Players will have a chance at winning those bigger prize pools starting with MLG Columbus in just one month and continuing on for every Valve-sponsored major after that.
The company invests into four tournaments per year, offering an increased prize pool, along with in-game stickers that fans can purchase to support their favorite teams and weapon skin drops for watching the matches in-client. These tournaments are often held in higher regard by players, and the winning team can boast bragging rights—until the next one.
The breakdown of the prize pools will look like this:
- Winner $500,000
- Finalist $150,000
- Semi-Finalist $70,000
- Quarter Finalist $35,000
- Group Stage $8,750
Pressure from all facets of the Counter Strike community has mounted on Valve to increase the prize pool for some time. Games like League of Legends and Dota 2 have eclipsed Counter Strike in tournament winnings in recent history. Some fans pointed to the crowd funding-system Valve uses in Dota 2, which helps propel the winnings for that game’s biggest tournament, The International, to astronomical heights—last year’s tournament boasted $18 million in prizes. While Valve ultimately chose a different path for Counter-Strike, its new prize structure should make it one of the most lucrative esports for players.
Photo via Patrick Strack via ESL/Flickr (All rights reserved, used with permission)