Counter-Strike is one of the longest-running esports titles featured in CSGO Majors with more than 15 years of gaming history. 2012 was the start of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in the competitive scene across the world, in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe.
What are CSGO Major Championships?
CSGO majors are championships held twice or three times a year, sponsored by Valve, the game developers of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The hype that surrounds these prestigious competitions builds up as the event draws closer offering total prize pools that reach $1 million.
CSGO Majors usually take place over the span of three weeks however other CS tournaments last about a week. Twenty-four top teams get to play their best game plays at CS Majors and show the world their capabilities as they go through the three stages in the competition.
Closing in the final match, one team will be deemed the winner achieving the title as the world’s best CSGO team, a trophy and the highest cash prize.
For professional teams to qualify in the main event, they would have had to place in the top eight ranks in the previous major competition. Alternatively, fight their way through the regional Minor gaming matches to secure their spot in a major.
The Minor qualifiers introduced by Valve in 2016 helped to change the qualifying process. The system gave more space for regional teams and others that usually do not participate to gain more competitive experience in an offline environment. Add to this was an opportunity for many squads to improve and enhance their skills in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Minor matches take place across four regions offering a prize pool amounting to $50K. The CIS and Asia have one qualifying team each, whereas Europe and America have two squads that qualify to earn their spot in the CSGO Championship.
The winning teams from the regional qualifiers get to compete in the New Challenger Stage with the Counter-Strike teams that ranged from the 9th till 14th in standings of the previous major tournament. The best eight teams will progress on to play against the top world CSGO teams in the New Legends Stage.
The crème de la crème of CS units will be revealed to play on the Playoffs stage or better known as the New Champions Stage. Eight squads will battle it out, but only one team will take the title of the world’s best CSGO team and the first prize of $500K.
The upcoming CSGO Major will be the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2019 taking place in February 2019. Known as one of the most significant annual Counter-Strike events that is held in Katowice Poland, where the top Counter-Strike teams battle it out on the world stage for a prize pool of $1 million.
Upcoming CSGO Majors You Should Follow in 2019
CSGO Major Winning Teams
The Fnatic team is the record holder of winning three CSGO major titles so far. These include:
- DreamHack Winter 2013, Fnatic vs Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-1
- ESL One Katowice 2015, FNC vs NiP 2-1
- ESL One Cologne 2015, Fnatic vs Team EnvyUs 2-0
The CS team have not won many tournaments over the years, however they do have the potential to surprise. At the IEM Katowice 2018, Fnatic managed to fight through to the playoffs, beating the likes of Team Liquid in the Semifinals. Reaching the Grand Finals, FNC outperformed Faze Clan with an incredible score of 3-2, better yet taking home the cash prize of $250K.
The second record holders are none other than Astralis, a team that has had quite a great CS performance over the past year. The Danish CSGO team have won tournaments such as:
- FACEIT Major: London 2018, Astralis vs Navi 2-0
- CSGO Eleague Major: Atlanta 2017, Astralis vs Virtus.Pro 2-1
The Danes have dominated in most tournaments through 2018, however will Astralis break more records in this Counter-Strike season? You have yet to find out…
The American team, Cloud 9 won their most significant achievement in the CSGO Eleague Major in Boston 2018. They managed to dominate the playoffs outplaying G2 esports in Quarterfinals and SK Gaming in the Semifinals. Reaching the finals was a first for Cloud 9 in a long time surprising the gaming community, on top of this beating a top team like Faze Clan to win an incredible score of 2-1, to take home the grand prize.
Another CS squad, Gambit Gaming impressed their gaming fans around the world winning the PGL Major Krakow 2017. They fought their way through the group stage outperforming Mousesports, G2 Esports and Virtus. Pro, sealing their spot in the playoffs.
In the quarterfinals, Gambit beat Fnatic with an unbeatable score of 2-0. However, a memorable accomplishment for the team was in the semifinals outplaying Astralis 2-1. Progressing to the Grand Finals, Gambit dominated over Immortals with an incredible record of 2-1. The PGL Major event was the most significant accomplishment yet for the CS squad taking home the highest prize of $800K.
A Counter-Strike team worth noting is Natus Vincere, a top runner team that finished in second place in the finals of three Major tournaments. These are:
- FACEIT Major: London 2018
- MLG Major Championship Colombus 2016
- DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015
Natus Vincere consists of team players that are born to win esports games like Counter-Strike. Navi may not have won first place, however they are not to be underestimated as the CS unit show potential to place among the top teams in the world.