Counter-Strike Global Offensive is one of the most featured games in esports, and the reason for this is simple: its tournaments pay very well. Among the elite of esports, CS:GO is right now the only first-person shooter with prize pools competing with the likes of Fortnite, Dota2 and League of Legends. The game features so many high-level events on a constant basis that it is undeniably one of the biggest games of our generation. With the immense challenges that 2020 has put on the whole world mainly because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Valve and its partners have still found a way to bring these events to its players and its viewers.
Across the summer there were already some events which have re-ignited the spark of CS:GO pro gamers, but there are some massive ones preparing to headline the rest of the year. Which will be exciting news for gamers who like to place wagers on the eSport, since there have been slim pickings with events all over the world cancelled due to COVID 19. If you’re on the lookout for tips, there are many websites where you can find advice for free.
As for the current scene, there is already the ESL Pro League Season 12 underway, a massive clash of titans between the best of each region. Due to the coronavirus, the season had to be extended to include also South America, Oceania and Asia, as these latter three regions featured teams who could not participate in Season 11 despite being qualified for it. This is why these regions will have a direct 4-team double-elimination bracket, while Europe and America will proceed with a group stage into playoffs consisting of a double-elimination bracket to determine the winner.
The ESL Pro League is only the beginning, however, as BLAST Premier is only a month and a few days away as well. The Blast Premier is another CS:GO League, based primarily in Europe and America, playing regular-season throughout the year in both continents. Due to the global pandemic, there have been changes in this league as well, with the Americas and European regions playing out the regular season with a couple of weeks delay. The Finals tournament, planned for December, is still up in the air though, as the organisers are still keeping an eye on the ongoing situation and will only make a decision when they feel the time is right, which is only fair to everyone involved.
October will also host the IEM New York 2020 Online, which is the last available ticket for the ESL CS:GO Majors, with teams from the NA region, CIS and Europe battling it out for points and the chance to make CS:GO Major which is due in late November in Rio at the Jeunesse Arena, where 24 teams will battle it out for the very modest $2 Million prize pool. If that doesn’t make you want to play Counterstrike now, I don’t know what will!
Dreamhack Open will also be happening this October, with a European Fall regional presenting teams the perfect chance to train and win some cash. The tournament, whose open qualifiers are yet to happen to start on the 18th of September, will be split into a group stage, starting on the 15th of October and ending with playoffs in the successive week, meaning from the 19th until the 25th. The basic format of this tournament will feature 4 groups with 4 teams each.
First two from each group will make up the upper bracket of the playoffs, while 3rd place will be in the losers bracket. Fourth place is unfortunately elimination. Madrid will also be hosting its own Dreamhack later in the year, as December 11th marks the kick-off of the event which will feature the last stop of the ESL Pro Tour, with $100,000 up for grabs in the year’s last big tournament.
2020 has not been a year short of surprises and challenges, but with examples such as the counter-strike eSports events still going strong after months of confusion, one can only hope to regain normalcy in the remainder of the year. What is of utmost importance, for the time being, is being safe and keeping those around us safe, as health is our primary concern. Everything else comes secondary.