Counter-Strike 2 test launch helps CS:GO reach historic viewership milestone on Twitch

After Counter-Strike 2‘s limited testing update rolled out this Wednesday, March 22, CS:GO‘s viewership on Twitch peaked at 852.100 people—setting a new record for 2023 and the 20th-highest peak of the game’s history on the Amazon-owned platform—according to statistics by Stream Charts.

This is because several popular streamers or professional players like Gaules, Tarik, shroud, and s1mple started broadcasting CS2 nearly as soon as it was out for limited testing. The update allowed them to play CS:GO with the game engine Source 2 for the first time and see how much the mechanics and Dust II—the only map available in CS2 thus far—have been improved compared to the predecessor.

Related: S1mple, shroud, and other personalities can’t wait for Counter-Strike 2

Although CS:GO is one of the most popular shooters available, it usually doesn’t pull huge viewership numbers on Twitch unless there’s a Major ongoing. The Valve-sponsored tournaments are responsible for the bulk of records because of their high-level play. The highest peak CS:GO has ever had on Twitch was during the PGL Stockholm Major grand finals between Natus Vincere and G2, which was watched by over 2 million concurrent viewers on Twitch at one point.

But, because of the CS2 launch, CS:GO took first place among the category directory on Twitch and second in general, just behind the category Just Chatting, according to Stream Charts. A total of 6.95 million people tuned in to watch CS2 between March 22 and 23. The peak of 852.100 people was also higher than every other peak on Twitch during these two days, including the Just Chatting streams.

Related: When is the next CS:GO Major?

Image via Stream Charts Image via Stream Charts

The release of CS2 in a limited testing build also made smaller content creators like professional player Owen “smooya” Butterfield achieve an all-time high peak viewership. The Brit’s own personal record on Twitch was 17.700 peak viewers, according to Stream Charts, but the CS2 launch made him get nearly 192.000 concurrent viewers, which is more than what popular streamers such as shroud, xQC, Gaules, and Tarik got.

Image via Stream Charts

After getting these numbers, we can only imagine that CS2 will blow up in terms of viewership once it releases worldwide this summer as the pros and content creators will be able to stream the complete game and play Ranked in all maps available.