Event guide for the rest of 2016

With the next Major pushed to 2017 and the return of high-tier CS:GO competition upon us, it’s relevant to look ahead for the rest of the year as to what other large scale events could fill the void of a third Major this year.

When we run down the calendar of the various events and tournaments for the remaining months this year most of the bigger events look nicely spaced out overall, though with the recent announcement about the next Major and it's attached qualifier, and the dates for WESG finals yet to be announced, the holiday season could become a bit of a sprint towards the turn of the year. 

Alongside these premier LAN's, there are also three tournaments in particular that have quite prolonged qualification stages, keeping a great deal of teams busy with online games, in the form of ESL Pro League Season 4, WESG and ECS Season 2.

The second half of this Counter-Strike year just started up a month ago, and with just two larger international events played out so far, there are a lot of questions about the actual strength of various teams as of writing, as a number of roster moves happened over the break and the potential shift in the meta, with Valve's coaching rule change.

Will SK return to trample the opposition like ESL Cologne was won just yesterday? Can either side of the Swedish shuffle find a winning formula again? Are the Timothy "autimatic" Ta-powered Cloud9 just riding a temporary wave, or can they establish themselves as a dark horse? Will the addition of Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev be able to lift Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and his gang to new heights?

So without further ado, HLTV brings you a guide to which larger events you should follow and watch for the rest of the calendar year, and why they matter.

September

United States ESL One New York
Dates: 30th September-2nd October
Prize pool: $250,000
Brazil SK CIS Natus Vincere
France G2 Denmark Astralis
Poland Virtus.pro United States Liquid
Sweden fnatic North America OpTic

Marking the first chance to watch Liquid in action since they waved goodbye to s1mple, the new fnatic roster's first appearance on LAN, as well as the return of SK in full force with Fernando "fer" Alvarenga on board, this tournament could have some surprises in store for us.

The American-hosted event will see ESL give the Swiss-system another chance to prove itself as a replacement for the traditional four teams in one group, double elimination format that we see at almost every event nowadays. The Swiss system was tried out at the ESL One Cologne qualifier earlier this year, which a large portion of the players didn't seem to mind.


Return of the King(s)?

October

Russia EPICENTER: Moscow
Dates: 17th October-23rd October
Prize pool: $500,000
Poland Virtus.pro Sweden fnatic
Sweden NiP France G2
Brazil SK Denmark Dignitas
Null element CIS CIS qualifier

This is a crème de la crème event with just eight teams attending and a impressive prize pool, paying out a hefty $250,000 to the winner. The competition will be fierce with such a compact group of elite teams, so make sure you are able to watch this one.

Notably SK is the only team to represent the Americas region, as the remaining spot is to be filled by a closed CIS qualifier.

If the current event schedule is to be trusted, the teams should also be rested adequately to bring their A-game, ensuring an exciting tournament for spectators.

United States ELEAGUE Season 2
Dates: 21st October-December 3rd
Prize pool: TBA
Group A Group B
Group C
Group D
Europe mousesports Poland Virtus.pro CIS Natus Vincere Sweden fnatic
United States Cloud9 Sweden NiP Brazil SK France Envy
Europe FaZe France G2 Denmark Astralis North America OpTic
Brazil Immortals
United States Echo Fox
Germany ALTERNATE aTTaX Denmark Dignitas

Televised Counter-Strike returns for a second outing with a more traditional format and fewer teams, as there will be four groups consisting of four teams each and a double elimination bracket. The top two teams from each group then will advance to the play-offs.

One group will play out over Friday and Saturday each week, with the tournament then going on standby from November 19th to the 29th, as the play-offs will then reignite the competition.


Better get used to these tunes

Brazil ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals
Dates: 28th-30th October
Prize pool: $750,000

With the exception of Cloud9 we can only speculate as to what other teams will compete in São Paulo, but there should be ample chances for the Brazilian community to watch and support a home team, which would  only to serve to heighten the atmosphere. The conclusion of the ESL Pro League is to be held in Brazil, and it has been a long time since a grand event was held in South America.

As qualification through the league is quite arduous we are all but guaranteed that the teams attending will put their heart and soul into winning, as the previous Season 3 finals showed us.

November

United States IEM Oakland
Dates: 19th-20th November
Prize pool: $300,000
Brazil SK Sweden NiP Other Invitational qualifier
CIS Natus Vincere Europe mousesports Other Invitational qualifier
United States Liquid Denmark Astralis Other Invitational qualifier
Poland Virtus.pro France G2 Other Invitational qualifier

12 teams attending will mean a return to the format from IEM Katowice earlier this year, meaning two groups of six each where the teams placing first advances directly to the semi finals, while the second and third placed will move on to play quarter finals.

As is par for the course with the Intel Extreme Masters label, the production value of the tournament should be top-notch and the teams confirmed so far are household names such as SK, Virtus.pro, Liquid, Natus Vincere and NiP.

Sweden Dreamhack ZOWIE Open Winter
Dates: 24th-27th November
Prize pool: $100,000

Both format and teams are yet to be announced, but the event in Jönköping is one of the most recognizable in the eSports scene, notably hosting Majors in both 2013 and 2014. There's a very special atmosphere surrounding the Elmia Centre, at the very least for the Swedish part of the community, as well as the Swedish players.

December

Other ECS Season 2 Finals
Dates: 8th-11th December
Prize pool: TBA

The conclusion of Season 1 unfolded with somewhat unexpected results and being scheduled so close to ESL Cologne potentially had a hand in that matter. This time around there should be no such circumstances to steal focus though, and while the tournament brand may be in the early stages, it's the seasoned FACEIT media group that are behind ECS, so don't expect any less than a grade-A event.

The main league in which the teams will start up on the 7th October and as the prize pool for the first season was $765,000 this second outing is expected to be similar in size.

United States ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier
Dates: 15th-18th December
Prize pool: N/A (Sticker Money)

Take a look at the following eight teams:

Europe mousesports France Envy Denmark Dignitas Sweden NiP
North America OpTic Europe FaZe France G2 United States CLG

You could certainly make a case for at least 5-6 of those names being worthy of a solid LAN on their own, much like the recent Dreamhack Bucharest event. And then you add the likes of fnatic, Cloud9, TYLOO, Immortals and Heroic that all have to qualify through the regional Minors first and this qualifier for the Major in January will likely be tough-as-nails.

Is this third time the charm for Immortals? Can you imagine a Major without either NiP or Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer's attendance? Strange times indeed, as we also have to imagine a Major qualifier without FlipSid3. Yegor "markeloff" Markelov and Co. will be waiting in Atlanta in the meantime.


Olof's long road back to the top begins

China WESG Finals
Dates: TBA
Prize pool: $1,500,000

A very ambitious project, this is going to represent CS:GO from all corners of the world, as the regional qualifiers hails from the following regions:

Africa & Middle East
Europe & CIS
North & South America
China
Asian-Pacific

Space Soldiers, Bravado and DarkPassage have taken the spots from the first mentioned region and though the event does not allow multi-national lineups, there still a good number of high-profile teams that are going to take part, such as Virtus.pro, GODSENT, Envy and Astralis.

Players from the likes of FaZe, mousesports Natus Vincere and Liquid will have come up with alternatives if they want in on the action and (Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad and Håvard "rain" Nygaard have in fact formed an all-norwergian lineup with Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel, Pål "Polly" Kammen and Bjoern "Skurk" Maaren) for this reason, while Philip "aizy" Aistrup rejoins dignitas temporarily.

So those are the events that we recommend you pay extra attention to until 2017 rolls around, but there will of course also be a variety of smaller LAN's over the year, a couple of which will act as qualifiers for the larger events, for example iBUYPOWER Masters being a qualifier for IEM Oakland. To get the complete overview, head over to the upcoming events page.

Not the biggest prize pool, but as is par for the course with the Intel Extreme Masters label, the production value of the tournament should be solid and the teams confirmed so far are household names in the form of Astralis, SK, VP and the likes. There could be an interesting format to in store for the viewer, in the form of 12 teams participating.

Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1450
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Norway Ruben 'RUBINO' Villarroel
Ruben 'RUBINO' Villarroel
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
971
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Ukraine Yegor 'markeloff' Markelov
Yegor 'markeloff' Markelov
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1143
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.15
Denmark Philip 'aizy' Aistrup
Philip 'aizy' Aistrup
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1312
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
United States Timothy 'autimatic' Ta
Timothy 'autimatic' Ta
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
987
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Norway Pål 'Polly' Kammen
Pål 'Polly' Kammen
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
400
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.12
Norway Bjoern 'Skurk' Maaren
Bjoern 'Skurk' Maaren
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
242
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Brazil Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Fernando 'fer' Alvarenga
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1146
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Sweden Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1336
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1172
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Norway Joakim 'jkaem' Myrbostad
Joakim 'jkaem' Myrbostad
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
890
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
1060
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.10
Ty HLTV for making this
2016-09-28 20:13
#49
 | 
Luxembourg Hargreaves 
What better have they got to do? lol
2016-09-28 20:26
What is that supposed to mean?
2016-09-28 21:42
#83
 | 
Sweden maximusstael 
Martin, can i give a tip... Upvote/downvote.. like Like/dislike... would be fun hahaha would be fun with polls aswell.... And maybe make a forum for 18+
2016-09-28 22:32
hopefully no voting system is implemented. i hate those. it enforces hivemind-like trends where unpopular opinions are shoved to the bottom and new ideas are rarely represented. so dumb. reddit is like this and good discussions rarely take place.
2016-09-28 22:47
#89
AdreN | 
United Kingdom Lonom8 
spot on fam
2016-09-28 22:51
don't* take place
2016-09-29 01:11
+1
2016-09-29 03:43
++
2016-09-29 19:38
+111
2016-09-29 20:20
#86
 | 
Estonia MorsAlbum 
hltv is meant to be 18+ anyways do you think it will stop all the retarded children?
2016-09-28 22:47
"Upvote/downvote" FUCK NO!! pls "Like/dislike" i like this idea as long as the post doesn't get moved around (more or less visible, up, down etc) "18+" dont have anything against it why not, but also why? i just dont see the point
2016-09-29 01:50
#133
 | 
Sweden maximusstael 
becasue everytime u swear u get a ban here
2016-09-29 14:34
#94
 | 
Poland bot_taz 
you should keep this threat at the top or w/e... it's really helpfull and deserves to be at the top until 2017 rolls out :D
2016-09-28 23:47
#95
s1mple | 
Finland ebinzzi 
maybe you should remake this shittily designed piece of shit so it looks like it's from 2016 instead of 2006
2016-09-29 00:04
apparently you have nothing better to do than lurk gaming forums making garbage posts
2016-09-29 01:21
#106
 | 
Luxembourg Hargreaves 
yo man, sup?
2016-09-29 01:42
jonny, sign my profile plox
2016-09-28 20:27
#56
 | 
Europe wai7ing 
yes, now i know what to do with my life
2016-09-28 20:37
thx
2016-09-28 20:13
#3
 | 
Spain Miki2K 
Cloud9? Interesting then. No cloud9? Boring
2016-09-28 20:14
Brazil mate
2016-09-28 20:57
#87
 | 
Estonia MorsAlbum 
cloud 9? lost to optic pls, its fucking optic
2016-09-28 22:48
#88
 | 
Spain Miki2K 
fan of HS, who is that? Never heard about him... Wait is that the guy playing in team with pro players who got kicked from ther teams like Maniac, Cadian, Tenzki? Who got rekt in Northern Arena? Oke, tell me more please
2016-09-28 22:49
#92
 | 
Estonia MorsAlbum 
triggered? is that the guy who's one of the top in hltv stats? the guy who would fucking destroy any na team he plays against like mixwell?
2016-09-28 23:25
That's why he bottom fragged while his team got shit on by complexity in a bo3 on LAN lmao
2016-09-29 01:07
#140
 | 
Spain Miki2K 
haha rekt, gj Meier. What did you say? Destroy any NA team? OK, C9>Pepsilon, but Pepsilon 16:3 Rogue xDDD
2016-09-29 20:23
dope xd
2016-09-28 20:13
Uff...You almosted give me earth attack, I think a fox Vac.
2016-09-28 20:15
#12
 | 
United States Rift 
Thanks for the guide!
2016-09-28 20:13
Our pleasure!
2016-09-29 02:27
NICE
2016-09-28 20:13
great
2016-09-28 20:13
#19
 | 
India RrOuTe_FoRcE 
Incredible
2016-09-28 20:13
finally!
2016-09-28 20:13
#21
 | 
Finland miknunoob 
thanks hltv
2016-09-28 20:13
LUL
2016-09-28 20:13
#23
 | 
Finland Lehtori 
PELITALO
2016-09-28 20:13
that chinese wesg final money omg
2016-09-28 20:13
#27
 | 
Europe Predatorino 
This helps to get through this Stacked end of the Year
2016-09-28 20:13
#29
s1mple | 
World howa1 
too long didnt read
2016-09-28 20:13
Too useless, did ban.
2016-09-28 21:43
OMG I have not had the best day. This really made me laugh out loud though! Thank you Martin for the many years of awesome that is this site. It seems like with the mods doing what they're doing we are, as a community, going back to a really cool time from way back when. Love what you guys do! From an old ass man who still loves gaming, thanks! And double thanks for the laugh, he deserved for rekt!
2016-09-28 21:59
Hahaha, rekt kiddo
2016-09-29 11:05
FeelsBadMan, no APM3 mention :(
2016-09-28 20:13
G2 will travel a lot a all those competitions. They'll be tired...
2016-09-28 20:14
#101
 | 
Russia bralBry 
Tired of lifting trophies ofc?
2016-09-29 01:09
LOL!
2016-09-30 16:16
SUNNY WHERES MY GODDAMN MONEY
2016-09-28 20:15
#33
 | 
North America AVK_ 
Major funded by sticker money...
2016-09-28 20:15
#80
 | 
Poland Astoner55 
*major quaifiers If you qualify, you get a lot of money from stickers. That's why sticker money works like prize pool
2016-09-28 22:18
#34
 | 
Brazil mth^ 
SK to win all of them... Don't forget to thanks me later
2016-09-28 20:15
Why do we thank you if SK wins?? :|
2016-09-29 09:34
#135
 | 
Brazil mth^ 
You can make some bets :>
2016-09-29 15:29
Very useful thread. Thank you =)
2016-09-28 20:16
#36
 | 
Spain Alser 
Is this one of BarcodeNone's first articles? If so gl as a writer
2016-09-28 20:16
ez sk +5 titles
2016-09-28 20:16
Nice. Good job!
2016-09-28 20:16
#40
 | 
Sweden godname 
dosen´t godsent need qual?
2016-09-28 20:17
They retained Fnatic's Legend status since they have 3/5 players. Fnatic needs to qualify now.
2016-09-28 21:29
thank you hltv for letting me know something I already knew, internet explorer admins
2016-09-28 20:17
Where is HOMESENT?
2016-09-28 20:19
At home.. badum tish -_- jokes aside, they will have to qualify for most of their events. So far, not so good for them :/ They already fell flat on their faces twice for ESL NY and ELEAGUE Three if you include the StarSeries S2 performance
2016-09-29 02:17
Prizepool : sticker money loled
2016-09-28 20:20
The EU Qualifier for ELEAGUE Main Qualifier will be entertaining since there will be teams like fnatic , HR , Heroic
2016-09-28 20:22
#48
 | 
Turkey partyoctopus 
iBP Masters?
2016-09-28 20:24
The line had to be drawn somewhere as to what deserved attention :) Major qual. is the exception for obvious reasons.
2016-09-29 02:12
#51
 | 
Turkey Kuyt11 
WESG will be interesting. Amazing prize pool 1nation teams are allowed. 2Turk team. Cant wait for december
2016-09-28 20:29
Kebabs will get destroyed anyways
2016-09-28 20:46
sick eleague music =)
2016-09-28 20:29
Where is TWC? Its being played 7th october or close.
2016-09-28 20:30
#55
 | 
Kazakhstan Juandro 
great
2016-09-28 20:35
#58
 | 
Brazil Ferla 
God there will be a lot of champs until the end of the year. Do anybody knows how long the break will be? I mean the major is already in january
2016-09-28 20:42
As WESG finals dates are yet to be confirmed, it's will be speculation.
2016-09-29 02:09
In the next major are we going to see so many nonamer teams that will cheat their way to the major and beat all pro teams that need to qualfie. But the pro teams are also going to cheat for a spot xD
2016-09-28 20:43
Ty HLTV
2016-09-28 20:47
Good article, thanks HLTV
2016-09-28 21:00
#64
FalleN | 
World Vechnyp 
what? barcode is making news articles now?
2016-09-28 21:02
I've been here for a little month now, yes. Hope you like what you've seen so far :)
2016-09-29 02:08
Nice article m8. Well researched and informative. Lots of humour too.
2016-09-29 04:57
Thank you, thank you very much! Good to know about the humour as well - You have only seen the tip of iceberg :D
2016-09-29 13:42
i thought you are hungarian barcode but good article btw, because in the end of the year its always not that many events going on
2016-09-29 07:06
#65
 | 
France France98123 
1.5 mill Kreygasm
2016-09-28 21:03
#67
 | 
Azerbaijan Talley 
Great, won't be missing majors with those events
2016-09-28 21:24
Players from the likes of FaZe, mousesports Natus Vincere]and Please, rewrite this string, dear editors ^_^ (2nd paragraph from the end)
2016-09-28 21:27
Thanks for lending a keen eye :-)
2016-09-29 02:19
#69
 | 
Russia Reph 
ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier Dates: 15th-18th December Prize pool: N/A (Sticker Money) (Sticker Money) WOW
2016-09-28 21:28
TY HLTV. Man, the rest of the year is so packed. Huge money ahead.
2016-09-28 21:34
Sick skrilla, as the Lord would say.
2016-09-29 02:04
#78
 | 
Brazil DileBani 
Na'Vi or SK are gonna win ESL one NY for sure
2016-09-28 21:56
#81
rain | 
Netherlands Nivex 
Godsent is nowhere to be found, lol
2016-09-28 22:25
#103
 | 
China angle409 
WESG
2016-09-29 01:13
#138
rain | 
Netherlands Nivex 
Thanks, guess I read too quickly.
2016-09-29 20:18
#84
 | 
Spain Todd_Howard 
I want to see Olof dominating the scene again
2016-09-28 22:36
"Better get used to these tunes ( youtube.com/watch?v=l3sg7PsgYB0)" L.O.L
2016-09-28 23:04
#91
 | 
Netherlands EliteBekkers 
G2 tier 2 gonna get rekt at tournaments again, just so fanboys can cry '' next major they'll win ''.
2016-09-28 23:07
#93
 | 
France kennySsSsS 
n1 HLTV
2016-09-28 23:46
n1
2016-09-29 00:12
#98
 | 
Brazil mibrzera 
SK ez rekt
2016-09-29 00:27
E-League Major Main Qualifier CLG?????????????
2016-09-29 00:35
yes, koosta, Cutler, and Hazed placed bottom 8 at Cologne, meaning they get another chance.
2016-09-29 02:02
#105
fer | 
Argentina MyMatkhev 
Really good job Barcode!
2016-09-29 01:37
Thanks a lot! that means a lot to a greenhorn like me :)
2016-09-29 02:01
this is why i love hltv
2016-09-29 02:01
#118
JaCkz | 
Japan DokiZ 
Nice article! Can't wait to see fnatic in esl one New York
2016-09-29 03:01
This is cool thanks a bunch!
2016-09-29 04:21
soo much money
2016-09-29 04:39
#124
 | 
Australia Arachno 
Is it possible to receive any souvenir package drops from these upcoming events? There is lots of $$ involved.
2016-09-29 07:09
No.
2016-09-29 09:21
#126
 | 
Finland R1PST3R1 
no f3 no fun
2016-09-29 09:34
Yeah and now you won't even get to see them at the usual Major qual :D They have a chance to qualify for Epicenter though :) Only Gambit and HR should be able to get in their way And potentially also DH Winter, it could be underprioritized by some of the bigger names.
2016-09-29 13:47
#129
 | 
Poland mamba99999 
VP to be the top1 team of 2016 ?
2016-09-29 13:23
WESG Finals Dates: TBA Prize pool: $1,500,000 The biggest joke of a tournament. 1,5 mil. USD wasted. G2, Cloud9, Na`Vi, Heroic, Liquid, FaZe, mousesports, Flipsid3, OpTic, Gambit, HellRaisers, TSM are out of it thank to their stupid rules.
2016-09-29 14:29
Uhh what rules?
2016-09-29 22:49
Citizens of only 1 country can play in a team at WESG.
2016-09-30 13:15
Rip teams, ez for Swede xd
2016-09-30 14:19
Who do you propose? forest/GTR/Olof/Dennis/Twist? OR forest/GTR/Flusha/JW/Krimz OR ?
2016-10-05 21:01
its absolutely retard. hope the tournament flops badly. and the whole format is unfair.
2016-10-01 17:22
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