5 Best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Events of 2019

Astralis lifting the trophy at the IEM Katowice Major 2019
Astralis lifting the trophy at the IEM Katowice Major 2019 / Courtesy of Helena Kristiansson/ESL

With the player break starting as we head into the holidays, it's safe to say that 2019 was a great year for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

With superstar lineups splitting up and new ones forming, the retirement of the game's most beloved veterans, 2020 is looking to be another fresh and exciting for Counter-Strike.

Here are the five best CS:GO events of the year.

5. IEM XIV Beijing 2019

  • Winner: Astralis
  • Runner-up: 100 Thieves
  • Prize Pool: $250,000

IEM Beijing 2019 saw a great performance from 100 Thieves who had just joined the organization after playing for Renegades. 100 Thieves managed to convincingly beat out ENCE in two maps, before facing Team Vitality, who kept the match close before being run over by the Aussies 16-2 on Inferno. Astralis rolled over 100 Thieves in the finals, but second place was an impressive result for the boys on their maiden voyage in a new organization.

4. ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals

  • Winner: mousesports
  • Runner-up: Fnatic
  • Prize Pool: $600,000

Finn "karrigan" Andersen had a lot to prove with his lineup on mousesports after being dropped from FaZe Clan earlier in the year, and did just that. Karrigan led his team to a surprising upset over Astralis, who had dominated the scene for the majority of the year, in the semifinals, and afterwards handily beat out Fnatic to win the entire tournament.

Mousesports' win at Odense makes them a contender for the Intel Grand Slam where four other teams are tied with mousesports for the $1,000,000.

3. StarLadder Berlin Major 2019

  • Winner: Astralis
  • Runner-up: AVANGAR
  • Prize Pool: $1,000,000

The StarLadder Berlin Major was an exciting tournament full of upsets. StarLadder marked the rise of upcoming teams like NRG (now Evil Geniuses) and Renegades (now 100 Thieves) who proved their worth over previous powerhouse teams like Na'Vi and ENCE.

AVANGAR found its way to the finals by beating Team Vitality and Renegades in the playoffs, an impressive result for the CIS squad. Astralis overcame Team Liquid, who were dominating the scene in the months leading to the Major, earlier in the playoffs. The Danes ended up breezing through AVANGAR in the finals, and lifted their second Major trophy of the year, making four all together for the Danish lineup.

2. ESL One New York

Evil Geniuses defated Astralis in the organization's return to Counter-Strike at ESL New York 2019
Evil Geniuses defated Astralis in the organization's return to Counter-Strike at ESL New York 2019 / Photo Courtesy of ESL
  • Winner: Evil Geniuses
  • Runner-up: Astralis
  • Prize Pool: $200,000

ESL One New York was a defining tournament for the latter part of 2019. While Team Liquid was the dominant North American team for the majority of the year though NRG had slowly been making its way up the rankings. When the team announced it would be leaving NRG to play under Evil Geniuses, marking a return to CS after six years, everyone was excited to see how the team would perform under a new banner.

After beating Astralis in the finals and lifting the trophy at New York, Evil Geniuses solidified themselves as a force to be reckoned with, and proved they were there to stay by winning StarSeries Season 8 a few weeks later.

1. IEM XII Katowice Major 2019

  • Winner: Astralis
  • Runner-up: ENCE
  • Prize Pool: $1,000,000

IEM Katowice is one of the most iconic CS:GO events that happen every year, and with the extra flair of it being a Valve Major with a million dollar prize pool brings it to the top of the list despite it being towards the start of the year.

The tournament also marked ENCE's rise to prominence, as the Finns made a miraculous run all the way to the Grand Finals by beating vastly favored teams in Liquid and Na'Vi.

IEM Katowice also got nominated for Best Esports Event at The Game Awards this year, but lost the award to the League of Legends World Championship.