CS:GO Majors are the most prestigious events in the game’s competitive calendar and the tournaments in which legacies are built off. With Majors returning after two years of online play at PGL Stockholm this year, Gamelevate takes a look back over the history of Global Offensive at some of the best Major tournaments over the game’s history.
ESL One: Cologne 2015
The sixth CS:GO Major and second one to be hosted in Cologne, ESL One: Cologne marked the pinnacle of Fnatic’s dominance at the top of the game.
Like the five Majors before it, ESL One: Cologne 2015 hosted sixteen of the world’s best CS:GO sides, with the MMC Studios Cologne hosting the group stage games, and the legendary Lanxess-Arena hosting the playoffs.
Fnatic arrived at ESL One: Cologne having already won ESL One: Katowice earlier that year, and the legendary Markus “pronax” Wallsten-led org continued their dominance, winning against Team EnvyUs in the final with a 19-15 and 16-7 sweep on Dust II and Cobblestone.
Robin “flusha” Rönnquist won the MVP award in a tournament that saw Sweden represented more than any other country, and Fnatic’s win at ESL One: Cologne 2015 ushered in the first great era in the game’s history.
MLG Major Championship: Columbus 2016
The first Major to not be a part of either the ESL or DreamHack series, the 2016 MLG Major Championship in Columbus saw the crowning of the first side from outside Europe to win a Major Championship, as well as the traditional prize purse of $250,000 quadrupled to $1,000,000.
The first time a CS:GO Major had been hosted outside Europe, MLG Columbus really marks when the game took one of its biggest steps to becoming a truly global Esport, and the tournament was dominated by a series of strong performances from the NA representatives, a region previously dismissed by those in Europe.
Not only did Team USA beat Team Europe in the tournament’s showmatch, but three of the eight teams in the playoffs were from outside EU.
MLG Columbus also delivered one of the most spectacular and defining plays in CS:GO history, with Marcelo “coldzera” David’s jumping 4k AWP ace on Mirage being immortalized on the map forever.
ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018
If MLG Columbus was the event that put NA CS on the map, the 2018 ELEAGUE Major in Boston was where it became the best in the world, for a bit at least.
The first Major that saw the format expand to 24 teams instead of 16, the tournament was held at the G-FUEL ELEAGUE Arena in Atlanta and Agganis Arena in Boston and saw the first-ever win for a North American team, with Cloud9 defying the odds to snatch the most famous final win in Major history over FaZe Clan.
The Cloud9-FaZe final is one of the most defining moments and important moments in CS:GO history, with plenty of fans remembering exactly where they were when they watched it unfold live.
Tarik “tarik” Celik won the MVP, however, the tournament was also the making of several current NA stars with the likes of Will “RUSH” Wierzba and Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip being quickly picked up by some of the world’s biggest orgs on the back of their performances at ELEAGUE Boston.
Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII – Katowice Major 2019
IEM Katowice and the Spodek Arena are iconic in the world of CS:GO, and had hosted two Majors before the Major circuit returned to Poland in early 2020.
The tournament was dominated by Astralis, who made it back-to-back wins after their triumph at FACEIT London in 2018, and became only the second side in the history of the game to win three Majors.
IEM Katowice would mark the highest point of Astralis’ dominance over the world of CS, establishing the greatest dynasty the scene has ever seen with innovative utility knowledge and meticulous planning from IGL Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and head coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen.
The tournament also saw one of the greatest underdog tales at a Major, with the ‘EZ 4 ENCE’ memes being given a new injection of life as the side, led by a young Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen took down a much-fancied Team Liquid and NAVI to reach the grand final, before eventually being downed by Astralis.