CS:GO has grown as an esport exponentially over the last few years, but 2016 promises to be the game’s biggest year yet.
The first major, which takes place March 29 – April 3 at MLG Arena in Columbus, Ohio, features a prize pool of $1,000,000 — four times the size of last year’s major. MLG Columbus will be the first of at least three majors in 2016 and the 8th major in CS:GO history.
One of the biggest changes this year will be the new Turner ELeague. Starting in May, the ELeague will pit qualified and invited teams against each other live on cable television through the TBS network. This is an unprecedented move to market and will doubtlessly generate interest for a game with an already massive following.
Top level leagues like ESL ESEA Pro, CEVO Pro, and the Counter-Pit League feature plenty of ongoing events, and a myriad of tentpole tournaments like IEM Katowice, Dreamhack Austin, Copenhagen Games, and ESL One Cologne will keep CS:GO front and center. Between these events and leagues you can find high level CS:GO streamed every single day of the week.
And the talent pool has never been bigger. While the Swedish team Fnatic clutches firmly to their title as the best Counter-Strike squad in the world, their seat on the throne is being challenged by a number of contenders. The closest is the french team EnvyUs, who have twice eliminated Fnatic in a major since 2014, the most recent being at the last major Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca.
All in all, 2016 promises to be a another year of unprecedented growth for CS:GO with new competition, bigger prize pools, and more exposure.