ESL launches $250K ‘CS:GO’ tournament

The 15-year-old Counter-Strike scene will continue its resurgence this August with a $250,000 tournament in Cologne, Germany

Photo via ESL/Flickr

The 15-year-old Counter-Strike scene will continue its resurgence this August with a $250,000 tournament in Cologne, Germany. Run by the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the tournament comes on the heels of the group’s hugely successful event at IEM Katowice, which also featured a $250,000 prize pool.

Viewers spent about 3.5 million hours watching that tournament, according to ESL, with 6.2 million sessions recorded—an all time high for a Counter-Strike event.

The tournament will be held at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, which has been home to multiple esports events in recent years including the League Championship Series European playoffs and StarCraft 2’s World Championship Series. The tournament will include the top eight teams from ESL’s Katowice event and eight teams from regional qualifiers—six from Europe, one from North America and one from Oceania.

“Esports is a great place to be right now and with the community growing as it is, we’re happy to be given the opportunity to showcase the best in competitive gaming once again,” managing director of Pro Gaming at ESL, Ulrich Schulze, wrote in a statement to the Daily Dot.

The Counter Strike franchise has had a resurgence in major esports events this year. Not only have the number of tournaments increased, the viewership is also rising at an exponential rate. Last November, a record breaking 145,000 concurrent viewers tuned in to DreamHack Winter’s Counter Strike:Global Offensive tournament, featuring a $100,000 prize pool.

Some fans criticized the Cologne event on Reddit, as they felt Counter-Strike deserves a bigger prize pool.

In response, ESL’s programming director, Michal Blicharz, emphasized the importance of consistent tournaments for the professional Counter-Strike scene.

To those saying CSGO should have more than a $250K tournament: four $250K dollar tournaments are better than a million dollar one.

— Michal Blicharz (@mbCARMAC) June 19, 2014

Sponsors of teams will prefer consistent exposure. Teams will be more stable. There will be more content to watch.

— Michal Blicharz (@mbCARMAC) June 19, 2014

The invited teams are as follows:


– Ninjas in Pyjamas

– Team Dignitas

– TEAMGLOBAL (former LGB eSports)

– compLexity Gaming

– HellRaisers

– Team

– Fnatic