Valorant vs. CS:GO: Which Game Is More Popular in 2022?

Valorant vs. CS:GO: Which Game Is More Popular in 2022?

It’s not hard to see why players are comparing Valorant and CS:GO. From weapon performance and player movement to countless gameplay aspects, it’s clear that Valorant has gotten a lot of inspiration from its much older counterpart, CS:GO.

Both tactical shooters rank among the most played FPS games right now, but which one actually comes out on top in terms of popularity? Is Valorant the CS:GO killer? Will CS:GO continue its reign at the top of competitive esport? We’ll look at player count, viewership, and more to determine which tactical shooter will rank highest in the scorecards in 2022.

Valorant player count

Since the official launch in 2020, Valorant has gained an impressive player base in a genre that previously has been dominated by CS:GO. Riot Games offered players a fresh take on what tactical shooters could be, and so far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

According to the latest statistics shared by Valorant Executive Producer, Anna Donlon, the game officially reached 14 million active players a month last year. On top of that, Valorant has also seen an increase in popularity on Twitch, steadily working its way to becoming one of the most popular games on the platform with around 34 million hours watched and an average of 108,692 viewers.

Source: Riot Games

Source: Riot Games

CS:GO player count

The legacy of Counter-Strike extends back more than two decades, with Global Offensive marking the latest and arguably most successful installment of the franchise, becoming one of the most popular esport scenes in the world. Following a rough launch, CS:GO has managed to grow in popularity each year since its release thanks to continuous support and updates from Valve.

Looking at the monthly player data, courtesy of SteamCharts, CS:GO reached an average of roughly 34 million active players last year. Thanks to the brief return of LAN events and a Major, CS:GO took in an average viewership of 84,461.

Source: Valve

Source: Valve

Valorant vs. CS:GO – who wins?

For the better part of 10 years, CS:GO has reigned supreme as one of the most popular esports titles of all time. Its impressive stint at the top is a testament to both the quality of the game and the loyalty of the player base.

The latest Major LAN tournament was the most watched CS:GO event so far, and proved that, despite its age, the game still very much has a huge influence on modern gaming.

On the other hand, Valorant has managed to carve out a place at the top in an incredibly short amount of time. Frequent updates from Riot have given players a steady supply of new content to keep everything feeling fresh, and the professional esports scene also enjoyed massive growth in 2021.

Source: ESL on Twitch

While Valorant and CS:GO are very comparable in almost every category, their age and time in the market make it hard to determine which one is ‘winning’. In terms of active average player count, CS:GO can boast of having more than twice the amount of players that Valorant currently has.

Still, the growth potential of Valorant combined with the huge early milestones in player count, and with Twitch viewership surpassing CS:GO on average, this contest has to be a draw for now. Most likely, the next few years could decide which of the two will pull ahead and stay there for good.

Both games have room for improvement in different areas, and the fastest one to address them might also be the one that ends up prevailing in the end.

Source: cNed on Twitch

Fans have been requesting 128 servers for CS:GO for years, which is something Valorant fans have had from launch. On the other hand, CS:GO fans have retakes, wingman, war games, and Danger Zone on top of an almost unlimited amount of custom game modes and maps thanks to the Community Browser with private servers.

However, matchmaking in CS:GO has also infamously been plagued by cheaters and a less than perfect ranking system, while Valorant released with kernel-based anti-cheats and a more fleshed-out ranking system.

Each game is sort of a give-and-take deal for now, with one excelling where the other falls short, but one thing is certain: whether you're on board with CS:GO or Valorant, 2022 could prove to be an exciting year for fans of both.

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