with CS, and they want something fresh for a change. However, when the initial hype ceases, gamers will start returning to CSGO. Also, it seems that the CSGO fanbase isn’t dying, the trends are just shifting. At the current stage, the two games are like professional football and casual games in the backyard with your friends. CS has cemented its place among the professional esports arena. Most players are turning to watching professionals play rather than trying themselves, like with football and basketball.
Most people prefer to root for their team than kick a ball on the field, but no one is claiming that these sports are dying. I believe that the dynamics of concurrent numbers decline is natural given the age of the games (almost seventeen years compared to several months). CSGO has already become a legend and doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone.