Reddit in shambles: CS2 breaks concurrent player count record

Counter-Strike 2 defied community expectations by breaking its concurrent player record on Steam. This achievement comes six months after transitioning from CS:GO in Sept. 2023, a move that left many skeptical. However, it looks like a more complex matter, with a mix of disbelief and frustration within the community still in place shortly after the conclusion of the first CS2 Major.

On the surface, the record-breaking player count paints a rosy picture for CS2. Yet, many Reddit users remain unconvinced. The sentiment revolves around two key issues that threaten to shadow this achievement: rampant cheating and bots inflating player numbers.

CS2 player numbers.
Player count rankings from SteamDB. Screenshot by Dot Esports

There’s a growing suspicion that the high player count might be inflated by case-farming bots. They exploit the game’s lootbox system, potentially skewing the real player count and creating an uneven playing field. Players from countries with developing economies have been resorting to this method since even small amounts of in-game profit generated by bots can be significant.

The issue of cheating is also a cause for serious concern. The community is in an uproar over a significant increase in cheaters, labeling it as the worst they’ve ever seen. This frustration is further fueled by the perception that Valve is not doing enough to combat this issue. Consequently, many players are abandoning official matchmaking in favor of third-party platforms like FACEIT for a more competitive and cheat-free experience.

On a separate note, it should also be underlined that the CS community was skeptical during the switch from CS:GO to CS2, predicting it would be unable to reach its predecessor’s heights. Now that the record is broken, the goalposts seem to be shifting, as the focus has moved away from raw player count and towards ensuring a healthy and competitive player base, free from bots and cheaters.

Regardless of your stance, the record player count is undoubtedly a milestone for CS2. Considering the game also surpassed its all-time player peak in March 2024, it had a great start to the year when it comes to numbers.

However, the community’s response raises valid concerns about the game’s current state. Whether CS2 can address these issues and foster a genuinely engaging experience remains to be seen. While Valve’s rumored to be working on a new anti-cheat solution behind the curtains, unclear when and if that will become a reality.

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