Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (2024)

With the imminent release of Counter-Strike 2 on the horizon, fans of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive were curious about how the competitive scene would change going into the new game. While much is still unknown, Valve did at least confirm the majors, Counter-Strikes "World Championships," wouldn't be going anywhere.

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Majors have been a staple of the competitive scene as far back as Counter-Strike 1.6. Unfortunately, back then Valve had yet to recognize them as such leaving some debate on what events counted as majors. Once Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released Valve quickly silenced all debate by outright telling the community what the majors were. Now that the last major has come to pass, what were some of the best majors CS:GO had to offer?

10 DreamHack Winter 2013

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (1)

It would be impossible to have a retrospective on the best CS:GO majors without paying respects to the first one that occurred at DreamHack Winter 2013. Taking place from November 28th to the 30th in Jönköping Sweden, the tournament would set the precedent for all future majors in terms of prestige and prize pool going forward.

Looking back, the tournament was very modest compared to the majors in the past five years, but it made up for it with its exciting storylines. An American team made it to the semifinals, the number 1 and 2 teams in the world clashed in the semifinals, and the underdogs in Fnatic upset the fan favorites Ninjas In Pyjamas to win the organization's first of three majors.

9 ESL One: Cologne 2016

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (2)

As the second major of 2016, ESL One: Cologne 2016 took place from July 5th to the 10th in Cologne Germany at the Lanxess-Arena. This would be the second time ESL One: Cologne would be at this arena, but the third and final time the tournament would be a major.

As was tradition with this event the crowd, production, and broadcast talent were all fantastic. Of course, the drama surrounding the matches was at an all-time high as fans watched the Danes of Astralis claw their way to the playoffs with two stand-ins, a North American team powered by s1mple would make a final, and the Brazilian squad would win their second consecutive major.

8 ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (3)

After running two very successful and well-received leagues in 2016, ELEAGUE solidified itself as a premier tournament organizer almost immediately. This would lead to the organizer hosting the 10th major in 2017 in Atlanta Georgia from January 22nd to the 29th at the Fox Theatre.

Going into this major there were so many exciting storylines the community could hardly contain itself. The biggest one was if the Danes of Astralis could finally grab the "big one" and dispel their reputation as chokers, which they would eventually do in dramatic fashion.

7 Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (4)

Brazilian CS:GO fans gained a reputation as the most passionate and fanatical among any nation in the scene. Knowing this, it seemed inevitable there would be a major in Brazil, so ESL would make it happen by hosting the 18th major in Rio de Janeiro from October 31st to November 13th, 2022.

While it was disappointing that a Brazilian team didn't make the final, this major will likely go down as the loudest and rowdiest major ever. The energy the Brazilian fans provided throughout the entire major was something special and ensured many more premier events, majors or otherwise, will return to Brazil in the future.

6 BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (5)

As the most recent and final major of CS:GO, BLAST knew the expectations were high and would do everything to not disappoint the fans. Running from May 8th to the 21st in Paris, France it was surprising a major had not been in France before, but better late than never.

Being that this was the last major, most of the storylines were headlined as the player's/team's last chance to grab a major before CS 2. In the end, Team Vitality would emerge victorious with ZywOo solidifying his status as an all-time great, dupreeh ending CS:GO as the player with the most major victories, and Sphinx becoming the first player from the Middle Eastern to win a major.

5 ESL One: Cologne 2015

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (6)

The tradition of ESL One: Cologne being hosted in Laxness-Arena would start in 2015 with the sixth major. From August 20th to the 23rd the CS:GO world would be treated to what was widely considered the best major up to that point and for very good reason.

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ESL One: Cologne 2015 would be notable as the first CS:GO event to hit 1 million concurrent viewers making it one of the most-watched esports events of the year. It also set a new standard for events going forward with great production, amazing talent performances, and of course an amazing venue.

4 MLG Major Championship: Columbus 2016

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (7)

While Counter-Strike has mostly been a European-centric game, there has always been a healthy fan base in North America. Eventually, there would be a major in North America, so Valve entrusted MLG to host the eighth major in Columbus Ohio from March 29th through April 3rd.

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Columbus showed organizers how passionate American fans were for Counter-Strike with one of the most engaging crowds to date. The event has often been remembered as having some of the most exciting games in CS:GO history and where Brazilian CS truly became a force in the scene.

3 PGL Major Stockholm 2021

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (8)

After almost two years of no majors due to the global pandemic, live CS:GO events made a huge comeback with the 16th major being hosted by PGL in Stockholm, Sweden from October 26th to November 7th. Accompanying this return was an increase to the prize pool from 1 million to 2 million USD, however, this would be the only major to have a prize pool this large.

Undoubtedly there was a lot more excitement for this major since the community had been deprived of one for so long. Thankfully the tournament would deliver in all the areas it mattered and to put the cherry on top, s1mple would finally claim his first major title solidifying his legacy as the greatest CS:GO player of all time.

2 ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (9)

After knocking it out of the park in 2017 with their first major, to no one's surprise, ELEAGUE would receive another major in 2018, but this time in Boston from January 12th to the 18th. This major was also the first to introduce a partially new format to the major cycle by splitting the major into three specific stages and increasing the number of teams that could attend the major to 24.

To say this major was an emotional rollercoaster would be an understatement as it started on a somber note with a goodbye to the fan-favorite Polish team of Virtus.Pro. This somberness would quickly transform into excitement as Cloud9 would go on to win North America's first and only major by defeating FaZe in what many consider the greatest CS:GO match of all time.

1 PGL Major Antwerp 2022

Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (10)

After a successful major in Stockholm, PGL looked to one-up themselves with their next major less than a year later in Antwerp Belgium from May 9th to the 22nd. Expectations were high as it had been many years since an organizer was given the chance to run back-to-back majors, so when PGL promised to deliver nobody expected what we got.

This major well and truly had it all; a phenomenal crowd, near-perfect talent line-up, and storylines, so good fans could hardly contain their excitement. It all culminated in one of the most satisfying major victories as FaZe lifted the trophy against the most recent major winner, Natus Vincere. These were some of the many contributing factors that lead to PGL Major Antwerp 2022 being considered the best major in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

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Best CS:GO Major Championships, Ranked (2024)
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