CSGO Majors to Return in 2021 After Two-Year Hiatus
The CSGO Major is finally set to return in 2021, completely bypassing the planned ESL Rio Major and instead heading to Stockholm under the PGL banner. Featuring a $2 million prize pool, the event will be played at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm. The event will last from Oct. 23-Nov. 7.
This gives hope to a scene that appeared to be all but abandoned by Valve due to canceled majors and the coronavirus. This is also the first time they’ve confronted the issue, aside from canceling the ESL Major and the points above that were accumulated. There was no mention of the previous season carrying forward and likely decayed due to the amount of time that passed. Many of the teams and rosters who had points kept their rosters intact merely because the points existed. Now that this restriction has seemingly been lifted, teams are free to begin shuffling their rosters.
CSGO Majors Return Under the PGL Banner, Skipping ESL
With the CSGO Major and PGL’s return in 2021, it seems that fans will miss out on ESL’s production for the time being. The announcement made no mention of when ESL might host another major, and the company had no comment publicly on the situation. While it’s far from their fault, it seems that Valve was content to award this next major to a company with a track record of success.
“First of all, my colleagues and I are passionate fans of CS,” Silviu Stroie, CEO at PGL said. “We grew up and watched this game getting bigger and bigger, just at the same pace as our development as a company. We have timeless memories with our past Counter-Strike shows, and, honestly, we owe a lot to this game, as players, and as a company. We believe that this community deserves the best product this franchise has ever seen. Our goal is to celebrate the game in the best way possible, and we will work hard for this.”
Hope Returns for CSGO
2020 was an odd year for esports as a whole, but none more so than Valve titles. Robbed of their star circuits, both CSGO and Dota 2 had to exist at the behest of third-party organizers, with light support from Valve. Due to the coronavirus, Valve was hesitant to commit to any significant plans. Unlike other esports organizers like Riot and Blizzard, they did not rely on cities in China where the coronavirus had already begun to subside, or even attempt a bubble system to run their premier events.
This left both scenes in a sort of weird stasis where the only matches being played were all online and certainly jumbled the CSGO rankings due to this. Teams like BIG and others clawed their way to No. 1 when realistically, had the matches been played on LAN, and it might not have happened.
With CSGO Majors set to return in 2021, the game once again will have a premier LAN event, where we can see who the best of the best truly is.
At present, the maps being used in competitive play include Dust 2, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass, Train, and Vertigo. These could shift if Valve changes the competitive map pool at some point before October.
It’s unclear if the coronavirus will have subsided enough to host events of this scale, even by October. While there are vaccines currently available, it’s hard to say if there will be a wide enough distribution and adoption rate for herd immunity to be achieved by that point. At any rate, we have something to look forward to again.