Millions of players all over the planet love playing CS:GO against friends and strangers. This tactical shooter has been one of the leaders in online games since its release over a decade ago but how has it helped the world of competitive gaming grow into the billion-dollar industry it has become?
The Early Days
It wouldn’t be right to say that CS:GO was one of the first competitive gaming titles. After all, people have playing the top games against rivals in big tournaments ever since home consoles first made it practical for us to play at home and hone our skills.
However, what we can see is that its release in 2012 coincided with what we might call the modern age of eSports, as the introduction of the Twitch streaming service moved it onto the next level. Suddenly, the best players in the world could let others watch them play while they commented on the action taking place on the screen. Plus, you could buy skins and compare their value on platforms such as Jack’s House.
Early games in the Counter-Strike series had already been played in successful tournaments like the Cyberathlete Professional League that began in 2001 and the World Cyber Games, which was seen as a sort of eSport Olympics. Counter-Strike was added to the second running of this event, which was the WCG 2001 held in Seoul, South Korea.
The Electronic Sports World Cup Was first carried out in 2003 and we can see how big eSports was becoming with the fact that over 350 participants took part here, with players from 37 countries making their way to Poitiers in France for it. Counter-Strike was present for this first event and continued to be a part of future versions too.
What Tournaments Have Been the Biggest in Recent Times?
CS:GO was immediately added to many major gaming events following its release in 2012 as the fourth game in the Counter-Strike series. One of the major boosts for the next game came in the year after it was brought out, as Valve decided to sponsor an event known as the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championships.
Prizes in the Majors have risen to $1 million in recent years, showing how huge this industry has become. 2023 has seen fascinating Counter-Strike tournaments like the ESL Pro League, and the BLAST.tv Paris Major, and the IEM Cologne grab the headlines and put a lot of prize money on the table for the winners.
The BLAST Premier World Finals is probably the biggest event of the year apart from the Majors, with an ongoing tournament that runs throughout 2023 as the teams battle for a share of the $1 million prize pool. The overall winner gets $500,000 and the team in second place receives $250,000 while those in third and fourth place get 85,000 each and more modest prizes are awarded to the four remaining teams.
The ESL Impact League is the top CS:GO tournament for female players in this game. It’s in the second half of 2023 that the action has really been heating up and regional events in different parts of the world have given us some exciting moments.
Who Are the Leading Teams?
With many top teams battling to be the best in CS:GO, this is a hugely competitive environment but what teams have the best overall record at this game? Astralis is a team from Denmark that competes in various eSports but their most impressive performances have come in CS:GO where they’ve won four Majors to date.
Playing out of Germany, MOUZ was known in the past as mouse sports and they’ve been highly successful in CS:GO tournaments for several years. You might have also seen them compete in other games, but Counter-Strike is the one that they’re best known for.
With worldwide fan bases following these teams and looking for the latest news from them, it’s no surprise to see that esports has become a major part of the entertainment business. Any news or interviews from the members of these leading teams is eagerly awaited by fans.
The current high profile of eSports can also be seen in the way that betting on pro games is now a popular activity. Online sportsbooks offer wagers on aspects such as the outright winner or the number of maps won by each team. This has added an extra element for fans to enjoy as they watch games.
CS2 to Take Over at the Top of the eSports Game
2023 has been a big year for Counter-Strike fans, as the new game – called CS2- has been released. Acclaimed by critics but struggling to win over all of the existing fans, CS2 has had a bumpy ride so far but it’s already been confirmed that the new game will be replacing CS:GO in eSports tournaments right away.
The big question is whether CS2 can have an immediate impact that sees it replace CS:GO effortlessly at the pinnacle of the eSports scene. For the moment, pro players seem happy to make the switch and move into a new era of Counter-Strike gaming.
Check our vGamerz Facebook page for more interesting game stories.