How Have the Counter-Strike 2024 Changes Impacted Players and Fans?

Back in the summer of 2023, Valve announced some pretty significant news regarding the future of Counter-Strike esports. Although the changes aren’t set to take full effect until 2025, Valve made clear in their August statement that any future esports competitions would have to make open qualifiers the standard. Failing that, Valve’s own ranking system would have to be used for invitations to any tournament. Valve would also insist that any prize money and tournament revenue would have to become public knowledge. 

Unsurprisingly, many tournament organizers cried foul. All of this drama doesn’t even take into account the advent of Counter-Strike 2. While many fans were excitedly awaiting the long-overdue sequel, its arrival also spelled curtains for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Just two months after the tournament shakeup announcement, Valve revealed it would be ending support for CS:GO as of January 1st 2024. 

CS:GO Continues To Attract Players 

Despite the dawn of Counter-Strike 2, CS:GO remains incredibly popular. It remains a staple of professional esports, with a combined tournament prize pool of more than $16 million in 2022. By the start of 2023, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was bringing in more than 1.2 million players, despite Valve not having offered any in-game updates for some time. While some players have turned to it because their current hardware doesn’t support the resource-heavy sequel, the legacy version of Global Offensive still enjoys a sizable player base. 

So how do these numbers stack up against the sequel? In the first month of 2024, Counter-Strike brought in an average of around 760,000 players. This is a significant drop from the 976,000 who were playing in September 2023. 

Don’t Expect a Heavy Tournament Schedule 

Don’t expect a busy slate of CSGO or CS2 tournaments this year. While the usual big hitters will continue to be held, Valve’s rule changes have forced many smaller organizers to rethink the way they do business. The rules have made it difficult for franchised tournaments to go ahead as they would normally. Factor in a more modest offering of top-flight teams, and it’s easy to see why CS2 isn’t soaring at the same heights as its predecessor. Nonetheless, the usual tournament heavyweights can still be seen in action. Want to follow your favorite line-ups working their magic? Find out how well they’ve fared at

A New Skin Economy 

CS:GO skins have always been a meaty money spinner for players. Since the announcement and release of Counter-Strike 2, players have been hoarding rare weapon skins with an eye to turning an eye-watering profit. It might take a while for any CS2 skins to reach the dazzling dollar value of the AK-47 – Case Hardened, but we shouldn’t be waiting too long until someone lands a life-changing sum on the skin trading market. 

While it’s easy to see why so many purists have resisted the shift to Counter-Strike 2, exciting new gameplay mechanics and dramatically improved graphics make it a special time to be a first-person shooter fan.

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