CS:GO has one of the most successful professional circuits in all of esports. This game is played by more than 20 million people and features dozens of important tournaments each year, whose prize pools range from $100.000 to a few million dollars. And the most important of them are the Majors.
If you want to bet on CSGO, these competitions offer the best opportunities of the year. There are only two of them each season but they last for 2-3 weeks and feature lots of hyped matches. Naturally, bookmakers focus on these events more intensely and provide numerous betting markets for each match.
The Biggest Tournament Organizers in CS:GO
The biggest companies that organize CS:GO events are ESL, PGL, BLAST, and Perfect World. In the last several years, ESL and PGL claimed all of the CS:GO Majors for themselves and did a decent job each time. But in 2023, Perfect World and BLAST will start to compete with them more seriously for the privilege of hosting a Major.
Valve invited all the big tournament organizers earlier this year to submit proposals. And more recently, BLAST’s proposal was accepted. The company will host the first CS:GO Major of 2023 in Paris, between May 8 – 23. The event will have an excellent prize pool of $1.25 million and will feature the best 24 teams in the world.
Starting with the IEM Rio Major, which is scheduled to take place in November, the qualification process for Majors has changed significantly. Now, every single participant must go through qualifiers. And in many cases, not just through regional qualifiers, but open qualifiers too.
BLAST will no doubt follow this rule. And even if it wasn’t the new standard practice, they would probably still do it because they love qualification events. After all, their entire BLAST Premier product is a series of qualification tournaments that culminate in the BLAST Premier: World Final, a $1 million tournament that features only the top 8 teams in their circuit.
BLAST had announced their intention to host a Major a while ago, but were not sure whether they could do it or not. But after Valve’s invitation to all TOs to submit applications, they finally decided to do it. And there was no reason to refuse, since their events are already quite epic.
The only thing that’s in question when it comes to BLAST’s ability to deliver on its commitment is the company’s lack of experience in organizing an extended high-level tournament that involves a large number of teams.
BLAST is really good at putting together events that last 3-5 days and involve 8-12 teams. But Majors last for more than two weeks and involve 24 teams. So how will the company deal with the need to dramatically scale up their process?
They will obviously need more employees for the job and they won’t have as much control over every aspect of the process as they usually do. For a company like ESL or even PGL, the CS:GO Major format is not something they’re not accustomed to.
But for BLAST, it’s like going from driving a car to driving a plane. And some people in the community are worried that they might mess up. They wouldn’t be the first company that ruins a great CS:GO event.
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The 2nd Major of 2023
Right now, we don’t yet know which company will host the second Major of 2023, which will likely take place in October or November. But we do know that among the serious candidates, ESL is by far the biggest.
This company was recently bought for $1 billion, which is an enormous amount in esports. Very few companies are worth that much and arguably, the investors paid a premium to get full control of the biggest tournament organizer in CS:GO and, frankly, one of the biggest in esports.
Whether or not ESL will host the second Major of the year remains to be seen. Valve will have a big decision and it will probably not announce it until early next year.
The BLAST Paris Major
The BLAST Paris Major will be the biggest CS:GO event ever held in France. This is a country with a rich gaming history and that history includes CS:GO as well. Some esports players from France, such as Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri, became famous in games like StarCraft 2 and represented Europe at top-level events. Others did the same in other titles.
In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Europe is by far the strongest region and France has some of the best teams. Right now, Team Vitality are ranked as the number one team in the game on HLTV, which should make French fans proud.
BLAST Paris Major will be played in the typical format used for all CS:GO Majors and will have three stages.
The Challengers Stage
This is where the Contenders and the Challengers will meet to determine the best eight teams that will join the Legends in the second stage of the competition. The battle is usually tough for most competitors and lasts for 4-5 days.
The format used is the Swiss System, which means that the teams will play a minimum of 3 matches and a maximum of 5. Their run ends when they’ve accumulated 3 victories or 3 defeats.
The Legends Stage
In the Legends Stage, the 8 survivors of the Challengers Stage encounter the 8 teams that were among the best in every region in the qualifications for the tournament. These teams receive the Legend status and start the Major only in the second stage. The format here is the same as in stage 1: Swiss System.
The Champions Stage
Only the best of the best reach this phase of the competition and the rewards they get are significantly higher than those that are offered to the remaining participants. The winner gets $500.000, which is not bad at all.