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A Look at How Counter-Strike Esports Has Evolved in 2023

2023 has been a significant year for Counter-Strike as the franchise hopes to remain an unmatched title. Developments of any ecosystem are always the way to go if you hope to remain relevant. Let’s look at the changes that have bettered Counter-Strike in 2023.

1. The Introduction of CS2

Valve has been working on modifying Counter-Strike and has introduced a new addition to the series, dubbed CS2 (Counter-Strike 2). The introduction of a new game after over ten years of the series’ existence has excited fans. 

Besides, CS2 will attract new gamers as they can access the title on Source 2 on the new engine. Fans have been on the lookout, and the exciting news came when Valve announced CS2’s official release on September 27th. 

CS2 has been running smoothly, but gamers still question its competitiveness. Challenges such as peekers’ advantage and grenades dissipating raise questions. However, Valve is confident about the release as it uses user feedback to enhance the desired quality.

2. New Partnerships

Valve has entered into new partnerships with other leagues that will influence how CS2 esports events will run in 2025. Some stipulations prohibit tournament organizers and partners from establishing unique business relationships or engaging in anything that might result in a conflict of interest. This is because Valve hopes to end franchising in its tournaments.

There will be qualifiers or Valve rankings for anyone to participate in tournaments. The announcement affects the semi-franchised leagues like Blast and ESL that hold events without adhering to Valve’s rankings. As a result, teams with permanent slots will be subject to open qualifiers. The idea is to ensure Valve enforces a level playing field for all participants.

3. New Rules on Counter-Strike Skin Gambling

Twitch, the leading live-streaming platform in esports, has introduced new guidelines that will affect skin gambling. The update states that there will be no more sponsorship and promotions of skin gambling activities. 

This crackdown only affects betting sites that allow skin gambling. Valve updated its policies and now finds it a bannable offense, limiting skin gambling. If you are into Counter-Strike and want to predict outcomes in various matches, consider checking GG Bet for odds. 

4. The Goodbye after the Paris Major

The CS2 release was an exciting announcement with endless possibilities embedded in the game as it comes with a chance to access it on Source 2. The Paris Major could have been the last event in CS: GO. 

The Paris Major brought about new history, including featuring the youngest coach, the first player to win five Major titles, and the first British team participating in the event. In addition, it was at this event that Mathieu ‘Zywoon’ Herbat became the youngest talented player to record a Major win. The Blast run marked the farewell to the iconic CS:GO game. The Paris Major remains significant as it attracted the third-largest audience in viewership.

5. Preparations for the Asian CS2 Major

Perfect World, the organization responsible for hosting Chinese tournaments, announced plans to host the CS2 Major in Shanghai, China. This is historic as Asia becomes the first country to host an elite CS:GO event.

This highlight is something for the Asian-based community to be proud of. Asia has a large, active esports fanbase, so hosting the CS2 Major here will be an excellent way to tap into the audience. 

6. Delisting and Investment Plans

Sporting disciplines usually have an era in which a team dominates a competition. Think about Manchester City in the EPL or Chicago Bulls in Basketball. When it comes to CS:GO, Astralis is unmatched. The Danish giants made amazing strides by winning three consecutive Majors. Unfortunately, the team was delisted after prices started declining in the Danish market.

Heroic Group is a significant participant in CS:GO events and has recorded excellent performances, including second place in the ESL Rio Major. The team had been trying to raise funds and signed a deal with Krow Bidco AS to secure its shares. Among its investment plans, Valve has entered a deal with Heroic Group to keep it afloat. 

7. What Happens to Complexity and FaZe Clan?

GameSquare, Complexity’s parent company, announced that it had plans to acquire FaZe Clan as the entity has been facing financial struggles. As it appears, the deal is almost sealed. What does this mean for Counter-Strike?

Valve’s policies prohibit two teams owned by one company from competing because of the obvious conflict of interest. FaZe Clan and Complexity hold Blast and ESL Premier League partnership rights.

If the FaZe Clan acquisition deal goes through, Complexity will be torn on which team to sponsor and field in CS2. This is because FaZe has an impressive record globally, while Complexity boasts dominance in North America with a huge fan base. 

8. One Major in 2023 in Preparation for 2024

As a part of the plan to introduce CS2, Valve organized one event in 2023. This was dubbed the Paris Major. With the end of CS:GO official tournaments, Valve has an exciting schedule featuring CS2 events in 2024.

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