CSGO in eSports: history of major events and tournaments

After its release in 1999, Counter-Strike has been one of the most popular online games in the world. More than 20 years, Karl! While new eSports disciplines such as Rainbow Six, Overwatch and VALORANT are attracting some cs players away from the game, in 2020-year CSGO still remains a mainstream. What is Counter Strike? When did CSGO become an eSport? What are the biggest CS:GO tournaments? BuffHub proposes you an in-depth look into CS:GO history.

What is Counter Strike?

Counter-Strike or simply CS is a series of multiplayer FPS video games which was first released in 1999 for Windows. Initially it was just a ‘mod’ for Half-Life, designed by individual video games fans Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe. The mode was so popular that Valve decided to acquire the rights on the mode and turn it into a self-sustained game.

The original Counter Strike was released in March 2004 by Turtle Rock Studios under a name: Counter Strike: Condition Zero. Eight month later, Valve created Counter Strike: Source on its Source engine. Finally, the 4th game in the series, Counter Strike: Global Offensive was released in 2012. Hidden Path Entertainment helped Valve to release this multiplayer FPS video game. 

When did CSGO become an esport?

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After Counter Strike: Global Offensive official release in 2012, Valve started to turn the game into an eSports discipline. Since that time the tournaments are only growing in terms of prize pools and viewers. In 2019, CS:GO was enjoying an audience of thousands spectators offline and millions of viewers online on Twitch and YouTube. Some say, that without Twitch CS:GO would not reach such greatness as it has nowadays. The Major tournaments are viewed by millions of people at the same time on Twitch platform. This has allowed tournament organizers to set giant prize pools, up to $1 mil on ‘Major’ tier events. The players who often won big tournaments became eSports superstars with millions of followers in personal social media like Instagram or Twitter.

With highly growing audience, CS:GO is a fertile soil for some huge investments in the future. Counter Strike: Global Offensive as an eSports discipline is popular in major spots of the world like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, etc. Therefore, CS:GO is expected to appear on some major TV channels or streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon in years to come.

CS:GO major events and tournaments


According to Liquipedia, it is the largest computer festivals, which main event is CSGO tournament. It is usually held twice per year in Jönköping, Sweden.

DreamHack began as a small gathering of schoolmates in a school basement in the early ‘90s. It was soon recognized by the school and turned into one of the largest regional computer parties. In 1997, the event was held at Arena Kupolen in Borlänge which happened to be the biggest LAN festival in Sweden. Since 2001 till nowadays, the main DreamHack festival is taking place in Jönköping. In 2002, DreamHack was divided into two seasons – Winter and Summer.

In 2011, there was a major company reform. DreamHack started to concentrate more on eSports. They signed a partnership with Major League Gaming and Electronic Sports League to become a dominant eSport tournaments organizer in Europe and North America. Since that time, DreamHack is organizing major and minor eSports events all around the world. The biggest of them are Counter Strike: Global Offensive Majors and DreamHack Summer and DreamHack Winter.

Check out CSGO events calendar not to miss the next DreamHack event.  


Russian company Epic Esports Events organizes CS:GO and Dota 2 Major events under a name EPICENTER. Counter Strike: Global Offensive major is usually held in Moscow in late-autumn – early-winter. The event that is taking place in different Moscow Venues has around $500K prize pool. Epic Esports Event has been organizing the event in Moscow since 2016. The main EPICENTER partners are Parimatch, Citilink, Intel and Asus ROG.

BLAST Pro Series

The chain of CSGO events, talking place at different locations was created by the Danish eSports organization RFRSH Entertainment in 2017. However, in early 2020, BLAST Pro Series was restructured into BLAST Premier.

BLAST Premier Series mainly operates in North America and Europe. It has two seasons, the Spring and Fall (Autumn) season. Each one continues for around 4 month and end up with a fascinating season finale. The final winner is automatically invited to the Grand Final at the end of the year. The Global Final 2020 should have an incredible $1.5 mil prize pool.

ESL Pro League

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ESL Pro League was created in April 2015, after the merging of ESL and ESEA. The newly created league was meant to have $1 mil prize pool for the first two seasons in 2015. ESL Pro League is a part of Valve’s Major tournament system. For the start, the league concentrated only on NA and EU regions. However, Asia, Oceania and South America regions were tuned in later.

Nowadays, ESL Pro League is one of the biggest CSGO competitions with matches running almost every week. With such sponsors as Intel, msi and U.S. AIR FORCE, the league has great opportunities to organize world-class competitions in both online and offline formats.

CS GO World Championship

It is annual tournament, organized by ESL and the main sponsor – Intel. The traditional event location is Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland. The tournament has $500K prize pool with 16 best teams in competition for the CS GO Championship title. By participating in World Champ, the teams earn points to both ESL Pro Tour and BLAST Premier rankings. The points are spread according to final position, up to 1670 Pro Tour points and 3000 BLAST Premier points for the winner.

Follow BuffHub CS:GO to read all the latest Counter Strike Global Offensive news, previews, overviews and match predictions.

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