Valve just announced that all future CS:GO majors will have a prize pool of $1 million. The previous purse for a major was $250,000, a figure that many major or unofficial CS:GO events have equaled but never exceeded. The first $1 million tournament will be MLG Columbus 2016, which takes place March 29 through April 3. Although it's the only major on the calendar so far for 2016, there were three each in 2015 and 2014.
According to an MLG official, tournament winnings will be structured thus:
- Winner $500,000
- Finalist $150,000
- Semi-Finalist $70,000
- Quarter Finalist $35,000
- Group Stage $8,750
With this announcement, posted unceremoniously on the Counter-Strike blog, Valve's financial commitment should further stimulate the scene and encourage existing teams to dedicate themselves to CS:GO even more in the face of upcoming, esports-friendly FPSes like Overwatch. "The professional CS:GO community has been growing at an incredible rate," Valve says in the announcement. CS:GO was the second-most watched game on Twitch during 2015, after League of Legends, and it remains the second-most played game on Steam (in terms of concurrent players) after Dota 2.