There’s no doubt that e-sports are starting to get very big, with many of the top tournaments now supporting prize pools in the range of millions of dollars. Valve currently holds the record for the highest-value e-sports tournament with a total of over $18 million US distributed among the winners of The International 5, last year’s Dota 2 world championship. Now it seems that Valve has turned some of that attention toward Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, as the company is promising to invest several million dollars into this year’s competitive scene.
The CS:GO Major Championship series of tournaments started in 2013 with each event’s prize pool capped at $250,000. Starting with the MLG Columbus 2016 tournament next month, those prizes have now been increased to $1,000,000 per tournament. The tournaments already had impressive twitch viewership ticket sales in previous years, and CS:GO is currently the second most played game on Steam with over 600,000 peak concurrent players each day. This investment in the competitive scene should go a long way toward re-establishing Counter-Strike in a competitive gaming scene that has been dwarfed by MOBAs in recent years.