CS:GO Major is an exceptional tournament that offers around $1 million in prize money and features the best 24 teams in the world. They last for several weeks and take place just twice a year.
Some of the greatest matches and plays in the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive happened at Majors, so you should watch these events if you’re an esports fan who loves first-person shooter games.
How CS:GO Majors Work
CS:GO Majors don’t follow the usual format, which includes a group stage followed by playoffs. Instead, they are made up of three stages: The Challengers Stage, The Legends Stage, and The Champions Stage. A few years ago, these stages had slightly different names: the New Challengers, the New Legends, and the New Champions.
The 24 competitors are divided into three groups of eight: Contenders, Challengers, and Legends. The first two groups start the tournament in The Challengers Stage, while the third group starts in The Legends Stage.
The competitive format used for the first two stages is the Swiss System. This means that teams get eliminated when they’ve accumulated three defeats and are qualified when they’ve accumulated three victories. Each round consists of matches played between opponents with identical records.
Advancement and elimination matches use the Bo3 format. Every other match is Bo1. Half of the 16 participants advance to the second stage, which is identical to the first.
The third stage of a Major consists of a single-elimination bracket, and it includes just eight teams. Every match is Bo3.
Majors generally take place over a period of 2-3 weeks. The exact duration depends on the organizer. Some TOs like to have compact events, while others prefer to take more time and avoid 16-hour days full of matches.
Next CS:GO Major
The upcoming CS:GO Major is called IEM Rio Major and will take place over a period of 2 weeks, between October 31st – November 13th. It will be held in Brazil, in front of a huge crowd. The tickets got sold in just one hour.
The prize pool of this tournament is $1,250,000. That’s a huge amount of money; every team will receive at least $10,000. The top eight teams will receive more than the rest ($45,000+), and the Major champion will get $500,000.
At the previous Major, PGL Antwerp, the winners were FaZe Clan while the runner-ups were Natus Vincere. This time, the big favorites are these two teams plus several others: Team Vitality, G2 Esports, and Cloud9. Of course, all of these teams will need to qualify first.
Where to Watch CS:GO Majors
If you want to watch a CS:GO Major, you must follow the Twitch and YouTube channels of the companies that organize such tournaments. The most important ones are ESL, PGL, and BLAST.
All these companies have Twitch channels you can find via a simple search. If you follow them, you will discover all of their ongoing events. Just follow CS:GO’s Liquipedia page to learn about upcoming events.
To learn more about the exact schedule of the IEM Rio Major, you can follow either ESL’s website or the official Liquipedia page of this tournament.