Popularity Of CS:GO Tournaments Shows Growth In 2020 And 2021

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Popularity of CS:GO Tournaments Shows Growth in 2020 and 2021

At the end of the day, the online competitive season wasn't all that bad.

Aditya Singh Rawat
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Highlights
CS:GO tournaments show growth in popularity during the 2020 and 2021 seasons when compared to the 2019 season.
2020, 2021 seasons could not achieve the Peak Viewership similar to the 2019 season, but they did manage to rack in more Hours Watched and better Average Viewership.
Taking a look at the best performing season across the 12 months, 2019 came out on top only during the months when a Major had taken place.

Competitive CS:GO was forced to adopt an online format last year due to the pandemic. The online format has continued since then. Things slowly seem to be returning to normalcy now as we recently witnessed the studio event of IEM Cologne 2021, which shall be followed by the the upcoming PGL Major Stockholm 2021 set to feature a live audience.

It was tough for the viewers and the esports scene itself to adjust. But, at the end of the day CS:GO tournaments that took place in 2020 and 2021 have shown growth in terms of viewership, when compared to the 2019 season.

Numerous problems occurred, like multiple tournament organizers completely backing out, various regions noticing a collapse in its foundation, and the circuit itself undergoing adjustments as no CS:GO Major took place in the last two years. But, despite the multiple issues the popularity of the game kept growing to the point of achieving new heights.

CS:GO tournaments witnessed growth in viewership during the pandemic

Comparing the 2020 and 2021 competitive CS:GO season to that of the 2019 season in terms of viewership, statistics show that tournaments which took place during the pandemic might not have been able to achieve the Peak Viewership from earlier events, however, they did manage to rack in more Hours Watched.

CS:GO Esports Popularity - 2019, 2020, 2021

From the graph above, it is clear that the average viewership of CS:GO tournaments increased during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The most successful period being April to June 2020, right at the very start of the online season, as viewers spent more than 125 million hours watching competitive Counter-Strike. This figure is almost 30% more than the most successful quarter of 2019, Q3.

While 2019 might have had a higher peak viewership of 1,205,103 views due to the IEM Katowice Major, the online season was not all that bad with the third quarter of 2021 witnessing a peak of 843,369 viewers courtesy of IEM Cologne 2021.

Comparing both the Peak Viewership and Hours Watched across 2019, 2020, and 2021 CS:GO seasons across the 12 months, here is what we get to see.

CS:GO Esports Popularity (Peak Viewership) - 2019, 2020, 2021

With regards to Peak Viewership we see that the 2019 season beats out the other two only in the months of February, March, August, and September. On the other hand, when it comes to Hours Watched the 2019 season leads in the months of February, August, and September.

The 2019 season followed a similar pattern mainly due to the two CS:GO Major tournaments that took place that year, IEM Katowice and StarLadder Berlin.

But apart from that when it comes to the regular CS:GO tournaments and despite the title being hit hard, the viewership stayed strong to the point of showing significant growth.

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.