Valve announced today that the 2013 DreamHack Steelseries Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship taking place at DreamHack Winter will feature a $250,000 community-funded prize pool. The prize pool is the largest in Counter-Strike’s history.
The funds were generated from in game item purchases. On August, 13th Valve released a patch called The Arms Deal to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that added weapon and weapon case drops to the game. All weapon cases require a purchasable key to be opened. A portion of the revenue generated from one of the weapon cases types, the eSports Weapon Case, was set to “be redirected to fund prize purses at upcoming CS:GO eSport events worldwide.” The DreamHack Steelseries Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship is the first tournament that is seeing the benefit of this initiative.
Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, member of the multiple DreamHack winning team Ninjas in Pyjamas, remarked to GameSpot that he has “been dreaming about something like this ever since [he] has started playing Counter-Strike.” Alesund’s manager, former teammate, and fellow champion, Emil “HeatoN” Christensen added, “I think it’s a great step forward to bring Counter-Strike back in the spotlight. Since the growth of the MOBA it has kind of been in the shadows. Even if we see the game growing steadily it needs something like this tournament to make it grow even faster, and hopefully create another Counter-Strike boom.”
This is not the first time that Valve have used in game item purchases to help community-fund an eSports tournament. Part of The International 3’s $2,874,407.00 prize pool came from Interactive Compendium purchases in the Dota 2 in game store. This item granted the purchaser certain perks like virtual item drops and access to exclusive compendium owner polls that allowed owners to vote on things like the participants of The International 3’s all-star game. Interactive Compendium’s cost $10.00 to purchase with 25% of all purchases going towards The International 3’s prize pool.
Henning Christiansson, SteelSeries’ Marketing Manager, told GameSpot, “For us events like this means everything, our foundation builds on giving back to our fans all over the world. We have always worked close with our partners and when this opportunity came around we were really honored that our tournament at Dreamhack was the one Valve selected.” When asked if Valve’s involvement changed SteelSeries’ allocation of resources and capital he responded, “…when a partner like Valve commits and raises the bar to this level, you have to follow. There will be more information presented later on that I believe the community will enjoy.” Christiansson noted that casters would be announced at a later date.
At the time of publication the SteelSeries’ Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship boasts the title of largest single event prize pool in DreamHack history. The tournament will take place in Jönköping, Sweden from November 28th to 30th.
Photo credit to Hampus Andersson and DreamHack.