Counter-Strike is at its best when teams compete on a level playing field and when ability is the only limit to their success.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen professional Counter-Strike drift away from that ideal. The ecosystem has become gradually less open, with access to the highest levels of competition increasingly gated by business relationships.
We think that Counter-Strike should be an open sport. So we’re going to add new requirements to running large-scale competitive events. The finer details are still in progress, but here are the broad strokes:
- Tournament organizers will no longer have unique business relationships or other conflicts of interest with teams that participate in their events.
- Invitations to all tournaments will use our ranking system (detailed here), or otherwise be determined by open qualifiers.
- Any compensation for participating teams—prize pool or otherwise—will be made public and will be driven by objective criteria that can be inspected by the community.
Since tournament organizers have existing long term commitments, these requirements will take effect as of 2025. There will be some rough edges to the transition, but we’re committed to the long-term health of Counter-Strike as a sport and are looking forward to its bright and open future.