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Counter-Strike 2 tournament changes are coming. Valve dropped a game-changing announcement that is set to shake up the Counter-Strike (CS) esports scene. In a brief blog post titled “A Level Playing Field” the developer explained that the Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) pro scene will be about skill, and not who you know.

In essence, this change has effectively slaughtered the franchising model, raising several questions about the future of esports. At its core, CS has always been about raw skill, strategy, and teamwork. However, business deals and other arrangements have slowly begun to muddy the waters.

Recognizing this shift, Valve decided to level the playing field to put an end to gatekeeping. Notably, these shifts won’t roll out until 2025. So, teams and organizers have plenty of time to recalibrate and familiarize themselves with Valve’s new rules.

That said, many (CS:GO) players are curious about whether or not CS2 will fundamentally change esports tournaments and what these changes mean for CS2 betting. And, for the most part, it seems like big Counter-Strike 2 tournament changes are coming.

How Is Valve Changing CS2 Tournaments?

As a CS enthusiast, you may recall that many CS:GO tournaments (like the ESL Pro League Season 18) give certain “Partner Teams” a free pass to their events, while others grind through (sometimes numerous) tough qualifiers. Well, those days are now over.

According to the Valve blog, in the new CS2 era, any team will have a shot to qualify for a Major. That means no more under-the-table deals or exclusive partnerships. Instead, CS2 tournament invitations will be based on a transparent ranking system or open qualifiers.

In short, if you’re not good, you’re not in—no matter who you know or how deep your pockets are. Better still, there’s no more hush-hush about the prize pools or secret bonuses. Everything’s going public. This includes any compensation to teams, such as winnings or other deals.

To wrap it up, Valve is taking Counter-Strike back to its former glory, reigniting the spirit of true competition.

How Will The CS2 Major Ranking System Work?

While nothing is concrete yet, the gist is that teams will clash in third-party events throughout the year. Based on their performance, these teams will be ranked in Regional Standings. A predictive model will then identify which teams to invite to later qualification stages.

So what are the factors determining who’s hot and who’s not? This includes the team and opponent’s total prize money earned, the number of teams the opponent has defeated, head-to-head results, and more.

Valve plans to reveal the precise code used to generate the standings soon. In principle, however, these standings will get updates leading up to open qualifiers, sealing who’s in for the closed ones. As for the Others, they’ll have to battle it out in the open field.

What is the Impact Of CS2 on Esports?

As you can see, these changes are set to change the Counter-Strike esports landscape. But the question is whether this shift will have the desired effects.

No More Partner Teams

For starters, meritocracy is back. As we’ve mentioned, there’s no more “who you know” to get a seat at the big boys’ table. If you’ve got the skills, you’re in. This may just usher in a new era where hidden talent gets a fair shot, leveling up the competition.

Specifically, lower-tier teams now have a shot of competing in major CS2 events to prove their worth. Of course, the contrary is also true, with the reality that big names like Astralis, FaZe, or NaVi may not qualify for a Counter-Strike 2 tournament. Imagine that!

While it’s hard to imagine a CS:GO event without s1mple, teams that previously secured their spots with a mix of gameplay and good ol’ cash may feel like they’re on sinking ships. This will put pressure on teams’ sponsors and investments, especially if they can’t maintain gameplay standards.

CS2 Talent Reshuffling

Some teams, especially from regions like North America (cough cough), have coasted on their reputation, lacking as far as “pew-pew” is concerned. Now, they must step up their gameplay or risk being left out. This could lead to a potential reshuffling of the competitive hierarchy.

For instance, non-partnered teams like Apeks may be better suited to attract better players, unlike certain Partnered Teams. In the past, Counter-Strike players would vie for a spot at a Partner Team to avoid needing to incessantly grind qualifiers for a shot in the big leagues.

That said, attracting new CS talent will be easier now because players will naturally be drawn to better-performing teams.

CS2 Viewership Knockback

These changes can also affect CS2 esports viewership. After all, big names pull big crowds. Without the guarantee of popular teams and players in major events, viewership may take a hit. Also, a smaller audience could mean less interest from sponsors, shaking the financial stability of tournaments.

When is the First Counter-Strike 2 Tournament?

The first Counter-Strike 2 event is the CS2 Major Championship Winter 2024, running Jan. 12 -15, 2024. This official Valve-hosted tournament includes a massive $1.25 million prize pool.

However, details are scarce, so you’ll need to follow the Counter-Strike social media channels for the latest news and updates. But that’s not all.

This event will be followed by the PGL Major Copenhagen 2024, running March 17-31, 2024. The Champions Stage will occur at the Royal Arena in Denmark and feature another $1.25 million prize pool, with 24 CS2 teams vying for first place.

While not confirmed yet, these tournaments will likely be available to broadcast on the tournament organizers’ respective Twitch and YouTube channels.

Betting on CS2

In a nutshell, Valve is aiming for a more authentic, skill-based CS2 esports scene, and it’s a game-changer! But only time will tell if this will be the golden era of esports or a challenging phase of adjustment. But one thing’s certain—the esports world won’t be the same again.

At Thunderpick, we’re well-versed in revolutionizing the esports arena. After all, our innovative game-like crypto betting platform has made betting on your favorite Counter-Strike teams so entertaining. The best part? You’ll be able to bet on these events once they’re live.

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