Counter Strike: Global Offensive, likely the most popular first-person shooter game, has seen a major boost in prize money for major tournaments.
Valve, the game’s creator, announced last month that it is raising the prize pool for major competitions from $250,000 to $1,000,000.
Prize cash wasn’t keeping pace with game’s popularity
The change came as a response to pressure from players, fans, and other people involved in the game. Counter Strike has seen a lot of success in the last couple of years and has been steadily increasing in popularity in line with other big titles like League of Legends and Dota 2.
Despite the growing success, the prize pools – compared to games of similar popularity – haven’t been rising in the same way. For example, Valve’s other signature game, Dota 2, with its major event The International 5, had $18 million in prize money last year.
Even though much of the prize money for this even came from a crowdfunding campaign where players were able to contribute to the prize pool’s growth by buying in-game goods that were only available before the event took place, The International still had a base prize pool of $1,600,000.
With $1 million in each tournament’s prize pool where the first place team takes home $500,000, it will surely be a great addition to the already successful presence in the competitive gaming environment.
Focus on the CS:GO community
One statement from the announcement makes it clear that Valve is committed to the CS:GO community:
“CS:GO tournaments are now among the largest eSports events in the world, drawing global audiences of millions of viewers, filling massive venues, and garnering higher prize pools. Professional CS:GO has grown, and the CS:GO Major Championships are about to grow with it.”
And with the game being the second-most watched on Twitch last year and second-most played on Steam, it is definitely something that should be of high interest to Valve.
The first event that will benefit from the boost will be MLG Columbus, which takes place from March 29 through April 3 in the MLG Arena & Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.