From Counter-Strike 1.6 in 2000 to Global Offensive in 2012, Valve’s seminal tactical shooter has thrived.
The game has seen an upward trajectory in terms of player base over the past eight years, recording an all-time high in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since transitioning to a free-to-play model in December 2018, CS:GO has gained hundreds of thousands of new players, jumping from a peak of 546,031 players to 746,548 in just one month. That number continued to rise in the months and years that followed.
All four groups will be played out separately, with Group A scheduled for Aug. 16 to 20, followed by Group B on Aug. 21 to 26. Group C will be played from Aug. 27 to 31, whereas Group D’s action will take place on Sept. 1 to 5.
ESL Pro League season 14 features 24 CS:GO teams in total, split into four groups of six teams each. The competition will be played entirely online from Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite ESL’s best intentions to host it in a LAN environment like IEM Cologne in July. The team list features 12 partners, seven teams who qualified via the ESL world rankings, and five teams that earned a spot via ESEA Premier Europe, North America, and Oceania.
Some of the best teams in the world, such as Natus Vincere, Gambit, G2, Astralis, Virtus Pro, FaZe Clan, Heroic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Vitality, and mousesports, will be there. The group winners will advance to the quarterfinals, while the runners-up and third-placed teams in each group go to the first round of the playoffs. All matches will be played as best-of-three series, except for the grand final, which will be a best-of-five series played on Sept. 12.
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