VALVE UPS THE E-SPORTS ANTE
Counter Strike: Global Offensive competitions to benefit from million-dollar prize pools.
E-Sports sponsor and game developer of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Valve Inc., has announced that it is investing more money into e-Sports: beginning with MLG Columbus 2016, each CS:GO Major Championship prize pool will carry a four-fold increase in prize pools to a million dollars.
"When we announced the first CS:GO Major Championship in 2013, we hoped the Majors would be rallying points for the community, tent-pole events that could draw new audiences and amplify the value of all events," Valve said on the Counter-Strike blog.
"Since then, the professional CS:GO community has been growing at an incredible rate. 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."
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is usually the second most-played game on Steam, behind only Dota 2. 10.3 million people played the competitive first-person shooter last month, and fields of up to 286,000 regularly play simultaneously on the game even during weekdays.
CS:GO is also the second most-watched game on Twitch, trailing only League of Legends.
Valve has been making increasingly large investments in the eSports communities that surround its games. Last year, the company both seeded and sustained an $18 million prize pool for its official Dota 2 tournament, The International, awarding $6.6 million for the winning team, Evil Geniuses.
Since release, Valve has continued updating CS:GO with new maps, weapons, and other features, as well as bug fixes and balance changes.