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Top CSGO Tournaments in 2021

Lanxess Arena - Cologne. Photo - Helena Kristiansson, ESL-One

Lanxess Arena – Cologne. Photo – Helena Kristiansson, ESL One

The top CS:GO tournaments of 2020 come in different colours, shapes and sizes but they all have a few things in common: millions of dollars as prize pools, some of the best Counter Strike: GO teams on the planet and esports’ most passionate fans.

Spread across the entire globe, from Europe to South America and Asia, 2021’s biggest CS:GO events list features some already established competitions but introduces a few new tournaments as well.

So, if you’re asking what are the unmissable CS:GO events of the year, read on…

The major CS:GO Tournaments of this year:

  1. BLAST Premier
  2. IEM Katowice
  3. ESL Pro League – Seasons 13 & 14
  4. ESL One: Cologne
  5. CS:GO Major Championship Fall
  6. IEM Masters 
  7. DreamHack Masters
  8. PGL Major Stockholm

Continue reading to find out when each premier CSGO tournament takes place, participating teams and prize pool. Keep an eye on the starting date and remember to check our CSGO odds page for real-time odds comparison from the top CS:GO gambling sites online.

1. BLAST Premier

Date: 14th Feb – 19th Dec
Prize Pool: $1,000,000 USD
Teams: 24

BLAST Premier 2021 follows on the success of last year’s successes and returns with a new qualifying series.

As one of the longest tournaments of the year, BLAST Premier will span more than 10 months – starting in February and ending in December.

This year’s event will also be open to more CS:GO teams from around the world which will be able to join the event’s official teams through a new, worldwide, BLAST Premier Qualifying Series.

The teams that manage to come on top in these qualifying events, will be able to earn a spot in the BLAST Premier Spring and Fall Showdowns.

From there, they could even reach whe Spring and Fall Finals and World Final

BLAST Premier’s 12 official teams are:

  1. 100 Thieves
  2. Astralis
  3. Complexity Gaming
  4. Evil Geniuses
  5. FaZe Clan
  6. G2 Esports
  7. Team Liquid
  8. MiBR
  9. Natus Vincere
  10. Ninjas in Pyjamas
  11. OG
  12. Team Vitality

Format, Schedule and Prize Pool

Blast Premier 2021 Format, Schedule and Prize Pool
Image source: blastpremier.com/premier/

As per its previous season, BLAST Premier will be divided into two Spring and Fall stages, each containing a Regular Season, a Showdown phase and a Final. At the end of the year, a Global Final event takes place with the top 8 teams.

Major Dates and Prize Pools for the 2021 season:

  • BLAST Premier Spring Groups – $150,000 (4-14 February)
  • BLAST Premier Spring Showdown – $162,500 (13-18 April)
  • BLAST Premier Spring Final – $425,000 (15-20 June)
  • BLAST Premier Fall Groups – $150,000 (26 August – 5 September)
  • BLAST Premier Fall Showdown – $162,500 (12-17 October)
  • BLAST Premier Fall Final – $425,000 (23-28 November)
  • BLAST Premier World Final – $1,000,000 (14-19 December)

BLAST Premier tournaments will have a combined prize money of $2,475,000.

Read more about BLAST Premier at blastpremier.com

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2. IEM Katowice

Date: 23rd Oct – 7th Nov
Prize Pool: $1,000,000 USD
Teams: 24

IEM Katowice is not only one of the major CSGO tournaments of 2021 but one of the world’s most popular esports events with a history that goes back 14 years.

The Intel Extreme Masters represents a series of major events organized by ESL that became synonymous with high-level, professional Counter Strike play.

IEM Katowice holds a special place among the Intel Masters, being by far the most popular and fan-loved tournament.

Past editions of IEM Katowice broke all previous audience records both online and offline and, for a few weeks, turned the Spodek Arena in Poland turns into a mecca for CSGO fans worldwide.

The teams qualified for IEM Katowice 2021 are:

  • Heroic
  • Team Vitality
  • Astralis
  • NAVI
  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan
  • Furia Esports
  • Evil Geniuses

Teams that will participate in the Play-in stage:

Format, Schedule & Prize Pool

The 2021 event will feature a 3-stage format:

Play-In Stage: 16th – 17th February
16 Team Double Elimination Bracket. Opening Matches are Bo1 while all other matches are Bo3. 8 teams progress to main event

Main Event
Group Stage: 18th – 21st February.
2 Groups of 8 Teams will be play in single Elimination bracket with Bo3 matches.

Play-Offs: 26th – 28th February
2 teams qualify directly to semi finals and 4 teams to quarter finals. All matches are Bo3 except the Grand Final which will be plauyed as Best of 5.

IEM Katowice 2021 offers a total prize pool of $1,000,000 and as part of the Intel Grand Slam series, it offers the winning team one point towards the Intel Grand Slam and its similarly fabulous $1,000,000 prize.

The tournament winner will collect $400,000 while the team that manages to finish second will receive $180,000.

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3. ESL Pro League

Date: 23rd Oct – 7th Nov
Prize Pool: $1,000,000 USD
Teams: 24

ESL Pro League returns in 2021 with two major CS:GO tournaments: the Season 13 and Season 14 events taking place in Malta.

The tournaments, each offering a staggering $750,000 prize pool are a restart of the traditional ESL Pro series events after the cancellation of the 11th and 12 season in 2020 due to the global pandemic.

In 2021, ESL returns to its previous global format and with it, one of the most exciting events of the CS:GO competitional year.

Additionally, high performing teams will be able to earn points towards the Intel Grand Slam and its $1M prize pool.

What teams will play in the ESL Pro League in 2021?

Both partner teams and non partner teams can participate in the ESL Pro League.

There are currently 12 partners teams who have long-term participation slots which protect them from getting relegated.

Partner teams get a number of slots in ESL Pro Tour events if they are ranked top 20 in the world. A 16 team event for example has 6 slots for partner teams.

Non-partner teams can join in any of the ESL Pro Leagues if they rank high enough in the ESL CS:GO World Ranking.

Additionally, two spots are reserved for the winners of the Mountain Dew League winners.

Format, Schedule & Prize Pool

EventDatePrize Pool
Season 1313th Mar – 18th Apr$750,000
Season 141st Sep – 10th Oct$750,000

Both season will feature Group, Play-in and Playoffs Stages structured as follows:

Group Stage:
Four single round-robin format groups with six teams. All matches are Bo3
and will see the winners proceed to the Play-In stage. Group’s 2nd & 3rd place teams advance to the Round of 12/

Play-Ins:
Structured as a single-Elimination bracket with best of three matches. Winning teams advance to the Semifinals while the losing teams advance to the Quarterfinals.

Playoffs:
Team will play in a single-elimination bracket. All matches (excl. Grand Final) are Bo3 and the Grand Final is Best of 5.


4. ESL One Cologne 2021

Date: 7th November
Prize Pool: $1,000,000 USD
Teams: 24

If all the Spring action takes place in the Southern hemisphere, in Summer, all the ESL and CSGO action moves back to Europe, in Cologne.

ESL One returns for the 7th year in a row in the German city, for a CSGO event s that has matured into one of the most iconic and prestigious esports tournaments of the year.

ESL One Cologne 2021 will take place at the legendary LANXESS Arena where 16 elite squads will hear the cheers of thousands of es ports fans from over 60+ countries.

The winning team will earn the lion’s share of $1.000.000, and continue to augment their legacy in the ESL Pro Tour!

Teams participating in ESL Cologne 2021:

Out of the 24 participating teams, 16 will qualify through the Road to Cologne rankings while the remaining 8 will represent wildcard invites.

At the time of writing, there were no official teams yet qualified but looking at the current rankings, Astralis, Heroic, Furia and Vitality are among the favourites for a direct qualification.

Road to Cologne Rankings as of December 2020

Format, Schedule and Prize Pool

Following the recent introduction of ESL Pro Tour circuit, ESL One Cologne became one of the two masterships of the series, the other being IEM Katowice.

The new Pro Tour aims to connect every ESL and DreamHack competition around the world under a unified approach and one global ranking.

Participating teams will earn qualifying points towards the two Masterships by participating in one of over twenty tournaments parts of the new circuit.

ESL One Cologne Schedule

StageStart DateEnd Date
Group StageJuly 16thJuly 17th
PlayoffsJuly 18thJuly 19th

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5. CS:GO Major Championship Fall

Date: 23rd October – 7th November
Prize Pool: $1,000,000 USD
Teams: 24

The only remaining Valve-sponsored tournament of the year, the CS:GO Championship Major will be one of the most important events of 2021.

Thanks to a qualification system that takes into account teams’ performance throughout the year, this Major is certain to bring together some of the best teams of 2021.

Not a lot of information is available at the time of writing but we do know how the event will unfold.

Format, Schedule and Prize Pool

As per its previous iterations, this Valve event is also divided into three stages -Challengers, Legends and Champions.

Based on their RMR Rankings, teams will be placed to either Challenger or Legends.

Challengers Stage: November 1st – 4th, 2021
Top 8 Teams proceed to The Legends Stage
Bottom 8 Teams are eliminated

Legends Stage: November 6th – 9th, 2021
Top 8 Teams proceed to The Champions Stage
Bottom 8 Teams are eliminated

Champions Stage: November 11th – 14th, 2021
Single-Elimination bracket
The Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
Grand Final is TBA.


6. IEM Masters Tournaments

Date: August, October & December
Prize Pool: $250,000 USD
Teams: TBA

There’s no less than 3 IEM Masters in 2021 so for the sake of keeping things simple we thought covering all of them in one go makes sense.

The IEM Masters of 2021 are:

After the Intel Extreme Masters Season XV – World Championship Katowice, taking place in February, IEM moves to Melbourne in August; to New York in October and, in December, somewhere in Asia.

The tournaments will feature 16 teams competing for a share of the $250,000 USD prize pool as well as the opportunity of another tournament win towards the third season of the Intel Grand Slam.

Format

All three event follow a similar format:

Group Stage:
Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups. Each group has eight teams playing Bo3 matches.

The top three teams from each group advance to the Playoffs:
Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
Group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds

Playoffs:
The IEM Masters Playoffs are played as a single-elimination bracket. The Quarterfinals & Semifinals are Bo3 while the Grand Final is Best of Five.


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7. DreamHack Masters

Date: 3rd – 13th June
Prize Pool: $250,000 USD
Teams: TBA

DreamHack Masters returns in 2021 with another premier event taking place in early June and offering a $250,000 prize pool.

Starting with 2016, the DreamHack Masters gives CS:GO fans around the world the opportunity to see live some of the best teams in the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene.

AS previous events, the 2021 DreamHack Masters will focus on the viewer experience for those watching from around the world via online streams.

The location of the tournament and participating teams weren’t made public yet.

DreamHack Masters is part of the Intel Grand Slam series of events

8. PGL Major Stockholm

Date: 23rd Oct – 7th November
Prize Pool: $2,000,000 USD
Teams: TBA

There’s not a lot of information available regarding the PGL Major Stockholm tournament, beside it’s venue, prize-pool and the event format.

As one of the premier CSGO tournaments of the year, the Swedish event will offer one of the largest prize pools in competitive Counter Strike: Global Offensive this year: 2 million US Dollars.

Spread over two weeks, between 23rd of October and 7th November, the PGL Major will feature a 3-stage format, with participating teams progressing throught a Challengers, Legends and a Champions stage.

As part of the the ESL Pro Tour, the PGL Major will reward its winner with 1800 points and a place in the BLAST Premier Final.

Last Updated:
07/02/2021

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rendered (mm/dd/yyy):7/31/2021, 10:28:13 AM