Game developer Valve has announced stringent new requirements for Counter-Strike esports events, set to take effect in 2025.
The new rules prohibit tournament organizers from having “unique business relationships or other conflicts of interest” with participating teams, signaling the end of the reigning semi-franchised partner team model dominating the scene.
Valve also mandates that all tournament invitations must use their ranking system or open qualifiers. Additionally, compensation paid to participating teams, including prize money and other revenue streams, must be made public and based on objective criteria that can be inspected by the community.
Valve Changing the Counter-Strike Esports Landscape
This move aims to ensure an open and competitive esports ecosystem. Currently, leagues like ESL Pro League and BLAST Premier operate on a semi-franchised model, where partnered teams secure permanent slots, and non-partnered teams compete through open qualifiers. Such models will not be allowed under the new rules, leading to a major overhaul of Counter-Strike’s esports structure.
Valve’s decision will impact tournament organizers like ESL and BLAST, prompting them to adapt their revenue-sharing models. ULrich Schulze, SVP of Game Ecosystems at ESL FACEIT Group, announced plans to shift to a revenue-sharing model that includes all participating teams from 2025.
BLAST remains committed to staying integral to tier 1 CS in the new open ecosystem, promising to innovate esports viewing experiences worldwide.
Valve’s focus on an open and level playing field stems from concerns about the gradual drift away from this ideal in the professional Counter-Strike scene. The company aims to preserve the game’s long-term health and address issues with closed-off ecosystems.
While the specifics of the rules are still in progress, Valve’s announcement sets a clear direction for the future of Counter-Strike esports. The changes will undoubtedly reshape the landscape, encouraging diversity, competition, and accessibility in the sport.
The esports community awaits the implementation of these new rules, anticipating a new era for Counter-Strike in 2025.
For more up-to-date news and features about esports, please visit our eSports News and Features at, Crypto Club Site.