Aug 2 2016 - 2:54 pm

CSGO Lounge move towards licenses in wake of Valve cease and desist

In the latest twist in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling saga, the people behind CSGO Lounge have finally responded to the Valve cease and desist letter—but they won't be shutting it down
Callum Leslie
Weekend Editor, Dot Esports.

In the latest twist in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gambling saga, the people behind CSGO Lounge have finally responded to the Valve cease and desist letter—but they won't be shutting it down.

Instead, they will begin the process of acquiring gambling licenses in a number of countries, and will shut off betting in those areas until the process is completed, they announced on the site yesterday.

The countries affected include the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Spain, and Turkey.

CSGO Lounge was one of 23 gambling sites hit with a cease and desist letter by Counter-Strike developer Valve over use of Steam accounts for commercial purposes.

Users in those countries will still be able to withdraw skins that were on the site before this change took effect, but will be unable to bet until Lounge acquires a license for their country of residence. Representatives also said that they are working on new features for the site that will allow users to stay "engaged" while the process is ongoing.

In theory, this potentially means that Lounge could accept real money bets from some countries in the future alongside skin bets.

While this statement does show CSGO Lounge attempting to answer the questions of legality surrounding the skin betting market, it does not directly address Valve's accusation in the cease and desist letter. No statement was made on whether or not CSGO Lounge would stop using Steam accounts as part of its business.

If Valve is not satisfied by CSGO Lounge's statement, the ten-day deadline given in the cease and desist will expire in the coming days.

Lounge is a match betting site as opposed to the more common casino-style site. Many credit the attention it draws to all levels of professional Counter-Strike as a key reason for increased viewership in recent times. 

Today - 9:49 pm

IEM Katowice’s CS:GO tournament is going to be awesome

The final two invites went out today, and the tournament's guaranteed to be exciting.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

The final two teams to be invited to one of the year's biggest events have been announced.

FaZe Clan and Danish soccer club FC Copenhagen's esports venture, North, will be attending IEM Katowice's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive finals from Mar. 1-5, ESL announced today. The teams, which showed impressive form towards the end of 2016 at multiple international LAN events, will be competing against some of the best teams in the world.

The two teams are also the last to receive invitations to the event, as four teams will be added after a series of online qualifiers. In total, three more European teams will be attending IEM Katowice, as well as one North American team. With an already-stacked ensemble of teams ready to attend, such as Brazil's SK Gaming, Polish hometown heroes Virtus Pro, and Denmark's top team Astralis, the four teams that will be advancing through the online qualifiers will be making an already-competitive event all the more fierce.

In October 2016, the current North roster, which was signed to Dignitas at the time, took home the $500,000 EPICENTER event in Moscow. Aside from being one of the biggest events of the year, it had all the top teams in the world in attendance. Since then, however, North has struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon them, and have recently fallen short at nearly all events they have attended since.

The opposite can be said about FaZe, since the team picked up former Astralis in-game leader Finn "Karrigan" Andersen. Since Karrigan's arrival, FaZe have had their best results since the team's inception, and have looked stronger at each event they have attended.

Taking place roughly one month after the ELEAGUE Major, which begins on Jan. 22, IEM Katowice will likely be the debut tournament of several new rosters—so make sure to keep an eye on what could be one of the biggest CS:GO events of the year.

Jan 18 2017 - 10:32 pm

OpTic, Cloud9 join line-up for IEM Katowice

With only half of the CS:GO teams in place, the event is already looking stacked.
Sam Nordmark
Writer at @dotesports
Photo via Fragbite

Less than two weeks after the first Valve Major of the year, some of the strongest teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be making their way to Katowice for a shot at yet another impressive $250,000 prize pool.

North American elite squads OpTic Gaming and Cloud9 will be joining the previously invited teams at IEM Katowice from March 1-5, ESL announced today. The two North American teams will make an already-stacked event all the more competitive, as reigning Valve Major champions SK Gaming—alongside Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, and Virtus Pro—have already been invited to attend.

OpTic and Cloud9 shocked the world towards the end of 2016, each taking home one international LAN tournament each. Cloud9's performance was particularly impressive. Their victory at the ESL Pro League Season 4 finals last October was the first international LAN victory for the North American region in nearly 11 years.

While these teams alone make the event stacked, they are only half of the teams that will be competing at IEM Katowice, as 12 teams in total will be fighting for the title. Two more teams are still slated to be invited, while an additional three teams from Europe and one more North American team secure their participation at the event through online qualifiers.

CS:GO is off to a hot start in 2017, and with more skilled teams around than ever before IEM Katowice is looking to become one of the most anticipated events of the year.