1999 was the year that it all began. You have to wonder if Minh Le and Jess Cliffe had any idea of just how big the FPS game would become when they were creating it. The global phenomenon was originally intended to be a mod for the Valve Corporation classic, Half-Life, but as we all know, it became much, much more. Now there are massive CS: GO events around the world and even Las Vegas have caught on to the fact that CS is a juggernaut that has created a worldwide micro-economy.
Counter-Strike is a first-person shooter with two teams: the terrorists and counter-terrorists. The teams are pitted against each other with the terrorists attempting to execute acts of terror such as take hostages and commit bombings. The job of the counter-terrorism team is to thwart these attempts either by rescuing the hostages, disarming all of the bombs, or killing all of the members on the terrorist team.
2004 saw the next iteration in the Counter-Strike series when Turtle Rock Studios released Counter-Strike: Condition Zero. The new and improved version stayed with its original roots, using the GoldSrc engine written in C and C++. That said, the updates to characters, visual textures, graphics modifications, and maps were substantial giving CS fans an exciting new playing experience.
2004 also saw the release of Counter-Strike: Source. CS: Source was a remake of the original Counter-Strike, but it derived its name from Valve Corporation’s brand new game engine, ‘Source.’ Written entirely in C++ the new 3D game engine was essentially the successor to the GoldSrc engine. The new game engine was so cutting-edge that it was nominated for the VGX Breakthrough Technology Award.
To much anticipation, CS: GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) was finally released in 2012. The matchmaking support is what really revolutionized CS: GO. Players are able to do battle on dedicated Valve servers and even host their own servers for highly customized games. With the added realism and matchmaking, CS: GO quickly gained a global popularity to a wide extent that is rarely seen.
Major CS: GO events now sell out entire arenas and convention centers around the world with prize pools that surpass the million dollar mark.
FACEIT Major 2018 was the latest Major event. It was held in London between September 12th and 23rd with Denmark’s, Team Astralis winning the event and taking home $500,000.00. Ukraine’s Natus Vincere took second and raked in $150,000.00 while USA’s Liquid and Brazil’s MIBR took 3rd and 4th, earning $70,000.00 each. Teams, FaZe, complexity, BIG, and HellRaisers took 5th through 8th, and each pulled down $35,000.00. Most betting sites offer odds on this tournaments, make sure to check their reviews.
The next Major event will be the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major in Poland. This will be the first Major of 2019 with 24 teams and a prize pool of $1,000,000.00. However, there are highly competitive professional CS: GO matches around the world almost daily.
Here are few of the top leagues to look out for:
Alienware Liga Pro
ESL Pro League
On October 31st, Gorilla Gang will do battle against Vireo Pro in the ESEA North America. Gorrila Gang is the -200 favorite to win the match, while Vireo Pro comes in as slight underdogs at +138 or roughly 1.38 to 1. You can catch the match live on the ESEA’s twitch channel. There is also a ton of ESL Pro League S8 action coming up through the entire month of October.