Looking back: Major Counter-Strike developments in 2023

Looking back: Major Counter-Strike developments in 2023

28 December 2023

For years now, the Counter-Strike franchise has produced some of the most popular and most-played esports titles in the world. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was one of the best international esports titles for the past few years and the highlight of the years for fans and players was probably the introduction of the latest game in the franchise, Counter-Strike 2. That wasn’t the only major highlight in the CS universe though, so with the end of the year upon us, we’re taking a quick look at some of the biggest developments that took place throughout 2023.

Counter-Strike 2

We already mentioned the release of Counter-Strike 2, back in September of this year, so we can’t start this list without highlighting how big of a thing this was. The Counter-Strike franchise belongs to the most successful esports products of all time after all, and it took developer Valve no less than 11 years to come up with their newest title. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was released in 2012 and replaced by Counter-Strike 2 in 2023, so expectations for the game in 2024 are sky high.

End of franchising in the Counter-Strike universe

Nothing tops the long-awaited release of Counter-Strike this year, although the new rules for running competitive CS events that were introduced this year probably come closest. Valve announced that from 2025 onwards, event organizers can no longer have “unique business relationships or other conflicts of interest”. Simply said, this means the end of franchising in Counter-Strike, as only open qualifiers or Valve’s ranking system can be used to fill tournament slots. This is particularly big news for organizers BLAST and ESL, who have historically used a closed-off qualification system that included invites for teams who had bought permanent slots.

First Major in Asia announced

This one is particularly big for Asian Counter-Strike fans, but a major development for fans all around the world as well. In November, event organizer Perfect World announced that they would host their second-ever official Counter-Strike event in 2024. More important than that though, is the fact that it will be the first Major to be organized in Asian in the history of the franchise. The event is set to take place between December 1 and December 15 of the coming year in Shanghai.

Twitch updates Community Guidelines

2023 was a big year for Twitch as well, as the hugely popular streaming platform started to seriously crack down on all types of gambling-related content. In terms of Counter-Strike, this also put an end to the promotion and sponsorship of skins gambling sites. The following update of Valve’s Code of Conduct took the next step in this direction by making gambling on Steam an offence that can lead to a ban. This was big not just for esports organizations and broadcasters, but also for the large number of content creators (on Twitch) who were collaborating with skin gambling providers.