Popular esports title Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) received a major boost this week with the news that Valve is increasing the prize pool for each individual tournament of the game’s Major Championship series to $1 million (£714,000).
In last year’s Championship series the prize pools were capped at $250,000 (£179,000) meaning the same series a year on has cash rewards which are four times higher.
Such a meteoric rise is evidence of both the esports boom, and in particular the development of the professional CS:GO scene.
Professional teams and players of the title will have the opportunity to battle out in Ohio’s state capital of Columbus when the first event of the year takes place from March 29 to April 3, 2016.
In a statement Valve said: “When we announced the first CS: GO Major Championship in 2013, we hoped the Majors would be rallying points for the community, tent-pole events that could draw new audiences and amplify the value of all events.”
It continued: “Since then, the professional CS: GO community has been growing at an incredible rate. CS: GO tournaments are now among the largest eSports events in the world, drawing global audiences of millions of viewers, filling massive venues, and garnering higher prize pools. Professional CS: GO has grown, and the CS: GO Major Championships are about to grow with it.”
Valve is also the company behind the most lucrative competition in the esports hemisphere; The International which had an $18m (£12.9m) prize pool last year and which saw Evil Geniuses, the winning team, walk away $6.6m (£4.7m) richer.