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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, usually referred to as CS:GO, is a multiplayer first-person shooter title, published by Valve. First released in August 2012, the game requires players to assume the role of one of two teams; the terrorists or the counter-terrorists. Each side is presented with a number of objectives that they must carry out in order to win the game.

CS:GO, the fourth release in the Counter-Strike franchise, initially failed to live up to the hype surrounding its release, with many fans returning to predecessors Counter-Strike 1.6 or Counter-Strike: Source. However, following more than 60 updates to the game, including new maps and major alterations in gameplay, fans soon came flooding back. In fact, so popular were the CS:GO updates, the game is a regular contender at the prestigious eSports Industry Awards for the title of "eSports Game of the Year" despite its age.


CS:GO events run throughout the year, with the ESL Pro League offering regular fixtures for teams from North America and Europe. Other tournaments fall into one of two categories: Majors, which are official competitions held every few months by the game's co-producers, Valve, and third-party events that can be held outside the jurisdiction of the company.

Majors offer sizeable rewards, which are crowdfunded by the CS:GO community via in-game purchases, often in the form of keys and personalised add-ons. The first official CS:GO eLeague was established in 2015, with the event's broadcasting rights being snapped up a year later by US network TBS.

The ELEAGUE, which also organises tournaments for games such as Dota 2, has since developed even further, with a number of regular participants establishing a trade union; this was formed to ensure demands for future tournaments were met. One of these demands stated that trade union members would not take part in any competition offering less than $75,000 in prize money. Following this action, Valve hosted the game's first $1 million tournament in March 2016 at the MLG Major Championship in Columbus, Ohio, and now continually hosts tournaments called 'The Majors' all across the world.

Games in the Counter Strike series have proved very popular in Europe, particularly in Sweden and Denmark where a number of the best teams are based, including Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Success can also prove quite lucrative, with many of the top players racking up over $400,000 in career earnings.