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The best highlights from the CS:GO ESL One Katowice 2015

Csgo 2015-02-23 12-15-51-87

CS:GO’s ESL One Katowice last weekend drew more than a million viewers at its peak, a record viewership for any version of professional Counter-Strike. If you hold that number up against the number of people who gathered around League of Legends late last year (11 million concurrently) it looks slim, but it’s a significant milestone for the FPS genre, which has struggled for decades to pull a large audience around its various competitive scenes.

Granted, the fact that spectators could earn rare editions of CS:GO weapon skins by watching might’ve had something to do with Katowice’s popularity. I’d rather credit that excitement to its matches, the majority of which were excellent through the four-day event. Coming into Saturday, the semifinals were stacked: Polish home team Virtus Pro was matched against Fnatic, who’s considered the most-skilled team in the world. On the other side of the bracket, Dreamhack Winter 2014 champs (as Team LDLC) Team EnVyUs faced off with Swedish stalwarts NiP.

I recommend jumping into the “Watch” panel in CS:GO to watch some of the final matches in-client, but if you're short on time, here are some of my favorite clips from the event.

Katowice's early rounds included more than a few blowouts, but this video collects some of the best moments from early play

GeT_RiGhT pulls an insane 4K on de_dust2

Neo and Pasha make a memorable moving boost on Cobblestone

Device patiently lines up two NiP in banana on Inferno

Good breakdown of Pronax’s strategy in some key rounds against NiP and VP

Friberg pulls a crazy double-kill on a single AK spray on the final map of the Katowice finals to keep NiP in it

Another great breakdown of Cloud9’s T-side pistol round execution against TSM on Nuke

MojoOnPC pulls in teams' in-game voice chat to share some of the funny moments from the competition, including team kills

Evan Lahti

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.