The CS: GO Major Championships are tournaments sponsored by Valve with a prize pool of at least $1,000,000 (previously $250,000). They were first announced to the public at DreamHack Winter 2013.
In previous versions of Counter-Strike, Valve did not support the Major Championships.
The Offline Qualifier debuted as part of Valve’s Major Championship at ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018. As a result of this change, the Major Championships were expanded from 16 to 24 teams, and each stage of the tournament was renamed accordingly.
The New Challengers Stage (formerly the Offline Qualifier)
The New Legends Stage has eight spots available for teams from the previous major fallen and minor champions.
The New Legends Stage (formerly the Group Stage)
The New Challengers and Current Legends compete for eight spots on The New Champions Stage and the chance to become The New Legends.
The New Champions Stage (formerly the Playoffs)
Eight teams compete for the major championship (The New Legends).
In the major championship playoffs, teams are awarded championship rings based on how far they advance in the tournament and where they begin.
The top eight teams from each major qualify for the New Legends Stage.
At the current major, the eight best teams from the New Challengers Stage are promoted to Challengers and compete in the finals against the current crop of Legends.
All six teams that finished first and second in the previous major’s New Legends Stage are automatically qualified for the New Challengers Stage of the subsequent major.
Winners: The top two teams from each regional minor championship, as well as the two teams from the third-place minor, who have qualified for the new challenger stage of the next major.
At the first major DreamHack Winter 2013 event, map-based souvenir packages and souvenir weapons with a yellow theme were introduced. Packages can be obtained by watching the tournament on GOTV or Twitch with a linked Steam account and acting as containers that can be opened without the use of a key. The souvenir packages for this major included six distinct stickers in both standard and foil versions. To the weapons that fell from these packages, only one sticker was applied.
EMS One Katowice 2014 is well-known for introducing team stickers in standard, foil, and holographic variations. On Katowice-dropped weapons, two foil team logos from the televised match and a golden wolf or skull design were applied. When DreamHack Winter 2014 arrived, the gold version of the tournament’s organizer logo took its place, beginning with ESL One: Cologne 2014. ESL One: Cologne 2015 introduced player autograph stickers in both regular and foil varieties, which were chosen based on the round MVP. MLG Columbus 2016 All-Stars Showmatch swag included special holo stickers. For the first time, gold player autographs were added to the PGL Kraków 2017.
At the 2019 IEM Katowice, attendees could earn souvenir package drops, an event coin that could be upgraded, and team graffiti by completing event-related missions using the new, fee-based Viewer Pass. Souvenir packages can be purchased from the StarLadder Berlin 2019 website. As part of PGL Stockholm 2021’s rule that players can only sign autographs during the playoffs, players’ signatures were traded for map stickers in souvenir packages.
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