Looking at the eSports or professional video gaming and the most popular titles, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive easily takes one of the top three places on that list. Counter Strike is one of the longest lasting video game franchises and with the introduction of its fourth installment called Global Offensive no one could have predicted that it will become such a popular game that players from all over the world would compete professionally in for huge amounts of money on a regular basis. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a game developed and released by Hidden Path Entertainment and Valve Corporation. The fourth installment, Global Offensive, was released in 2012 and since then it has become one of the most popular multiplayer first-person shooter games ever.
Counter-Strike franchise has been a part of the eSports industry even before the introduction of the fourth installment. Counter Strike was a popular eSports competition, but the real expansion happened when Global Offensive saw the light of day. Each year, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is seeing more and more people tuning in to watch the tournaments and more importantly, more and more players are becoming professionals, and that leads to more tournaments constantly being organized worldwide.
History Of The Game
As we have said before, Counter-Strike franchise has been part of the eSports industry even before the Global Offensive edition. Valve has been organizing Counter-Strike tournaments since 2000, but that year only a single tournament was held. However, as the years went by more and more tournaments were being organized and by 2010, 29 different tournaments were being held all over the world and at that point the prize pools had already swollen and hundreds of teams competed for the titles. In 2012, when Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released, and when that game became part of the eSports scene, 22 different tournaments were held but the amount of money for the prize pool, the number of players and the number of people who watch the tournaments was bigger than ever.
The biggest step forward for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as an eSport came in 2013 when DreamHack decided to organize the biggest CS:GO tournament up to that date, called DreamHack 2013 Winter Steel Series Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship. That tournament featured a prize pool of $250,000, and it became the first Major tournament that was played for this game. These CS:GO Major tournaments are organized in such a way that they feature teams organized in two groups. The first group is called Legends, and those are the eight teams who managed to finish in the top eight of the previous major tournament. Those eight teams would automatically be qualified for the next Major while others would have to play additional matches. The second group is called Challengers, and those are the teams who play in the offline qualifiers, and eight teams that finish in the top eight places in those qualifiers are given the status of Challengers. The main event sees the Legends and the Challengers meet up in one final tournament.
In 2015, one of the biggest media companies in the world, Turner, decided to organize their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive League, making their first step into the eSports industry. The league was branded ELEAGUE and it was the first time that some of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments was broadcasted on some of the TV networks. Over the years, Counter-Strike has become one of the most popular eSports competitions, and currently, there are several tournaments that are featuring a prize pool of several million dollars being held every year. Similarly to other eSports competitions, the prize pool is often increased through crowd funding or in-game purchases which significantly increases the amount of money featured as the prize pool. Tournaments such as ESL One: Krakowice or ELEAGUE Major have over the years become much more than just CS:GO tournaments. Winning at some of these events is considered to be very respectable, and these tournaments are where dreams come true and where some dreams get crushed for professional gamers.
Over the years, many different teams from all parts of the world have won the Major tournaments, but some of those teams have left bigger impressions than other, and we will be talking about those teams in the next part.
Greatest Teams & Individuals
As it could be expected many players and teams have been in the spotlight when it comes to CS:GO tournaments. However, there are several teams who have proved to be the best that these competitions have ever seen. One of those teams is surely team Fnatic and even thought the current roster of the team has been playing together from 2014, they have already managed to leave their mark in CS:GO tournaments like no other team before them. Fnatic might not have as amazing results as another team that will be mentioned soon, their game, teamwork, tactics, and approach to the game made Fnatic one of the best CS:GO team ever.
Between late 2012 and late 2014, CS:GO scene was dominated by a team called Ninjas in Pyjamas and together with Fnatic they are by far the two best teams in history that have appeared in CS:GO competitions. Winning titles at the 2012 DreamHack Valencia, 2012 THOR Open, 2013 and 2014 Copenhagen Games, and other tournaments, Ninjas in Pyjamas will go down in history as perhaps the best roster of a team that ever played CS:GO professionally. Besides them, many other teams have left a significant mark on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports competitions and among them are EnVyUs during 2014 and 2015, but this team has been struggling over the last couple of seasons. Besides them, Virtus.pro, Team SoloMid, Na’Vi and several others have also contributed to the popularity of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and esports in general.
However, teams are nothing without players, and over the years we have seen many players who displayed amazing game and ability to contribute to the team’s efforts. The discussion about the best CS:GO player in history is very brief because all agree that Christopher ‘Get_RiGhT’ Alesund is the best player that appeared in CS:GO competitions. Even from the first tournament in which he participated, it was clear that he will be one of the greatest. He started his career in 2007 when he played for Begrip, but in 2008 he moved to SK Gaming where he remained until 2009 when he moved Fnatic where he remained until 2011. In 2011, he once again joined SK Gaming but in 2012 he joined one of the best CS:GO teams ever, Ninjas in Pyjamas where he plays even today.
Besides him, there were many other players who are considered to be greatest of all times. One of those players is also Richard ‘shox’ Papillon who currently plays for the team from France, G2 Esports. Together with Kenny ‘kennyS’ Schrub, Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz, Kevin ‘Ex6TenZ’ Droolans, shox contributed to rise in popularity of this game in all parts of the world. Sometimes in the future, we will be looking upon these players and teams like the ones who made the crucial contribution to the esports in general and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in particular.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports competitions are on the rise even in 2017. With every single tournament, more and more teams are participating, the competition is tougher and more and more people are watching the competitions. In the last couple of years, together with Dota 2, League of Legends, and Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are the biggest eSports competitions that thousands and thousands of people are coming to watch while the tournaments are being held in some of the biggest cities all over the world.
See also in our CS:GO Blog: CS:GO Players Needn’t Fear Getting Too Old To Play