IEM 2019 Katowice Major Viewer Pass Explained

by in CS:GO | Feb, 8th 2019

With the first-round matchups going live, IEM surprised us with another important bit of info – the Katowice Major Viewer Pass announcement! For many, this news came as a huge surprise. However, to more knowledgeable members of the CS:GO community, this was to be expected following the recent switch to the free-2-play system. What’s up with this Katowice Major Viewer Pass announcement and why is it important for the in-game feature set? Well, allow me to elaborate!

Katowice Major Viewer Pass Announcement Explained

On previous CS:GO Major Championships, all CS:GO players had access to special in-game features such as the Pick‘Em Challenge, stickers, cases, drops, and whatnot. There was emphasis on all CS:GO players. However, this is not the case anymore. The Katowice Major will feature the so-called viewer pass which you’ll have to buy in order to experience the fun part. In my opinion, this is just because CS:GO is free-to-play now and Valve has to adjust for the increasing player base.

Katowice Major Viewer Pass costs $10, or $.75€ if you’re from the EU. Once again, I expected this would happen, but I honestly thought the price wouldn’t be as high as $10. Half that seemed more likely to me, but I guess Valve upped it due to the fact half of the amount goes straight to the participating players and organizations.

On the bright side, however, there are some interesting additions to the CS:GO Major in-game features that might justify the cost. First of all, as soon as you purchase the viewer pass, you’ll receive the CS:GO Katowice Major bronze coin. The upgrade process has been slightly altered. Previously, you had to get points to upgrade your coin. Now, you have to upgrade your coin by completing eleven challenges. Five for silver, seven for gold, and all eleven of them for diamond. Trust me, that diamond coin is so shiny that I can’t help but say it’s worth it! Plus, I almost forgot, each coin upgrade gets you the exclusive souvenir package.

Here’s a closer look at the challenges:

Katowice Major 2019 Challenges

In addition to the upgradeable coin and souvenir packages, the Katowice Major Viewer Pass also grants you access to the Pick’Em Challenge, unlimited team graffiti, and flair. You can still buy team stickers, but they’re now divided into three separate capsules – Legends, Returning Challengers, and Minor Challengers. All in all, I think this whole viewer pass thing is actually pretty sweet. On the other hand, Valve is already experiencing a community backlash over the decision to charge pre-F2P players for the Viewer Pass.

The Backlash of Pre-F2P Players Is Understandable

While I do believe the viewer pass is worth the money, I can still understand how betrayed pre-F2P players feel right now. Katowice Major Viewer Pass announcement stated the pricing is the same ($10) for all players, meaning those who’ve paid for the actual game have been put into the same basket with free-2-play folks. It’s absurd, to be honest. Once again, I don’t mind paying the extra ten bucks for all those features, but something like a 30% price cut for seasoned veterans would’ve been great. It still can be great if Valve decides to address the issue. There’s still plenty of time before the start of the Challengers Stage. A price cut would fix the community backlash, at least to a certain extent.

For more info about the upcoming CS:GO Major, check out our IEM Katowice Major 2019 Preview!


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