Many people worldwide, from children to adults, associate the Counter-Strike series with the classic first-person shooter game. It involves two teams of five players, each fighting on different maps. Today, the latest version of Counter-Strike or we say CSGO Esports, called Global Offensive, brings together millions of players online. Before the pandemic began, CS: GO gathered entire stadiums of fans. People flocked to watch the great esports tournament, where the world’s best players battle it out by the millions in a series of awards and championship titles. The last major competition was the 2019 Berlin Major, held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena with more than 15,000 fans and a prize pool of $ 1,000,000. Today CS-GO Esports is a major and leading player in esports worldwide. But it was not always like this.
How CS-GO Esports Become Proffesional Esports Games From Simple Video Game?
The first version of CSGO Esports was released in 1999 as Half-Life Revision by Minh Le and Jess Cliff. Valve realized there was a lot of interest in Counter-Strike and released it as a full game in November 2000. As we know, Valve did something similar with another popular game called Dota 2. But this bigger story deserves a separate article. The launch of Counter-Strike marked a new direction in esports development that would change things for decades.
The first CSGO Esports International tournament, Babbage’s Cyberathlete Professional League event, took place in Dallas in December 2000, a month after the game was released. Thirty-two teams fought for $ 15,000 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas Hotel. The champion of the first CSGO Esports tournament was the Swedish team iBallers. CPL renamed this series of competitions CPL Summer and held them from 2000 to 2007.
Over the years, many players have been able to try CSGO Esports and team up for new competitions. In December 2001, two important events took place. The event, organized by Samsung, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Information and Communications, was held in Seoul, the Korean capital. WCG is similar to the Olympics, with hundreds of athletes from different esports disciplines worldwide. Esports is an important direction with great business potential as a real sports discipline (such as soccer, baseball, etc.). The total prize pool for WCG 2001 was $ 245,000, and the Counter-Strike share was $ 70,000. The main award was won by the Canadian team LND.
Talking More About The Golden Era of Counter-Strike 1.6:-
In September 2003, Valve released a new patch, 1.6. Counter-Strike 1.6 or we say CSGO Esports 1.6 transformed a shooting game and made it one of the most popular games of all time. But here we are talking about esports, so let’s get back to that. SK Gaming demonstrated even greater skill than the NIP in 2001 when it won five of the eight tournaments.
At the time, there were three major tournament operators on the platform:
With World Esports Masters (WEG), he set the direction for the development of esports for the next few years. CSGO Esports was raised to a new e-sports level in 2007 with Intel Extreme Masters. Intel decided to create and sponsor a full network of tournaments for the next several years. There are several smaller tournaments in each of the IEM world regions. Each little competition allows the winners to qualify for major world championships. The ESL (IEM organizers) created a qualification system with tournaments in America, Asia and Europe. Valve and other tournament operators today use the same system, but with six regions: North America, Europe, CIS, South America, Asia and Oceania.
The Champions Gaming Series chose another path. Valve, in the year 2004, released a new version of Counter-Strike: Source. Valve developed two different versions of Counter-Strike at the same time, separately. CSGO Esports was owned by DirecTV and British Sky Broadcasting and chose a concept similar to a sports league, as it was a draft and teams were assigned to cities. The series was broadcast live on DirecTV’s channel, The 101. From 2007 to 2008, CGS held several minor and two major tournaments with a jackpot of $ 477,500 each. Unfortunately, CS: Source lost popularity, and tournaments ended there.
Things were much better in the main version of the game CS: 1.6. As of 2010, hundreds of teams from around the world were on stage, and the jackpots in many tournaments ranged from $ 10,000 to $ 100,000.
There were several major Counter-Strike tournament series in 2010:
- Intel Extreme Masters (IEM)
- Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC)
- dream trick
- World Cyber Games (WCG)
- We live
That was a golden moment for Counter-Strike 1.6’s esports direction. This was the peak of popularity at the time. At least that’s what many thought, but Valve was already building a new nuclear bomb.
Today, the phase of CS: GO Esports is hosted by major tournament operators (ESL, DreamHack, StarLadder) and is led by Valve. But every year, some new events bring something new to the industry; RFRSH’s Blast is a good example. Large esports clubs such as NiP, SK Gaming, Na’Vi, and Fnatic have training facilities, service personnel, and outlets. CS: GO is a huge industry today with billions of dollars, significant commercial potential, streaming studios, and millions of fans. But we wouldn’t have it all if Counter-Strike hadn’t come out in 1999 as a mod for Half-Life.