CS:GO Major History
Summaries of All 15 CS:GO Major Tournaments
The inaugural Major tournament for Counter-Strike Global Offensive took place in Jönköping, Sweden and boasted a total prize of $250,000. Gathering 16 of the world’s most prominent and worthy squads, legendary names such as VeryGames, SK Gaming, Astana Dragon and Fnatic attended to unveil who would become the first world champions of the CS:GO landscape. The Grand Finalists both befittingly hailing from Sweden, Ninjas & Pyjamas gleamed as the favourites and the most devastating team in competition. Clashing with Fnatic, NiP lost to their Swedish counterparts in the first Major upset of all time 1:2 [14:16, 16:6 & 2:16].
ESL One Katowice
Poland developed their first superstars at the Spodek Arena in Katowice where The Plow also known as Virtus Pro reigned victorious in front of an erupting home crowd. The European region appeared superior as all four Semi Finalists boasted European line ups; Ninjas In Pyjamas, Team Dignitas, LGB eSports and Virtus Pro. NiP once more were expected to find their first Major trophy however were denied by The Plow lead by the godfather of Polish CS:GO “TaZ”. Sweeping Frenchmen LDLC.com in the Quarter Finals then decimating LGB eSports 2:1 in the Semi Finals, The Plow went on to cause havoc for the tournament favourites ending NiP in relatively dominant fashion 2:0 [16:9 & 16:10].
ESL One Cologne
The Genesis of ESL One Cologne began in 2014 and founded one of the uttermost ultimate experiences CS:GO has to offer. Now renowned around the world as the Cathedral of Counter-Strike, Ninjas In Pyjamas finally claimed their first Major tournament trophy in what was an emotional journey for that of the Swedish side and especially GeT_RiGhT. Defeating all their opposition with 2:1 scorelines, NiP shredded through Cloud9 in the Quarter Finals, Team LDLC.com in the Semi Finals where they successfully bested their Swedesh nemesis Fnatic in a narrow series 16:11, 8:16 & 16:13. In the Cologne Exhibition Centre within the country of Germany, NiP earned themselves the lionshare of $250,000 and their first and only Major victory to date.
DreamHack Winter 2014 was the third Major tournament of the year and also the second Major to be held in Sweden and specifically Jönköping. Bragging a total prize pool of $250,000 DreamHack Winter 2014 houses 16 total teams with three former Major championship teams in attendance; Ninjas In Pyjamas, Fnatic & Virtus Pro. Although the three heavy hitters were present, emerging powerhouses such as Natus Vincere, Team LDLC.com and HellRaisers proved their worth all reaching the Quarter Finals. The Frenetic French laid waste to the entire tournament flawlessly winning their Group 2:0. With prominent names such as NBK-, shox and Happy, LDLC.com slaughtered the Finals stage eliminating previous Major champs Fnatic 2:1 in the Quarterfinals. With the French themselves their first Major title, little did we know they had not finished their impact on Major tournaments.
ESL One Katowice
Returning to the city of Katowice, ESL One Katowice 2015 saw the Swedish seek revengeance after France proved victorious during the previous Major. Once more inviting 16 titan tier teams to the Spodek Arena on Polish soil, hard hitters such as Fnatic, Virtus Pro, the newly former Team EnvyUs and NiP all grew ravenous for a revering title. North America continued to falter before the finish line failing to qualify for the finals, where as Europe torpedoed towards the main stage. Home favourites Virtus Pro managed to reach Semi Finals after defeating the bolstering Brazilian squad Keyd Stars consisting of now MIBR stars FalleN however fell short to Fnatic 0:2 in the Semis. The former LDLC.com champions lead by shox had come under a new organisation in the likes of EnVyUs and had sailed towards the Semi Finals after defeating Natus Vincere. The ferocity of Fnatic met Ninjas In Pyjamas in the Grand Finals where the Swedes once more met their Swedish adversaries finding victory 2:1 and thus hoisting their second Major title within two years.
ESL One Cologne
History was actively written at ESL One Cologne 2015. Beaconing as the second Major held in the city of Cologne in Germany, the LANXESS arena housed 16 world class teams flown out from around the world over three days. Competing for $250,000 ESL One Cologne was the first event where a Danish team reached a Top 4 placement and also the first occasion where two Australian teams were in attendance. ESL One Cologne 2015 also saw Luminosity Gaming as the first Brazilian team to reach a Top 8 finish at the Major tournament. Fnatic drove all competition off the road dropping only one map during the entire event to Virtus Pro in the Semifinals and sweeped Team EnVyUs 2:0 in the Grand Finals earning themselves their 3rd Major trophy. Fnatic also eteched their era in the history books as the first team to have ever won a Major tournament back-to-back.
DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca
Existing as the first and only Major to be held in Romania, DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca offered the spoils of $250,000 to the victor of the 16 team elite event. The French illustrated their prominence over the realm of CS:GO once more where the heavyweights EnVyUs earned themselves another Major title over Natus Vincere in the Grand Finals. The Major also noted Natus Vincere’s first Major Grand Final appearance and signed off on Fnatic struggling to ever reclaim a Major title once again after their three total Major championships in the previous two years before. With the new additions of kennyS & apEX, the duo went on to twin their first and only Major titles of all time.
Igniting the MLG Arena in Columbus USA, the bolstering Brazilian squad Luminosity Gaming ascended as champions representing their region proud. Lead by the godfather of Brazilian Counter-Strike, FalleN and his comrades defeated Natus Vincere 2:0 in the Grand Finals of the Columbus Major. Fnatic held solid as the No. 1 time in the world however fell short in the Quarter Finals to Astralis who still issues problems with choking in the Final stages. The core of Natus Vincere which had not yet possessed the services of s1mple had climbed their way through the finals with victories over NiP & Astralis before ultimately meeting their demise to the now MIBR core 17:19 & 2:16.
ESL One Cologne
Marking the third ESL One Cologne Major ever held. The LANXESS arena greeted 16 worthy teams to compete for the 9th CS:GO Major tournament ever held and a hefty share of $1,000,000. Engaging new fans from around the world, the previous Major champions Luminosity Gaming had joined a new organisation in the likes of SK Gaming. Leveraging momentum from their previous victory and continuing to ember with ferocity, the now legendary core slaughtered their trail through the Major flawlessly finding success in their respective group. SK Gaming dropped only one map in the Finals to Virtus Pro [Semifinals] defeating the Polish 2:1 before they evaporated a shaky Team Liquid 16:7 & 16:6 thus earning their back-to-back Major championship - a feat only Fnatic had done before.
Silencing the mouths of harsh critics was the Danish destroyers and now house-hold named team Astralis. The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, USA saw $1,000,000 and the glory of a Major title dangle in front of the eyes of 16 elite squads craving for success. Both former back-to-back Major champions Fnatic & SK Gaming were in attendance however the two failed to reach Grand Finals losing 0:2 to Astralis & Virtus Pro respectively. The Plow appeared to be resurging to their former finesse and almost clinched one of the closest Grand Finals in Major history losing 1:2 to Astralis [ 16:12, 14:16 & 14:16] Albeit winning by a hairline, the Great Danes set themselves on a path of creating the most successful legacy of any CS:GO team and ended their curse of choking in the Finals of Major tournaments.
Tearing the roof off the TAURON Arena in Poland, Kraków was Gambit Esports. Claiming their share of the $1,000,000 spoils, the CIS mixed veterans lead by former Natus Vincere titan Zeus dazzled onlookers from around the globe. Having being dropped from Natus Vincere, Zeus was on a mission to earn himself a Major title irrespective of the adversities which had transpired in his recent career. Interestingly another Brazilian team Immortals, exploding with talent and composure had flourished during the Major and managed to earn themselves the Grand Final stage. Surpassing their Brazilian brethren and former Major champions SK Gaming, Immortals crumbled to a more experienced roster lead by Zeus, albeit winning their first map of the series the younger side were reverse sweeped 1:2 by Gambit Esports.
The 12th Valve sponsored Major in all of Counter-Strike Global Offensive’s history saw North America raise their first and only ever Major trophy in beaming style. Cloud9 had harvested such mechanically talented, composed and hungry competitors and cultured a competent and capable roster. Employing the services of young Stewie2k, Cloud9 entered the Finals defeating G2 Esports [2:0] and then SK Gaming 2:1 meaning they’d face off against one of the most promising and devastating European squads of all time, FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan was assembled for nothing other than perfection and leading into the Grand Final series, Cloud9 looked shook losing the initial map 16:14. Taking time to reset, the American All-Stars reverse swept the European extinguishers winning the next two maps 16:10 and then the third and final deciding map in a thrilling 22:19 scoreline.
2018, United Kingdom
London landed it’s very first Major at the tinkering Twickenham Stadium & Wembley Arena which boasted a sum of $1,000,000 to be snapped up by 24 total teams. Marking the first Major to host over 16 teams, the Danish god-squad Astralis truly didn’t care who was in attendance. Shredding through the entire event, Astralis dropped only one map in the group stages before the Danes mutilated the competition during the Final stages. Beginning with the thumping of FaZe Clan [2:0], Astralis silenced North American by crushed Team Liquid in the Semifinals. Natus Vincere had climbed proudly throughout the event and many believed if s1mple was to crown his first Major title, London was the time. The dream was not meant to be as Astralis astounded the Russian/Ukranian mix both 16:6 & 16:9 in governing fashion. The London Major marked Astralis’ second Major title and continued to grow the never ending bean-stalk which was the Danes sovereignty over CS:GO.
2018, United Kingdom
Culminating at the Spodek Arena in Katowice Poland, 24 superlative squads collectively concentrated their sights on earning a prestigious Major title. Marking Valve’s 14th sponsored Major, fans and experts held Astralis in high regard of earning themselves their 3rd Major tournament victory - they were correct. Magisk earned his first Major tournament MVP medal averaging a 1.28 rating as the Danes boundlessly beat the competition into oblivion. Without losing one single map during the finals, Astralis achieved their quest defeating NiP, MIBR and lastly a stand-out younger side ENCE in the Grand Finals within the Spodek Arena.
Team Liquid had been flying the US flag valiantly as they donned the No. 1 team in the world title for some time. Winning 7 tournaments back-to-back and cementing the North American era, many believed the US/Candian mix would claim their first Major title for their respective team and the 2nd Major title for America. Within the brilliant walls of the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin Germany, Astralis lurked begrudgingly. Team Liquid met Astralis in the Semi Finals where the American side fell to the world’s greatest team of all time 0:2 and were left to lick their wounds. On the contrary, Astralis went on to torment NRG 2:0 thus meeting AVANGAR in the Grand Finals where they defeat former Major champion AdreN and his squad in a complete thrashing 16:6 & 16:5. Advertising the most prominent win in Major history, Astralis had earned their 4th Major title and once again reinforced who the true top-dogs are.