Over the weekend, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive proved itself for having one of the largest followings in the ever-growing circles of esports.
The first-ever Valve-supported ELEAGUE Major pitted Danish organization Astralis against the Russian might of Virtus.pro in the grand finals. The hype leading up to this stage resulted in exploding numbers for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
In the best-of-three series, Virtus.pro started off by bagging the first map, Nuke. Astralis replied by acquiring a significant lead in the second map, Cache. However, the Russian squad countered that by making a phenomenal comeback to take the map to 14-14. Unfortunately for Virtus.pro, it couldn’t wrap up the series then.
The tense exchange of rounds in the second map saw the ELEAGUE Major breaking the Twitch record for most concurrent viewers on a single channel with nearly 900,000 viewers. It should be noted that prior to the grand finals, the entire week of professional Counter-Strike proceedings only average between 300,000-600,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch.
“With 890k+ viewers, this second map of the #ELEAGUEMajor grand final just broke the single channel concurrent record on Twitch,” revealed Twitch Senior Esports Manager Cristian Tamas.
Train, the third map in the series, went down to the wire as well. Virtus.pro opened up with a 5-0 lead on the Danish squad, making everyone believe the match was over. As it turned out, the Danish squad wasn’t letting go of its dream that easily. Astralis fought back, snatching round after round and capitalizing on every opportunity that presented itself.
Astralis became the first CS:GO Major champion of 2017 with a final score of 16-14. By the end, the concurrent viewership on Twitch had crossed the one-million barrier with ease. The collective numbers, accounting for other channels and platforms, is yet unknown.
It was widely believed that the recent gambling scandal severely damaged the reputation of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It appears that it had no effect on the game. If anything, the esports scene of CS:GO is expanding and growing healthier with each year.