CS:GO Tournaments: The World of Pro Gaming
Its hard to dispute that Counterstrike: Global Offensive is a real sport when looking at its tournaments. From the pure competitiveness of the teams, the shouts of fans filling up stadiums, to the massive prize pools, CS:GO events are a thrilling experience. For the gaming layman, the professional CS:GO scene may seem intimidating to understand, so we’ll try and break it down. Without further ado, let us dive into the sensational world of CS:GO.
Where did it start?
It all started in 2000, with the first tournaments hosted by the Cyberathlete Professional League, little did they know how large of an industry it would become. Today, members of professional teams compete for a living, supported financially with sponsorships and tournament earnings. Players often practice for hours a day, some teams hosting their members within the same house to build comradery and prepare as a cohesive unit. While it might not be as physically draining as other pro sports, it takes significant focus and skill to make it in the big leagues.
Not only your rank has to be high in Counter-Strike
In order for a team to make it to one of the larger tournaments, there is a series of qualifiers that must be passed in order to make sure only the best are competing on stage in front of live fans and millions of online viewers. Pre-qualifiers are often held online, commonly played in a single-elimination bracket. While each Counter-Strike league and tournament can set it up differently, the next set of qualifiers are usually offline, with some teams coming in from the pre-qualifiers and others being specifically invited. The last round of qualifiers and finals usually all take place during the same event, which is a spectacle of its own.
What are the rewards?
During the end of the tournament, thousands of fans will come in to support their favorite teams, at locations across the globe. Some of these events are sponsored by Valve, the publishers of CS:GO, referred to as “Majors”, while others are managed by individual organizations. Any Major tournament has a minimum prize pool of $250,000, but dozens of tournaments have eclipsed that number since the first Major in 2013. Like any sport, there is a network of commentators, reporters, interviewers, and analysts that serve to make the experience memorable and keep things professional. Some of the larger finals have been broadcast on TV networks, with online audiences growing to sizes excess of sixty million people.