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esports
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Valve outlines selection process for CS:GO Majors

Including venue, host, audience, experience, and more.

  • Text: Sam Bishop
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CS:GO Majors are the biggest competitions in the game, and now Valve itself has released information regarding the selection process for hosts and venues of these competitions, including an FAQ, all of which serves as a guide for future applicants to consider.

As part of this Valve makes clear that a Major needs to do three things:

1) Exceed expectations and innovate.
2) Be scheduled conveniently for a typical CS:GO player to view at home
3) Be freely available on the viewing platforms preferred by the CS:GO audience.

So what does Valve need from any potential tournament organisers? Well, they need to be able to support the event themselves so that the Major can be fully-featured and broadcast in-client, but on top of that they need evidence that the organiser can run big events, making them more likely to succeed.

There's also the trade-off to consider, i.e. the balance between online viewership and in-person attendance, as one venue may be good for one but bad for another, as well as risk. "It's important to us that tournament organizers are willing to take risks and explore new formats, production features, types of venue or staging, etc. That being said, we look for proposals that balance the value created by taking risks with a reasonable backup plan in case those risks don't work out," Valve writes.

If after all this Valve narrows down the list and still doesn't have a clear winner from the applications, then proposals get evaluated on what events would teach them and help guide their decisions moving forward. Once that's settled on, though, the partner is selected, paperwork is finished, and the event is announced as soon as possible.

In the FAQ Valve also adds that it doesn't really matter if the last Major was in a specific region, as things don't necessarily always have to be varied. Time zone, on the other hand, is a little more important, as they explain:

"The global audience for CS:GO tends to hit its peak at around 14:00 EST, so we prefer proposals that can place the most important match-ups around that time. Note that it's easier for an online audience to stay up a little late than to wake up early, and arena audiences don't like to attend as late as online audiences peak viewership, which means that ideal locations are between EST and CET."

We also learn in the same post that venue size doesn't matter, instead being focused around the experience both in-person and on the stream; nor does it matter if other games are at the same event as the Major.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Photo: Eleague