A Big Week for Counter-Strike: ICYMI News Roundup – From Tournament Twists to CS2 Tease

Published: Sep 26, 2023

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:

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 Pro Tour 2024 Program
Image credits: ESL

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

ESL Pro Tour Championships 2024
Image credits: ESL

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:

EventDatesLocationPrize PoolTicket Sale
IEM Katowice 2024January 31 - February 11Spodek Arena, Katowice, Poland$1,000,00026 September, 3pm CEST
IEM Cologne 2024August 7 - 18LANXESS Arena, Cologne, Germany$1,000,00028 September, 3pm CEST

Changes in the Challenger League

In 2024 the ESL Challenger League will welcome two new divisions: 

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.

ESL Challenger League changes
Image credits: ESL

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 ShowdownAmericas Showdown
G2Liquid
OGEG
BIGComplexity
ENCEFuria
Cloud9Imperial
Movistar RidersTheMongolz
9INEForsaken
Victory ZigzagFake 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.

CS match lenght
Image credits: Leetify

The results shape up as follows:

 Average Rounds PlayedAverage Time SpentTime Variance
CS2 Premier20.434 minutes26 minutes
CS:GO Short Matches13.521 minutes10 minutes
CS:GO Long Matches24.940 minutes18 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:

  1. Apeks
  2. 9INE
  3. GamerLegion
  4. Monte
  5. MIBR
  6. BIG
  7. TBD
  8. TBD

More announcements are expected soon.

Bruno Sobieraj

Since: September 16, 2023

My name is Bruno and my love for Counter-Strike was sparked when the Polish Virtus.pro was plowing through opponents from 2014 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of working in esports and here I am.

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