The Majors in photos: From DreamHack Winter 2013 to StarLadder Berlin 2019

Look through a selection of photographs from our archive ahead of the 16th Major, PGL Stockholm, to relive some of the innumerable stories that have unfolded in the first seven years of Counter-Strike Majors.

Since its release in 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has gone through hundreds of online and offline tournaments, small and big, but the pinnacle of the game has always come at the Valve-backed Majors. Even when their prize pools were not the largest, Majors have always been the biggest stage where the buzz around every single round, map and series is amplified and the atmosphere is unlike any other with 16 to 24 teams from around the globe fighting to be crowned world champions.

The Avicii Arena in Stockholm will play host to the first Major since 2019

Counter-Strike was left without its most prized pursuit and the dream of every player, to raise a Major trophy, as teams and tournament organizers moved the circuit online to deal with the global health crisis in 2020, but that is about to change in Stockholm as the best teams in the world will once again compete for glory in front of a crowd of fans.

We are now going into the first Major in over two years, when the StarLadder Major Berlin was played in what feels like ages ago when looking back before the world ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the ESL One Rio Major to be postponed and ultimately cancelled.

As the upcoming PGL Stockholm Major becomes increasingly imminent, we dug into our archives to recover some of the most memorable moments that our photographers have captured at all fifteen Majors since Valve implemented their tournament circuit for all to reminisce on the history made by those pursuing the biggest crown on offer.

DreamHack Winter 2013

Ex6TenZ's VeryGames went into the first Major as the team to beat having recently tipped the scales of their rivalry with the other best team in the world, NIP, in their favor
NIP, who'd had the first CS:GO era in 2012 and early 2013 with an 87-0 LAN record before Majors were introduced, celebrated after taking down their VeryGames rivals in the DreamHack Winter 2013 semi-finals
The Elmia Congress and Concert Hall in Jönköping, Sweden, home to DreamHack's Summer and Winter gaming festivals, played host to the first CS:GO Major
Devilwalk dropped his pants on stage after betting on doing so if his fnatic team won the grand final against NIP, which they did to become the first ever CS:GO Major champions

EMS One Katowice 2014

The Major moved to an arena for the first time at EMS One Katowice, which was played at the Spodek Arena in Poland, with the Counter-Strike stage on one side of the venue and League of Legends on the other
Titan and their star player shox failed to live up to expectations in Katowice, where they were sent packing in the group stage by and HellRaisers after an opening victory over MOUZ
NIP beat Complexity and Dignitas in the playoffs to go into the EMS One Katowice grand final as the favorites to win, with three Counter-Strike 1.6 Major winners in TAZ, NEO and pashaBiceps, cemented themselves as legends of the game with a Major victory on home soil alongside youngsters Snax and byali

ESL One Cologne 2014

The young Danes of Dignitas, who'd made the playoffs of the first two Majors, continued to show promise at ESL One Cologne with a semi-final run in Cologne
Titan failed to make the playoffs for a second time while their French countrymen of Epsilon and LDLC achieved Legends status, prompting a shuffle that saw NBK-, SmithZz and ScreaM out for Maniac, KQLY and apEX
NIP’s redemption came at ESL One Cologne, where they were finally able to lift a Major trophy after falling in the previous two grand finals, while also exacting revenge on fnatic

DreamHack Winter 2014

The North American iBUYPOWER squad played their fourth and final Major at DreamHack Winter 2014. They were unable to exit the group stage in any of their attempts before the majority of the team was banned by Valve for match-fixing
DreamHack Winter 2014 was s1mple's first Major, which he played with HellRaisers one month after turning 17-years-old
Dignitas continued to struggle in the playoffs, reaching the quarter-finals before being eliminated
fnatic were at the middle of the first big controversy at a Major when they used a boost on Overpass that was later deemed illegal. fnatic forfeited after the admins decided a replay of the decider map against LDLC was in order, losing the quarter-final series
The crowd spilled out of the hall in Elmia where the grand final was taking place to catch a glimpse of the hometown favorites, NIP, playing
LDLC's manager, MoMaN, sprayed sparkling wine in celebration as his players watched after LDLC beat NIP 2-1 in the grand final with an overtime victory in the decider map

ESL One Katowice 2015

RpK made his return to Counter-Strike with Titan after two years in retirement, taking over the spot left open when KQLY was VAC banned. He played his first Major with the French outfit at ESL One Katowice 2015
KeyD Stars captain FalleN at his first Major, a trip partially crowdfunded by fnatic's flusha as the Swede donated part of his Pantamera Challenge earnings for the Brazilian team to travel to Poland
The former Dignitas squad, now under TSM, continued to hit a wall in Major playoffs with karrigan leading the team failed to repeat their EMS One Katowice 2014 championship bid in front of their home crowd the following year
Lines of fans form outside the Spodek Arena in Katowice ahead of the final day of play in Poland
NIP made it all the way to a Major grand final for the fifth time in a row, now with Finnish AWPer allu
fnatic won what would become the last all-Swedish grand final at a Major, leaving the tally 2-1 in their favor against their NIP rivals

ESL One Cologne 2015

Renegades player SPUNJ completely oblivious that he was about to play the match of his career against Titan to deny them a spot in the playoffs
Cloud9, who'd had an impressive summer run with three grand final appearances and one semi-final, came crashing down as the team flopped out in the group stage in Cologne
Kinguin, the first top flight international squad created, reached the playoffs in Cologne
The former KeyD Stars, now under Luminosity and with coldzera on the roster, once again made it to the playoffs of a Major
fnatic reigned supreme as the first team to win back-to-back Majors, building up towards what would become their era in late 2015 and early 2016

DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015

NiKo made his first Major appearance with mousesports at DreamHack Cluj-Napoca 2015
ScreaM left his international foray in Kinguin to return to a French team, playing the Romanian Major with Titan. The squad failed to make it to the playoffs one last time before the Titan organization folded
Cluj-Napoca became the Major with most North American players to date as Liquid joined Cloud9 and CLG, making it 15 players from the region instead of the usual 10
TSM, the favorites going into the Major after a string of victories, failed to find the solution and melted away under pressure, ending up trampled by NIP in the quarter-finals
G2, in partnership with Kinguin, crushed all uncertainty whether the team would work with newcomer jkaem, as they made it all the way to the semi-finals in the organization's first Counter-Strike Major
NAVI, one of the most storied organizations in Counter-Strike, made their first Major final appearance in Global Offensive in Cluj-Napoca, where they lost to Envy in both the group stage and the grand final
Envy's kennyS signs autographs for the young audience at the Sala Polivalenta in Cluj-Napoca after winning his first and only Major to date

MLG Columbus 2016

FaZe's first Major, which was also the first Major on North American soil, wasn't a good one as the former Kinguin and G2 team crashed out in the group stage
shox and SmithZz consoling each other as G2, now a French squad, failed to make the playoffs in Columbus
Coach THREAT had to stand in for newcomer Pyth, whose visa issues made him miss the event in North America. The veteran helped NIP make the all-important top 8 to maintain a Legends spot
NiKo couldn’t carry mousesports hard enough at the Major as the team once again crashed out in the group stage
JDM64 sat back and lounged into the playoffs as CLG beat Gambit and Envy before being eliminated by Liquid in the quarter-finals
Fans enjoying the atmosphere at the Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets
Astralis made their debut at a Major in Columbus, but the team’s Major curse continued as they went out in the semi-finals
s1mple and Hiko formed a deadly duo that helped Liquid reach the semi-finals with victories over FaZe, fnatic and CLG
ceh9 (famous youtuber) films Edward playing as NAVI make their way to a second grand final in a row in two Majors
coldzera’s father cheers Luminosity on as the Brazilians make their way through the playoff gauntlet
Luminosity pose with their first trophy ever won, MLG Columbus

ESL One Cologne 2016

G2's shox and ScreaM photographed after losing to SK and fnatic at ESL One Cologne, where both French teams in attendance went out in last place
A large regiment of CIS players standing behind FlipSid3 as B1ad3 and company took on NIP in their group stage decider map
GeT_RiGhT cries after NIP fell eliminated from a Major group stage for the first time
gla1ve and zonic stood in for Astralis as the new signing, Kjaerbye, was ineligible to play and dupreeh had to miss part of the event to receive emergency surgery, although playing with two substitutes didn't stop the Danes from reaching the playoffs
Gambit made Major playoffs for the first time at ESL One Cologne
Liquid and fnatic fans at the LANXESS Arena face off playfully between maps
Liquid made the Major's grand final in s1mple's last hurrah with the team, putting a North American squad in the grand final for the first time
SK won their second Major trophy in a row in Cologne, making fnx's winrate at Majors a perfect 100%

ELEAGUE Major Atlanta 2017

Turner were given their first Major after a successful season of ELEAGUE
Players and staff stand and watch as teams are drawn during the Major's Swiss stage
s1mple played his first Major with NAVI in Atlanta
FalleN thanked fox for standing in for SK, now without fnx, after their elimination in the semi-finals at the hands of
A struggling found life in Atlanta, where they won the first season of ELEAGUE after weeks fighting through the tournament's gauntlet and then reached the Major grand final
Kjaerbye became the youngest Major MVP at the age of 18 when he was awarded the trophy for his performance in Atlanta
Emotions ran high and tears flowed in the Astralis camp as the Danes won their first Major title after falling short time and time again since the introduction of the Major circuit

PGL Major Krakow 2017

The French scene continued to struggle as G2, now with kennyS in its ranks, once again failed to make it out of the group stage at PGL Krakow
North, led by MSL and with Magisk and k0nfig among its ranks, made the playoffs at a Major for the second time
BIG went 3-0 in the group stage in what became another Major controversy as it was discovered they were using a bug that allowed a player to peek over certain positions unbeknownst to their enemies
markeloff shakes hands with flamie in what ended up being the Ukrainian player’s last appearance among the top 16 teams at a Counter-Strike Major
FaZe went out 0-3 with losses to FlipSid3, mouz and BIG after bringing rising star NiKo on board missed out on making another grand final on home soil, losing to Immortals in the semi-finals
Brazilian fans had a corner in the Tauron Arena from which to cheer on SK and Immortals
Gambit became unlikely Major champions in Krakow after taking out fnatic, Astralis and Immortals in the playoffs

ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018

QB.Fire became the Cinderella story at the second ELEAGUE as they went from making it through the Main Qualifier, which was renamed to Challengers Stage and became a part of the Major itself for the first time, to becoming Legends by the end of the tournament
G2 went from the Challengers Stage to the playoffs, becoming the first French team to make it out of the group stage since DreamHack Cluj-Napoca in 2015 played their last Major with the Polish lineup that had been together since the dawn of CS:GO, going out in last place in the Swiss stage
Space Soldiers, led by MAJ3R and with the hard-hitting XANTARES, put Turkish Counter-Strike on the map by becoming the first squad from the country to qualify for a Major
FaZe cruised all the way to the final in Boston, making up for their previous Major blunders, but then choked against Cloud9 letting a large lead and four match points wither away before losing the series in overtime
Cloud9 became the first North American squad to win a Major, doing so in front of a crowd of fans on home soil in Boston

FACEIT Major London 2018

At FACEIT London, BnTeT’s TYLOO became the first Asian team to make it into the top 16 at a Major
NIP returned to a Major for the first time since being eliminated in the group stage of IEM Cologne 2016, this time with REZ, dennis and Lekr0 flanking GeT_RiGhT and f0rest
Cloud9 struggled to get results with an international roster that included Golden and STYKO after Stewie2K and tarik left the team
ISSAA and woxic made their mark in a boisterous HellRaisers, reaching the playoffs after eliminating fnatic in the Swiss stage decider match
MIBR, now with Stewie2K and tarik who left Cloud9 after their Major victory in Boston, made it to the semi-finals before the team slowly lost steam and returned to a Brazilian roster
s1mple was once again denied a Major championship in the grand final after coming runner up at ESL One Cologne 2016
Astralis dominated the playoffs with 2-0 victories against FaZe, Liquid and NAVI and opened up what would become an era of domination at the Majors

IEM Katowice 2019

NRG, with Canadian in-game leader daps at the fore, made a splash at the IEM Katowice 2019 Challengers Stage with a 3-0 record in the Swiss group to reach the Major
ZywOo, the young star taking the world by storm, played his first Major at IEM Katowice 2019, although Vitality failed to make their mark and missed out on the playoffs
Renegades topped expectations, becoming the first team from Oceania to make the playoffs of a Major as they beat ENCE, FaZe and Vitality to reach the quarter-finals
A teary-eyed pashaBiceps, no longer competing at the elite level, brings out the trophy at the Spodek
Fans cheer for NIP in a Major arena for the first time since 2016 as f0rest and company made it to the quarter-finals in Poland
ENCE, who'd gone from a 0-2 start in the Swiss stage to qualifying for the playoffs, continued a dream run to the grand final with victories over Liquid and NAVI
Astralis wiped the floor with ENCE securing the final on Train (16-11) and Inferno (16-4) to become back-to-back Major winners, joining fnatic and Luminosity/SK in unlocking that achievement

StarLadder Major Berlin 2019

huNter- and nexa made their first Major top 16 by going through the Challengers Stage with CR4ZY at the last Major before the coronavirus pandemic, StarLadder Berlin
Liquid came into the StarLadder Major as the team to beat, holding the No.1 spot in the world ranking, but they were no match for Astralis when it mattered most
G2 played their last Major with a French roster in Berlin, unable to make the playoffs with a decider match loss to Renegades
f0rest and GeT_RiGhT played their final Major under the NIP banner going out in last place with a 0-3 record in the group stage after tallying losses to MIBR, CR4ZY and North
NAVI were once again stopped short in the playoffs, this time by NRG who ran away with a 2-0 series in the quarter-finals
Renegades showed up in Berlin to make their second playoff in a row, this time going a step further and reaching the semi-finals
NRG, now led by stanislaw at the StarLadder Major, pushed a step further and made it all the way to the top 4 at the Mercedes Benz Arena
Much like ENCE at IEM Katowice, AVANGAR put forth a dark horse dream run all the way to the final at StarLadder Berlin as AWPer JAME excelled throughout to become an MVP contender
Astralis became the most successful Major team in history when they raised their trophy towards the crowd after winning in Berlin. They tallied three Majors in a row for a total of four titles, while device equaled coldzera's two Major MVP awards
United Kingdom Jerry2805
Good old times :(
2021-10-20 21:02
4 replies
Kazakhstan SayYouCome
sad days
2021-10-20 21:02
Lots of heartbreaks :(
2021-10-20 21:02
1 reply
VP Atlanta :'(
2021-10-21 09:10
That's a paradox, but yeah, those pics got me emotional. I was there at a couple of those <3
2021-10-21 09:21
2021-10-20 21:02
Finland NotpacifiC
Next picture= ence winning major
2021-10-20 21:02
2 replies
2021-10-20 22:15
Argentina ulisesmura
2022 major final ence vs 9z
2021-10-20 23:05
Bahrain Ax1yn
Good times :D
2021-10-20 21:02
Getting us more and more hyped)))
2021-10-20 21:04
Can't wait to see more photos with destroyed NaVi members
2021-10-20 21:04
8 replies
Hopefully Liquid match up against Na`Vi, since they almost always beat them.
2021-10-21 00:39
1 reply
way too ez for 3x major winner FalleN 🥱🥱
2021-10-21 02:51
Can't wait to see vitality getting destroyed by navi again
2021-10-21 01:32
5 replies
S0mple another choked major incoming
2021-10-21 15:33
4 replies
Vitality 0 grand slam s1mple 1 Cry is free
2021-10-21 23:39
3 replies
ZyWoO 2 Top 1 player and S1mple 1???
2021-10-21 23:50
2 replies
I will come back to this in january. Enjoy ur lil happiness until then lmao
2021-10-23 01:33
1 reply
I will be laughing my ass of once I see NaVi getting rekt once again
2021-10-23 20:51
trip down memory lane
2021-10-20 21:04
India 10_HAZ
2021-10-20 21:04
Stickers when
2021-10-20 21:05
kennyS pog
2021-10-20 21:05
2022: Fnatic became first UK team to win a major and solidify their era whilst Vitality summoned an army of staff to barely reach top 10
2021-10-20 21:06
Finland Lushkan
The huNter NiKo hug is absent :/
2021-10-20 21:08
Poland Amirek
Devilwalk dropped his pants on stage after betting on doing so if his fnatic team won the grand final against NIP, which they did to become the first ever CS:GO Major champions lol
2021-10-20 21:08
thank u flusha for help to make "SK - the dream" real back in the days
2021-10-20 21:10
"Ceh9 (famous youtuber) films Edward playing as NAVI make their way to a second grand final in a row in two Majors" LUL
2021-10-20 21:11
3 replies
Ceh9 famous cs player?
2021-10-21 16:22
1 reply
United States EaZy113
cs1.6 legend with Navi. multiple 1.6 majors or did i get trolled and baited
2021-10-21 19:12
United States EaZy113
yeah i was about to comment that. they did him dirty with that one. he was just filming his old buddy Edward
2021-10-21 19:11
United States Rahat132
Good times!
2021-10-20 21:11
1 reply
North America wizQ
You know what I liked, being reminded with a dumb ass looking swag photo from ibp days when I won a shitload of money hahaha over 30k that paid for my truck a few years back hahaha
2021-10-20 23:59
Hungary Shiron212
Incredible, wholesome, inspiring!
2021-10-20 21:12
"since DreamHack Cluj-Napoca in 2016" 2015?
2021-10-20 21:13
1 reply
Indeed, fixed!
2021-10-20 21:15
Finland Teukkasd
nice memories
2021-10-20 21:13
Love these pics!
2021-10-20 21:15
"KeyD Stars captain FalleN at his first Major, a trip partially crowdfunded by fnatic's flusha as the Swede donated part of his Pantamera Challenge earnings for the Brazilian team to travel to Poland" Wow i didnt know about this
2021-10-20 21:17
3 replies
Me neither, based Flusha
2021-10-21 00:49
Brazil hugoooo
flusha literally changed CSGO history by that action. Only god knows who would win Columbus and Cologne 16 if he never helped the Brazilians. Maybe s1mple and NiKo would've been champions? We will never know.
2021-10-21 01:13
Dont forget that flusha and the Brazilian squad shared cheats. How can you otherwise explain all the washed up Brazilian's that went from hero to zero in 2-3 years? Same for flusha..
2021-10-21 16:33
LANS ((((
2021-10-20 21:17
VP <3
2021-10-20 21:18
very nice
2021-10-20 21:19
ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 <3
2021-10-20 21:22
Damn thanks for making this! That was a lot of effort I guess!
2021-10-20 21:22
Azerbaijan Talley
i kinda miss those times
2021-10-20 21:31
"North, led by MSL and with Magisk and k0nfig among its ranks, made the playoffs at a Major for the first time" Didn't they also make playoffs at the major before in Atlanta?
2021-10-20 21:32
1 reply
True, thanks for noticing!
2021-10-20 23:08
Ukraine futplxyer
nice to see for someone who just started watching cs 2 years ago ;)
2021-10-20 21:32
India Ez4ez
Memories <3
2021-10-20 21:43
Nice article, though I think ceh9 should be presented as a veteran NAVI player and not a "famous youtuber"
2021-10-20 21:44
Poland Este
VP <3
2021-10-20 21:57
Hype for 2021 major
2021-10-20 22:04
So many good memories.
2021-10-20 22:12
Hungary szia
wtf devilwalk! family show! cutler <3<3
2021-10-20 22:14
1 reply
he still has his boxers on
2021-10-20 22:37
Ukraine FGVM
Ceh9 (famous youtuber) kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
2021-10-20 22:18
1 reply
2021-10-20 22:36
India rivervp
Why isnt there a team pic of Ence together from the 2019 Katowice major, miss that team a lot.
2021-10-20 22:26
nice pics
2021-10-20 22:34
Ceh9 (famous youtuber)
2021-10-20 22:34
Poland xMBTx
Add pics from Betway Major 2021 and Niko’s mvp medal showing off
2021-10-20 22:36
2021-10-20 22:38
Great photos! Curious thing: FalleN has more hair now than in 2015
2021-10-20 22:39
2 replies
Brazil hugoooo
He made hair transplant
2021-10-21 01:10
1 reply
I know
2021-10-21 02:40
even eg beat navi on major kekw
2021-10-20 22:40
Its good to see with the new site management to see so many cool posts/news and their amount in comparison to how it was before!
2021-10-20 22:50
Liquid wins its year naf mvp :)
2021-10-20 22:58
5 replies
Germany ChRiZOwow
+1 He will get Medal of Honor from Joe Biden after winning the major ;)
2021-10-20 23:09
4 replies
why would NAF receive a medal from Joe Biden lmao
2021-10-21 02:53
3 replies
Germany ChRiZOwow
It’s a joke wtf
2021-10-21 10:58
2 replies
Joke inside of a joke. Very smart mens))
2021-10-21 11:51
1 reply
Germany ChRiZOwow
Mens ))) Liquid has Fallen EZ )))
2021-10-21 12:44
Brazil serjolaum
what a beatiful set of pictures
2021-10-20 23:01
Germany ChRiZOwow
“Fans enjoying the atmosphere at the Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Bluejackets” That’s what I imagine the hltv community lmao
2021-10-20 23:08
Dosia | 
Russia Rapu
Ceh9 (famous youtuber)
2021-10-20 23:15
2021-10-20 23:22
In the Olofboost part, it is incorrectly stated that the match in question was a semi-final when it was actually a quarter. pls fix...
2021-10-20 23:25
This is gold :')
2021-10-21 00:09
2021-10-21 00:12
Nice Good memories
2021-10-21 00:29
Brazil hugoooo
Amazing stuff, I just missed a single Immortals pic from their 2017 grand final, I could swear I would see HEN1's screaming pic. But amazing article for sure.
2021-10-21 01:09
Germany 'ezpz
yoo feels like yesterday.
2021-10-21 01:12
ceh9 (famous youtuber)
2021-10-21 01:18
Why would you present ceh9 as a famous yotuber in the description of a photo. I mean the guy won 4 majors in 1.6 and you call him a yotuber in a page about major history.
2021-10-21 01:23
2 replies
it's a meme smh
2021-10-21 02:15
1 reply
Fair enough, I was ootl.
2021-10-21 03:28
good times, was a kid when i watched my first major final once a nip fan, always a nip fan
2021-10-21 02:05
hopefully this year the photos will be about NaVi winning the major.
2021-10-21 02:53
Latvia pumasiK
ceh9 (famous youtuber) ahahahaha
2021-10-21 02:53
1 reply
I stopped right there to write this comment LUL
2021-10-21 07:11
> ceh9 (famous youtuber) lmao
2021-10-21 07:14
why is there no DickStacy picture?!?
2021-10-21 07:42
Russia Spicy_rem
Old but gold
2021-10-21 07:52
Not enough pictures of dosia. :()
2021-10-21 08:44
wow those memories
2021-10-21 09:56
Russia Nikosimus
Nice article, good old nostalgia with all the legends still competing :(
2021-10-21 14:35
Poland Yomenik
2021-10-21 14:38
ceh9 famous youtuber kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
2021-10-21 19:16
United States GVoidV2
Astralis 5th major win 4 in a row incoming
2021-10-21 23:01
1 reply
Denmark mrlolba
2021-10-24 20:56
Turkey PhauX
2021-10-22 00:07
Brazil diixon
" KeyD Stars captain FalleN at his first Major, a trip partially crowdfunded by fnatic's flusha as the Swede donated part of his Pantamera Challenge earnings for the Brazilian team to travel to Poland " Thanks SEÑOR VAC for placing Brazil on the world stage :'(
2021-10-22 16:33
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