Only a couple days left until the beginning of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ESL-One over in Cologne, Germany. This will be ESL’s second time hosting a $250,000 tournament and the excitement is tangible in the community. This tournament will be the third in total since Valve announced that they would be financing major events, the first two being DreamHack Winter in November 2013 and EMS-One Katowice back in March.

Dreamhack Winter marked the beginning of the revival for CS:GO. The game was  stuck in a rut ever since its release back in August 2012. Only receiving a few updates and almost no new content, the game didn’t seem to be a priority for Valvle. The amazing rise to fame of DOTA2 and million dollar tournaments like The International seemed to seal CS:GO’s fate. However, there has been a recent shift in momentum, all of it because of the community. On August 13th 2013, Valve release The Arms Deal patch which introduced weapon skins and in-game weapon case drops.To open these weapon cases, a key is needed. These keys can be purchased in the game interface and a portion of the revenue goes directly into the prize pool for upcoming events. In a matter of weeks, there was such an overwhelming response from the community that Valve was able to announce the first big tournament, Dreamhack Winter. The prize pool? A whooping $250,000, making it the biggest CS:GO tournament ever hosted.

Data from Steamgraph

Counter-Strike’s return to fame is nothing short of amazing. In fact, it is very reminiscent of DOTA2’s rise back in 2012. Valve even recently hinted that an event, not unlike The International, is a very real possibility for CS:GO. This, combined with the non-stop growth of eSports, make the rebirth of Counter-Strike as a major player world-wide, a very real possibility.