CS:GO: 2020 Recap – 6 Things To Remember

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CS:GO: 2020 Recap – 6 Things To Remember

ESTNN take a look back at some of CS:GO's biggest moments in 2020.


Online era and the year without the Major

Who could imagine that 2020 would be so tough? The year started with a couple of LAN-events, but then a couple of months later the whole competitive scene made a transition to online.

During the year, tournament organizers had hope it would be possible to host A-tier/S-tier international LAN-events, but the pandemic dashed those hopes.

On top of that, 2020 was the first year for competitive CS:GO without a single Major!
Valve has already announced the next CS:GO Major; planned for the fall of 2021 in the preliminary location of Europe, due to the pandemic situation

We're hoping that LAN-events will come back soon — with all the safety conditions. IEM Katowice 2021, following in the place of ESL, will be played from ESL's European studios.

Thanks a million

2020 was a year when CS:GO beat the all-time players’ peak multiple times, and the average count of players increased roughly over all.

A screenshot from steamlabs showing the peak players for CS:GO in March as 1,145,972

In March, the game hit 1,000,000 concurrent players online, overcoming a previous record from April 2016 (850.485 concurrent players).

Also, 2020 became the first year where CS:GO had more than 500,000 players on average. But the most interesting fact is that it was not a one-time record; every single month of 2020 had no less than 500,000 average online players. Peaking at 857,604 average players in April.

6-man rosters

Firstly, Astralis  extended their roster to six, and later, to seven players.
But we can’t fully count it as a real attempt – shortly after, the Danish team made roster changes; Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth and Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander stepped down from the active lineup for a couple of months.

So, we instead take Vitality as the first conscious attempt at creating a 6-man roster. And it worked out so well! Since the moment they created their 6-man roster, Vitality haven’t left the top-5.

As Vitality have reached success with extending their roster, Na`Vi and Astralis also started to use a rotation player close to the end of the year.

We might be looking at a key trend for 2021.

Cloud9 go into action

In early September 2020, Cloud9 started to assemble a new CS:GO superteam; signing Henry “HenryG” Greer as general CS:GO manager, Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović as a head coach and Alex “ALEX” McMeekin as a captain.

The new roster of Cloud9 has an incredible amount of contract costs and monthly salaries; also, all the contract details were made public at C9's initiative.
And that’s something that the competitive CS:GO scene hasn’t seen yet.

The coaching bug

But Cloud9’s move is not the only thing that we remember from September!
37 coaches received penalties for usage of the coaching bug.
Just a refresher on how the bug worked: it allowed spectators on the coach slot to watch the match from a particular location they shouldn’t have had access to.

For now, the bug is fixed. But ESIC intends to keep working on searching out and revealing more coaching bug instances from the past.

Organizations’ departure from North American scene

With the release of VALORANT, COVID-19 pandemic and other different reasons North American CS:GO scene is experiencing really hard times now.

Several organizations have disbanded their CS:GO rosters, others have preferred to make a trip to the European tournaments closer to the end of 2020 (MIBR, FURIA, EG and Liquid).

The active life of CS:GO from now on is concentrated around Europe, but things could change in 2021 as ESL announced that they will make several steps to keep CS:GO in North America alive.

In general, it was a pretty controversial and tough year for CS:GO – everything changed in a moment with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic but the game has increased its average online and the competitive part was also running pretty well despite such a situation.

Let’s see what 2021 has prepared for us!

Slava Britvin
Slava "innersh1ne" Britvin is a CS:GO analyst and esports journalist. He currently performs as an analyst for FaZe Clan & as a partnered author of CS.MONEY at ESTNN. You can learn more about Slava on our About page. Twitter @innersh1necsgo.