After the huge popularity that Counter-Strike gained, as well as the massive expansion of the esports scene, both gaming teams and fans became thirsty for any activity that quenches their enthusiasm and keeps them engaged in the game. As a result, fans are getting the long-awaited sequel they’ve always wanted this year with the emergence of CS2. With official news of CS2 introducing new weapons and maps, the betting options are expected to expand even further.
Although the competitive scene for CS2 hasn’t officially started, it already appears to be shaping up to be an exciting one. Enthusiastic players and bettors are looking for the biggest Counter-Strike 2 tournaments to bet on, and online platforms have already begun preparing for the anticipated surge in interest. These platforms have prepared to offer various betting options, including live betting and support for various cryptocurrencies.
For now, the best plan to prepare for the CS2 betting scene is to take a closer look at the biggest CS:GO tournaments worldwide. Therefore, in this article, we compiled a list of the top 5 Counter-Strike tournaments within the last few years.
IEM Katowice Major 2019
Also known as the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII – World Championship, this major took place in 2019 in Katowice, Poland, from the 13th of February to the 3rd of March. Twenty-four teams from all around the world gathered to compete for a USD 1 million prize pool in a tournament composed of three stages: New Challengers Stage, New Legends Stage, and New Champions Stage.
In the first stage, teams competed in multiple matches, and the first teams to secure three victories advanced to the second stage, while those who lost three matches were eliminated. The next stage, the New Legends Stage, featured only 16 teams – 8 from the previous stage and eight from the legendary teams of FACEIT Major 2018 – again using the Swiss system, where teams aimed to score three victories.
The last stage qualified the two best teams of the eight that made it to the finals, with ENCE being a contestant against Astralis. Astralis achieved 2-0 victories and claimed the title.
ESL One Cologne 2019
This tournament was held in Cologne, Germany, and extended from the 2nd to the 7th of May. Besides the two majors, this tournament is the only event that sold out all seats in the LANXESS arena. It welcomed 16 teams to compete for a $300,000 prize pool, which was won after completing two stages: Group Stage and Playoffs.
In the first stage, the 16 teams were divided into four groups competing to be classified into the upper or lower brackets; the game kept eliminating groups until the two best teams from each group made it to the last stage, Playoffs.
In the Playoffs, three teams competed, and the team with the best of three victories qualified; it continued until only two teams remained, Team Liquid and Vitality. Team Liquid secured victory in the Grand Final with a 3-1 score against Vitality.
PGL Major Stockholm 2021
This lengthy tournament took place in Stockholm, extending from October 26th to November 7th at Annexet Arena. The tournament was divided into three stages: New Challengers Stage, New Legends Stage, and New Champions Stage.
In the first stage, 16 teams competed; the top 8 made it to the next stage through elimination and advancement matches. The next stage followed a single-elimination bracket and qualified NAVI and G2 Esports for the Grand Final, where I’m NAVI triumphed with a 2-0 score, winning one million dollars.
IEM Katowice 2022
This tournament is the longest of all events on the list, lasting twelve days, from the 15th to the 27th of February. Twenty-four teams competed for a $1 million prize pool in a three-stage format that started with the play-in stage, where 16 teams played in a double-elimination bracket, and eight teams qualified for the next stage, the Main Event. The eight teams were divided into two equal groups; G2 and FaZe Clan made it to the playoffs with a very hectic match that FaZe concluded with a 3-0 result.
IEM Dallas 2022
Sixteen teams from around the world gathered in the United States at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas for a $250,000 prize pool, the most modest on the list. This tournament extended from May 30th to June 5th and was divided into the Group Stage and the Playoffs.
In the Group Stage, two groups of eight competed in a Bo3 format, with the top three teams proceeding to the playoffs. In the playoffs, Cloud9 and ENCE faced off in a single-elimination bracket, with Cloud9 defeating ENCE by a score of 3-0.
Tournaments have always been the best way to engage gamers and their fans and increase a game’s global recognition. Those mentioned above have had a great impact on the competitive esports scene. However, this isn’t the end, as professional gaming continues to be a viable option for the future, and many upcoming tournaments are scheduled in the upcoming years.