Last week was a busy week for Counter-Strike. Here’s a round-up of all significant announcements, posts and news from the past seven days.
Mysterious CS2 “Wednesday” Post
On September 20, the official Counter-Strike X account published a post asking: “What are you doing next Wednesday?”.
The CS community quickly began speculating what might happen on Wednesday, September 27 with ESL (@ESLCS) putting out a tweet sharing their theories on the possible future.
The community has identified four possibilities:
- CS2 full release
- Danger Zone added to CS2
- First Operation for CS2
- Big Patch for CS2
In addition, some of the talent working on ESL Pro League S18 held a humorous conspiracy theory meeting to discuss their views on the matter.
ESL Pro League S18 Playoffs are upon us
The competition has been halved, as the ESL Pro League Season 18 play-offs are set to begin today, with 16 teams still in with a chance to take home both the trophy and the $200,000 main prize.
Despite the tournaments’ forgiving format, some of the best CS:GO teams failed to progress to the next stage of the competition. The most notable omissions include Heroic, Cloud9, and GamerLegion.
With six days of competition left and 15 matches yet to be played, the ESL Pro Leagues playoff bracket provides players with an excellent CS:GO betting opportunity.
2024 ESL Pro Tour Announced
ESL have revealed their 2024 event calendar, including two EPT Championships and five EPT Masters events. It has also been stated that some event locations will be announced at a later date.
In 2024, the ESL Pro League format has been shortened, so that the whole event takes three weeks to conclude, instead of the previous five weeks it took to finish the CS:GO tournaments.
ESL Pro Tour Championships return
The two most prestigious annual Counter-Strike tournaments will be back in 2024, with IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne continuing to uphold their flagship event status.
Here’s what you should know about both these tournaments:
|Event||Dates||Location||Prize Pool||Ticket Sale|
|IEM Katowice 2024||January 31 - February 11||Spodek Arena, Katowice, Poland||$1,000,000||26 September, 3pm CEST|
|IEM Cologne 2024||August 7 - 18||LANXESS Arena, Cologne, Germany||$1,000,000||28 September, 3pm CEST|
Changes in the Challenger League
In 2024 the ESL Challenger League will welcome two new divisions:
- South America
- Australia & New Zealand
The winner of each division will be granted an automatic EPL spot.
On top of that, ESL has reduced the number of Challenger League seasons from four to two online seasons per year.
BLAST Fall Showdown: Teams and Schedule
The full line-up and schedule of the upcoming Blast Fall Showdown has been revealed. The event will take place online, from October 4-8, 2023.
Here are the participating teams, in their respective brackets:
|European Showdown||Americas Showdown|
|Victory Zigzag||Fake Natty|
Joel provisionally banned by ESIC
The up-and-coming Swedish rifler has been suspended by ESIC “in light of evidence available corroborating allegations of his multiple breaches of the ESIC Anti-Corruption Code”, including illicit betting activities.
Now the former Godsent player will not be able to play in BLAST Fall Showdown with his most recent team Victory Zigzag, with which he qualified for the event by winning the Pelaajat Nordic Masters.
As a result, Victory Zigzag will be forced to use their coach, Ivan “Hardwell” Alekseev, as a stand-in for Joel during BLAST Fall Showdown.
CS2 Matches Shorter than CS:GO
Leetify have compiled data from 3 million Counter-Strike games in order to compare and determine how much time different types of matches last.
The results shape up as follows:
|Average Rounds Played||Average Time Spent||Time Variance|
|CS2 Premier||20.4||34 minutes||26 minutes|
|CS:GO Short Matches||13.5||21 minutes||10 minutes|
|CS:GO Long Matches||24.9||40 minutes||18 minutes|
Hussar Cup Update
The organisers of the Hussar Cup have shared new details about the upcoming event in their latest Twitter post. The prize pool has been adjusted from $1,000,000 to $600,000.
Moreover, the location has also been changed from Chorzów, Poland to Poznań, Poland.
The teams invited to the event are:
More announcements are expected soon.