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BREAKING: Counter-Strike will move towards a more open tournament ecosystem following the launch of CS2.

Franchising and partner teams in esports have become something of the norm for many different video game titles. One of which is Counter-Strike, which has third-party owners select teams to participate in some of the most high-profile tournaments. But that could all change by 2025.

In a new statement outlining competitive requirements for CS2, Valve continued to mention the plan to move to an open ecosystem, making their tournaments available to the best players and teams through open qualifiers. But it could be a play for Valve to take over full control of CS2 as Activision has done in the Call of Duty League.

In a recent Tweet from Jake Lucky, Valve announced that it should be "an open sport." The publisher is adding new requirements to their large-scale competitive events. The details aren't finalized yet, but here's what to potentially expect:

  • Tournament organizers will no longer have unique business relationships or other conflicts of interest with teams that participate in their events.
  • Invitations to all tournaments will use Valve's ranking system or otherwise be determined by open qualifiers.
  • Any compensation for participating teams - prize pool or otherwise - will be made public and will be driven by objective criteria that can be inspected by the community. 

With tournament organizers having existing commitments to franchise leagues and partner teams, the requirements are expected to take effect in 2025. Valve expects some "rough edges" in the transition but says that they are "committed to the long-term health of Counter-Strike as a sport." 

While third party organizers will no-doubt feel this news affect their bottom lines, the change has received a largely positive reception from general esports fans and competitors.