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All CSGO & CS2 Major Champions in History

Counter-Strike, now in its iteration known as CS2, boasts a vibrant esports scene. There are numerous tournaments held each year with its own prestige that can only be matched by a select few. Such are the ESL Pro League, one of the finest competitions in the professional scene that spans over a month, along with the IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne events, widely regarded as two of the greatest tournaments ever held. But a step above all of those are the Counter-Strike Major Championships, events held by the developers Valve themselves, which serve as the ultimate stage in professional CS for any individual and team to make a name for themselves. Winning a Major will forever place your name alongside the game’s greatest players and often bestow upon one’s team the title of best in the world.

History of Counter-Strike Majors

The first-ever Major took place in November 2013 at DreamHack Winter. Since it was a brand new concept, it was also the rawest and least polished version of the tournament. Nonetheless, it was an important milestone for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive which had just been out for little over a year at that point, giving the new title a tournament to be motivated to win. Throughout the years there have been a total of 20 Majors across CS:GO and CS2, with 19 in Global Offensive and just one so far in CS2. 14 different organizations have won Majors, with only a handful repeating more than once.

All CSGO Major Winners

In the 19 Majors held in Global Offensive, there were 14 different organizations to win the coveted Major trophy.

DreamHack Winter 2013 – fnatic

In the early days of CS:GO, fnatic were considered as one of the very best teams in the world and the true challenger to the reign of Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP). When the first-ever CS:GO Major rolled around, fnatic continued their dominant ways and cemented their place in history by becoming the inaugural Major champions in front of their home crowd nonetheless. They topped their group with two comfortable wins over Clan-Mystik and Natus Vincere to reach the playoffs. There, fnatic bested Recursive in three maps and swept Complexity to set up a grand final series against NIP. The five-stack of Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist, Andreas “znajder” Lindberg, Jonatan “Devilwalk” Lundberg, and Markus “pronax” Wallsten went the distance and wrapped up their tournament with a 16-2 beatdown of NIP on Train to become the first-ever CS:GO Major champions, taking home $100,000 from the $250,000 prize pool as well.

EMS One Katowice 2014 – Virtus.pro

The first Major of 2014 and second overall was held in Katowice for the first time ever, running from March 13 to 16, 2014. Virtus.pro, the all-Polish squad most famous for being the Ninjas in Pyjamas in CS:GO ending their 87-0 map streak, took to the stage in front of their home country and delivered a show. They eased past Titan and won in overtime against HellRaisers in the group stage to qualify for the playoffs. Virtus.pro then made quick work of LDLC, won the semi-final series 2-1 over LGB, and comfortably swept NIP in the grand final which marked the Swedes’ second consecutive defeat in a Major final. Virtus.pro fielded their most iconic and successful lineup to date at EMS One Katowice with the group of Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas, Filip “NEO” Kubski, Jarosław “pashaBiceps” Jarząbkowski, Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, and Paweł “byali” Bieliński collectively referred to these days as the “Virtus Plow” for their unmatchable skill on the server.

ESL One Cologne 2014 – Ninjas in Pyjamas

After two second place finishes at DreamHack Winter and EMS One Katowice, NIP found themselves back in the grand final of another CS:GO Major – this time at ESL One Cologne 2014. Despite all the shortcomings from the previous two iterations, the group of Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Richard “Xizt” Landström, Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson, and Adam “friberg” Friberg finally broke the curse and lifted the Major trophy for the first time in their careers. With two wins and one loss in the group stage, NIP made it out as the second seed just behind Epsilon. NIP scraped their way through both Cloud9 and LDLC 2-1, setting up a rematch with fnatic in the grand final. GeT_RiGhT and company took the first map before fnatic dominantly answered with the second and, after a long match that nearly went the full distance, the Ninjas pulled off a 16-13 victory in the decider to claim the only trophy that had evaded them for so long.

DreamHack Winter 2014 – LDLC

LDLC was the first of the “French Revolution” teams to truly make their mark in professional Counter-Strike. They reached the organization’s first Major final in the third Valve-sanctioned event of 2014 with a lineup consisting of Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, Edouard “SmithZz” Dubourdeaux, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey, Richard “shox” Papillon, and Vincent “Happy” Cervoni Schopenhauer. LDLC’s victory was truly a landmark not just for French CS, but for the game as well. Their most iconic match did not come in the grand final but rather in the quarter-final against fnatic. Sharing the series evenly at one map apiece, Overpass would decide who moves on to the semi-final round. Leading 13-3 with practically no hope remaining for the Swedes, LDLC fell victim to what is now the most infamous play in CS:GO history – the Olofboost. Though the map went to their opponents, it was later decided that the Olofboost was an illegal play and the entire final match should be repeated to which fnatic declined and ultimately forfeit, giving LDLC the 2-1 series win. From there, they swept Natus Vincere and took down NIP in an overtime third map to claim France’s first-ever CS:GO Major.

ESL One Katowice 2015 – fnatic

ESL One Katowice 2015 was yet another one for the history books. It was the fifth Major to be held in CS:GO and also the fifth time NIP would reach the grand final which is a record that stands to this day in consecutive appearances. It would also be a Major of firsts, specifically the first time a repeat champion would be crowned. Having already won the first-ever CS:GO Major, fnatic did it again in Katowice and dropped only one map en route to the organization’s second Major championship. Jesper “JW” Wecksell, Robin “flusha” Rönnquist, and Markus “pronax” Wallsten all earned their second title while Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer and Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson got a taste of the gold for the very first time. It would mark the last time fnatic and NIP would meet in a Major grand final to date, with the record being 2-1 in favor of the men in orange.

ESL One Cologne 2015 – fnatic

Back-to-back Major championships was unheard of in the early days of CS and, because of all the strong teams around, no one thought it was possible. That is, until fnatic showed everybody that nothing is impossible for what was then the best Major team of all time. The first two-time champions became the first back-to-back champions, adding a third title to their trophy cabinet. Armed with the exact same lineup as the Major-winning team back in Katowice, they again only dropped one map throughout the entire tournament and fended off EnVyUs 2-0 in the grand final to immortalize themselves as the king of CS:GO Majors.

DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 – EnVyUs

The third and final Major of 2015 would not fall to the hands of fnatic, but instead a familiar foe for the guys in orange. After winning ESL One Cologne over EnVyUs, this time the Frenchmen  got the last laugh in Cluj-Napoca after bagging France’s second (and last to date) CS:GO Major championship with a run for the ages. EnVyUs eased through the group stage, took down reigning champions fnatic 2-1 in the quarter-final, reverse-swept G2 in the semi-final, and finally defeated Natus Vincere 2-0 in the grand final to bid adieu to 2015 with French Counter-Strike on top. It was the second Major win for Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey, and Vincent “Happy” Cervoni Schopenhauer, while Dan “apEX” Madesclaire and the greatest CS:GO AWPer of all time Kenny “kennyS” Schrub earned their first Major titles.

MLG Columbus 2016 – Luminosity

The start of the Brazilian era in CS:GO came in 2016 with the greatest Brazilian lineup of all time. With a lineup that consisted of Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Marcelo “coldzera” David, Lincoln “fnx” Lau, and Epitácio “TACO” de Melo, Luminosity took the Counter-Strike world by storm at MLG Columbus 2016. Though the road to the final wasn’t all that straightforward with three close games against Virtus.pro and a near defeat to Liquid if it weren’t for coldzera pulling off the greatest play in CS history, the Brazilians made it to the grand final of a Major for the first time. A close first map and a dominant second map against Natus Vincere later, Luminosity were on top of the world and crowned Major champions, putting Brazilian CS on a pedestal it had previously never been on.

ESL One Cologne 2016 – SK

The Luminosity core that won MLG Columbus switched over to a new organization in SK, but kept all their pieces intact. This allowed them to repeat what they achieved earlier in the year in Cologne, making them only the second lineup to win back-to-back Majors next to fnatic. Their run in Cologne was even better than in Columbus, dropping only one map the entire tournament and stomping Liquid in the grand final to lift the Major trophy and keep the lion’s share of the $1,000,000 prize pool.

ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017 – Astralis

The ELEAGUE Major in Atlanta was the beginning of the greatest dynasty in CS:GO. Astralis finally broke their “semi-final curse” at the Major after clawing their way through the group stage with a 3-2 record, going three maps with Natus Vincere in the quarter-final, and sweeping fnatic in the semis. Their grand final match against Virtus.pro was one of the greatest matches in Global Offensive history, with Astralis coming back from a map down and insurmountable odds on Train to win the whole thing, proving to the world that they were more than just semi-finalists. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye, and Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander were the Danes that started it all, with Kjaerbye earning the MVP award.

PGL Major Krakow 2017 – Gambit

The most unlikely entry on this list, Gambit harnessed the magic of the Major in Krakow with a run that will never be forgotten. A perfect 3-0 in groups matched them up with fnatic in the quarter-final, where Gambit would take a hard-fought 2-0 victory. Their next opponents were the defending Major champions Astralis, yet not even the best Danish team in the world could stop the CIS squad from reaching the grand final against another unlikely finalist, Immortals. The grand final was all about two sides that stunned heavy favorites and former Major champions fighting it out for the greatest prize in CS:GO. The Major was decided on Inferno with the spoils going to Gambit, placing the Russian-Ukrainian side of Counter-Strike on top for the first time since the game’s inception. Mikhail “Dosia” Stolyarov, Däuren “AdreN” Qystaubaev, Rüstem “mou” Telepov, Abay “HObbit” Khassenov, and Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko made up the roster, with the Major being the final trophy left for Zeus to earn after a decorated career that spanned over 15 years at that point.

ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 – Cloud9

If you’re an American or a fan of North American CS, then for sure this is your favorite CS:GO Major of all time. The FaZe vs Liquid match for the title is considered as one of the greatest Major grand finals of all time, with its third map decider hailed by some as the greatest final map in Major history. Everything was there for the taking – an underdog North American side that just barely made it to the playoffs reaching the grand final against one of the best teams in the world with the very best players in the world. It was unbelievable to think that NA had reached a grand final, but they did, and they won. Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, Timothy “autimatic” Ta, William “RUSH” Wierzba, Tarik “tarik” Celik, and Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip immortalized themselves on that day as the greatest North American team ever assembled, successfully coming back from an 11-15 deficit against FaZe on Inferno to give NA its first and only CS:GO Major championship.

FACEIT Major London 2018 – Astralis

This Major was the true start of the most dominant era in the history of CS:GO. The greatest lineup of all time took the stage and never looked back – with Emil “Magisk” Reif now joining the rest in place of Kjaerbye who left for North previously. That exact five-man lineup of Astralis would become known in the land and all the world as the most dangerous and dominant team of all time. The London Major was the organization’s second championship overall, and it wouldn’t  be their last.

IEM Katowice 2019 – Astralis

Third overall and second in a row, Astralis tied the record set by fnatic all those years ago by winning in Katowice. Their opponents in the grand final were an ENCE team riding their own Cinderella run, however the Danes’ firepower was just too much for anyone to handle throughout the tournament. Astralis did not lose a single match all tournament long and, after finally lifting the trophy they fought so hard for, an emotional dupreeh celebrated a bittersweet moment in his life after having played an incredible event despite receiving news of his father’s passing at the beginning of the tournament.

StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 – Astralis

The three-peat and the fourth overall, StarLadder Berlin placed Astralis in the record books of CS:GO forever as they finally surpassed fnatic as the greatest Major team of all time. It was their most dominant Major outing of the four, with just the one map dropped in the Legends stage. Even their much-awaited match against Liquid which took place in the quarter-final was not as competitive as many thought, proving again exactly why Astralis were the best team in the whole world. Astralis won by complete domination in the grand final, making them the last pre-pandemic Major winners.

PGL Major Stockholm 2021 – Natus Vincere

The PGL Major Stockholm was the first Valve-sanctioned tournament held after the COVID-19 phase of CS, ending a two-year absence due to international LAN restrictions. Natus Vincere were at the height of their momentum in the buildup to the event, which they carried over to the Major in the most dominant performance of all time. Unlike the other teams that came before, NAVI did not lose a single map on their way to the organization’s first-ever Major trophy. It was a true crowning moment for Denis “electroNic” Sharipov, Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov, Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy, Valerij “b1t” Vakhovsjky, and the greatest CS:GO player of all time Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev.

PGL Major Antwerp 2022 – FaZe

Natus Vincere made their way back to the grand final in the following Major, but they would not come out victorious this time. Instead the honors went to FaZe, an organization that had been haunted by the memories of their Boston Major defeat in 2018 who now had one more chance at redeeming themselves – to which they succeeded. FaZe had a modern classic against Spirit in the semi-final before winning the grand final series 2-0 over NAVI, giving the organization the Major trophy they had long searched for. It was the first Major win for all of their members, namely Håvard “rain” Nygaard, Helvijs “broky” Saukants, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, Robin “ropz” Kool, and one of the greatest in-game leaders of all time Finn “karrigan” Andersen.

IEM Rio 2022 – Outsiders

The first Brazilian CS:GO Major, IEM Rio had its fair share of challenges but it never lacked for intensity on the server. It also was the coronation venue for another set of first time Major champions with an Outsiders (Virtus.pro core) lineup consisting of Alexey “Qikert” Golubev, Dzhami “Jame” Ali, Evgeniy “FL1T” Lebedev, David “n0rb3r7” Daniyelyan, and Petr “fame” Bolyshev.

BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023 – Vitality

A French Major crowned two French kings to send off CS:GO before moving on to the new title, which was seen as somewhat of a fitting end to the greatest esport of the last decade. Vitality’s absolutely dominant run at the Paris Major was also one with no maps dropped all throughout. It was the first Major win of Lotan “Spinx” Giladi and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut’s careers, the second for Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, the fourth for Emil “Magisk” Reif, and a record-setting fifth for the most decorated Global Offensive player in history, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen.

PGL Major Copenhagen 2024 – Natus Vincere

The first-ever CS2 Major crowned a familiar face: Natus Vincere for the second time in organization history. Still yet to miss a Major since the very first one back in 2013, NAVI found themselves battling against FaZe one more time in a Major grand final. NAVI’s lineup was completely different to the one that fell short back at the PGL Major Antwerp, with Valerij “b1t” Vakhovsjkyj, Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen, Justinas “jL” Lekavičius, Mihai “iM” Ivan, and Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov holding in down for the black-and-yellow. They defeated FaZe 2-1 in the series overall after a completely lopsided final map.

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