In lower level public matchmaking games (on the Stockholm server) I'm often paired with players using Hitler, Mussolini and Anders Behring Breivik facial photographs as profile images, among other fascist leaders and terrorists. This is not an exaggeration and is based on over 1000 hours of playtime.

Also major streamers are unable to play in official matchmaking due to graphic imagery (WARNING - an offensive picture).

There is "mini-scoreboard style" option in game settings to hide the images during gameplay, but the photos are displayed at least when you are killed, spectating and inspecting scoreboard.

  • All I could find was that you can disable freezecam using: cl_disablefreezecam "1" and cl_freezecampanel_position_dynamic "0" this however might not always fully work Oct 17, 2017 at 8:41
  • @KevinTheGreat: cl_disablefreezecam doesn't affect profile images, I've used the command since the beginning. cl_freezecampanel_position_dynamic affects the panel position.
    – user598527
    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:07
  • There are several steps to disable certain features showing avatars one by one, but you can not disable them completely.
    – dly
    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:21
  • @dly: Are you aware of some additional commands?
    – user598527
    Oct 17, 2017 at 15:29
  • 1
    You could try blocking the CDNs on which the images are stored. However, this might have side effects on other Steam content e.g. screenshots also being blocked.
    – bgfvdu3w
    Oct 17, 2017 at 16:33

2 Answers 2


Six years later and with Counter-Strike 2 replacing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive a user grumd on Reddit says:

cl_hide_avatar_images 1 for those who were looking to just disable user avatars overall

CS2 documentation:

Name Value Type Description
cl_hide_avatar_images 0 cl, a Hide avatar images for other players. 0 - Off. 1 - Block All 2 - Block all but friends

the respective page for Global Offensive


Profile images should be hidden by blocking the domain(s) these images are loaded from. Add a string cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com (use if doesn't work) to your operating system's hosts file, on Windows located in ~\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts (for OS X and Linux see How-To Geek's guide). Unfortunately this also prevents some images on Steam store from loading and might have other side effects - it is recommended to comment out (or delete) the lines after playing by using // prefix on Windows (# seems to be the Unix alternative):

// cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com

For unknown reasons (on my system, may not affect everyone) profile images are blocked from loading in "deathmatch", "arms race", "demolition" and "casual" modes, but not in "competitive". However, it's possible that there are additional locations for profile mages which I'm not aware of.

This not a proper solution and will stop working if Valve moves profile images to another location. The game can also load all data from the same domain in the future, making blocking impossible without completely cutting internet access. Only Valve can effectively solve this issue, by implementing a setting to hide Steam profile images.

  • cdn.edgecast.steamstatic.com (cdn.edgecast.steamstatic.com/steamcommunity/public/images/avatars/) seems to also be used, I will test later.
    – user598527
    Oct 17, 2017 at 20:26
  • blocking cdn.edgecast.steamstatic.com had seemingly no impact in the game.
    – user598527
    Oct 20, 2017 at 18:36
  • I should have recommended blocking at the DNS level. See the more recent answer for the console command cl_hide_avatar_images.
    – user598527
    Feb 20 at 14:29

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