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Only one first-person-shooter has remained very popular for more than a couple years and that’s CS:GO. While other contenders like Call of Duty and HALO have come and gone, CS:GO has a very loyal fanbase and with a publisher like Valve behind it, the game was bound to be a hit. CS:GO is now entering its seventh year of gameplay, while the Counter-Strike series as a whole has been around for two decades, and continues to be the only FPS worth discussing on the competitive Esports scene.

The Game

In CS:GO, there are two teams of four that try to complete some objective. There are numerous modes you can play if you are just goofing around online, but the only mode you play at the Esport level is Bomb Defusal.

Bomb Defusal uses almost every map in the game and its rules are simple. The two teams are split into a group trying to detonate a bomb (Terrorists) and a group trying to stop the bomb from being detonated (Counter-Terrorists).

For the Terrorists to win they need to either kill all the Counter-Terrorists or detonate the bomb. For the Counter-Terrorists to win, they need to either kill all the Terrorists before the bomb has been planted or not allow the bomb to detonate.

The rounds are less than two minutes long, so teams play a best of 30 set in order to determine a game winner. Most of the time the teams play three of these sets, but sometimes it can be just one if there is a crunch for time or if it’s the early rounds of a tournament.

The Competitive Scene

CS:GO isn’t too big in Asia, but it is wildly popular in Europe and somewhat popular in North America. Europe is home to most of the big tournaments and where DreamHack started. DreamHack events are some of the biggest tournaments in CS:GO and there were 12 of them throughout the world in 2018.

The fluid nature of the game makes it so where there usually isn’t one super dominant team that wins every competition. Instead there are a group of about five or six teams that generally perform very well, most of them European.

That being said, last year was Astralis’ from start to finish. Astralis had the greatest year we’ve ever seen from a CS:GO team, winning six Premier tier tournaments and becoming the first Grand Slam winners in CS:GO history. The Danes are going to find it hard to surpass this success in 2019, but they will certainly try.

Team Liquid started a CS:GO team in 2015, and for the first two years they weren’t anything special. However, they were the best North American team throughout 2018, and they ended the year ranked second in GosuGamers’ list of top CS:GO teams.

Liquid finished runner-up to Astralis four times, but they did win two Majors in 2018.

FaZe Clan have been very good over the last two years too, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention them. They invested in their team in a big way in early 2017, and it has paid dividends with strong results from that point forward. FaZe have won seven Premier tier events over the past two years, and they finished runner-up in three others.

The Future

With domestic leagues in both Europe and North America and a tournament seemingly every week, CS:GO has showed little sign of losing momentum. They have already been a score of competitions announced for 2019 which will have $100,000 prize pools, and a select few will have $1 million or more up for grabs. There are more opportunities to bet CS:GO than any other Esport, so you can make some serious coin if you get involved.

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