The Major CSGO Tournaments of 2020

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

The major CSGO 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 esport’s most passionate fans.

Spread across the entire globe, from Europe to South America and Asia, 2020’s biggest CSGO events list features some already established competitions but introduces a few new twists as well. So, if you’re asking what are the unmissable CS GO events of the year…

The Major CS GO Tournaments of 2020 are:

  1. ESL One: Rio
  2. ESL One: Cologne
  3. World Electronic Sports Games
  4. IEM Katowice
  5. BLAST Premier

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

1. ESL One: Rio

Taking place at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between 21st and 24th May 2020, the ESL One event will see 24 of the world’s best CSGO roster competing for $1M US dollars. The event is also part of the Intel Grand Slam Series, the mega tournament that awards the first team that wins 4 major events organized by ESL or Dreamhack with a whooping $1,000,000.

ESL One Rio 2020 is the first Major tournament to take place in the South American country, even if not the first one under the ESL brand- Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte hosted tournaments in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

ESL One Rio 2020 Format

In 2020, ESL promises to raise the stakes to the maximum, with no less than 9 regional tournament qualifiers, starting as early as January 31st.

The ESL One Rio Minors will have their debut at the end of April, with matches being played backstage and top 10 teams advancing in the Challengers Stage where they will meet some already qualified teams such as G2 or MiBR. 8 victors will take the battle further, into the Legends Stage. 8 teams have already qualified for the Legends stage. Among them Liquid, Astralis, Team Vitality, Natus Vincere, Ence, Avangar, Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves. The 8 top teams that will emerge victorious will advance to the final stage of the tournament.

The Champions stage, or the tournament grand final will start Thursday, May 21st.

ESL One Rio Schedule

StageStart DateEnd Date
Open Qualifiers:January 31stFebruary 16th
Closed Qualifiers:March 3rdMarch 8th
Minors:April 26thMay 3rd
Challengers Stage:May 11thMay 14th
Legends Stage:May 16thMay 19th
Champions Stage:May 21stMay 24th

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2. ESL One: Cologne

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 6th 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 2020 will take place at the legendary LANXESS Arena where 16 elite squads will hear the cheers of thousands of esports 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!

ESL One Cologne Format

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. DreamHack Open Valencia 2020 will be the last event to seed a team for the Cologne event, that will see its Group stage debut on July 6th with teams placed in two double-elimination groups. Top three teams will qualify for the Playoffs where they will be placed in a single-elimination bracket.

ESL One Cologne Schedule

StageStart DateEnd Date
Group StageJuly 6thJuly 9th
PlayoffsJuly 10thJuly 12th

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3. World Electronic Sports Games

The World Electronic Sports Games 2020 will take place in Chongqing, China in March and represents the culmination of the 2019 – 2020 WESG season. A truly global event, the WESG series of events that gives teams across the world the opportunity to participate in a major CSGO tournament.

With five regional divisions including Europe, Americas, China and the Asia – Pacific, each one with their own subdivisions and teams acting as a representative of their respective countries, the World Electronic Sports Games represents the closest thing the CSGO scene has to an Olympic event.

WESG 2020 offers a total prize pool of $1,000,000 US dollars and will see up to 32 teams participating in its Grand Final event in Chongqing. Some of the CSGO teams that have already managed to earn a spot in the final are Heroic (Europe), Nemiga (CIS) or Chaos Esports Club (North America). The complete list of qualified teams will be available mid-february after the concluding rounds of the Latin America and Asia-Pacific leagues.

WESG 2020 Format

The WESG 2020 Finals will follow a Group Stage / Playoffs format. In the groups stage, teams will be divided into 8 groups and will play each other once in Best of 2 format. Top two teams from each Group will advance to the Playoffs where they will be placed in a single-elimination bracket and play in Best of 3 format.

4. IEM Katowice

IEM Katowice 2020 is not only one of the major CSGO tournaments of 2020 but one of the world’s most popular esports events with a history that goes back 13 years. The Intel Extreme Masters represent 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. The 2019 edition of IEM Katowice broke all previous audience records both online and offline and, for a few weeks, turned the Spodek Arena in Poland in a mecca for CSGO fans worldwide.

IEM Katowice 2020 offers a total prize pool of $500,000 and as part of both the Intel Grand Slam it offers the winning team one point towards the Intel Grand Slam and its fabulous $1,000,000 prize.

The teams already qualified for IEM Katowice are Fnatic, Astralis and Mousesports. 6 other teams will join them after the conclusion of the regional qualifiers in Europe, North America, Oceania and Asia and 7 other teams will receive an invitation.

IEM Katowice 2020 Format

IEM Katowice 2020 will be played in a Group Stage / Playoffs format. Group Stage will divide the participating teams into two double elimination groups with top 3 teams in each group advancing to the Playoffs as follows:
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
IEM Katowice Playoffs will be played as a single-elimination bracket with Quarter Finals and Semifinals played as Best of 3 and the Grand Final as BO5.

IEM Katowice 2020 Schedule

StageStart DateEnd Date
Group StageFebruary 25thFebruary 27th
PlayoffsFebruary 28thMarch 1st

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5. BLAST Premier

The CSGO BLAST Premier represents new global tournament series in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that will span over two seasons and offer $4,250,000 in total prize pool, with $1M reserved for the Global Final winner. BLAST Premier is scheduled to start in London in January with the 12 partner teams although some events will allow outside teams to compete as well.

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

BLAST Premier Format

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.

BLAST Premier Regular Season

The regular season will be spread over 3 weeks and will see the 12 teams divided into 3 groups. Each group plays over 1 tournament week with the top 2 teams from each group moves to the Spring/Fall FINAL. Bottom 2 teams from each group will play the Spring/Fall Showdown.

BLAST Premier Showdown

The Showdown phase will be played over 1 week with the 10 participating teams divided into 2 groups. Top 2 teams advance to Spring/Fall Final

BLAST Premier Final

The Spring and Fall Finals will be played over 1 tournament week with the 8 teams separated into 2 groups.

All matches are Best of 3, and in a shift from the previous format of BLAST events, only 1 game will be played at any time.

Read more about BLAST Premier at