Hot on the heels of its recent Operation Shattered Web update, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive looks to end the year with a packed December competitive schedule.
With tournaments scheduled to take place across three continents over the next few weeks, many esports professionals will be spending most of the festive season jetting from competition to competition. Understandably, some players aren’t thrilled at the prospect of taking part in up to seven tournaments in the space of three weeks – but with some incredible prize pools (not to mention serious bragging rights) up for grabs, fans are keen to get their fill of elite CS:GO action before 2019 draws to a close.
At the time of writing, the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals are well underway in Odense, Denmark, with the top 16 sides in the world fighting it out for a $750,000 prize pool in a best-of-three format. The winners of the tournament, which are scheduled to run through Sunday, will claim a massive $250,000, along with guaranteed qualification to the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020. The Finals look set to be the most competitive tournament to take place in December, with CSGO betting sites struggling to separate the likes of Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses.
If they’re not completely exhausted from their participation in the ESL Finals, Team Liquid, FaZe and Astralis will join NiP over in Bahrain on December 12 for the first-ever Blast Pro Series Global Final, with a prize pool of $250,000 on the line. If that doesn’t sound intense enough, Moscow, Russia will host the EPICENTER 2019 finals, with teams from CIS, Europe and China battling it out for a prize pool worth half-a-million dollars. That’s not to mention a host of other events set to take place, including the Dreamhack Open Sevilla 2019, cs_summit 5 and Champions Cup Finals, which comes to Malta on December 19.
Looking ahead to 2020, it looks like CS:GO’s esports scene will expand even further, with Brazil hotly tipped to host its first-ever Major in Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, the ESL has already got the ball rolling on a new circuit, the ESL Pro Tour, with teams earning ranking points in a cohesive series of tournaments throughout the year. There are also rumours of a new franchise model and potential new teams being in the works for over the next 12 months.
Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was first released in August 2012, and has since gone on to be one of the biggest esports titles in the world. CS:GO went fully free-to-play in December 2018; a move that opened up the title to millions of new players around the world. Estimates put the first-person shooter’s number of monthly players as high as 11 million.