Cougars Celebrate USA Counter-Strike Victory

Six students witness America’s first CS:GO tournament win

A group of students traveled to Boston, MA to watch one of the biggest Esports majors of all time. The major, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is a firstperson tactical shooter video game developed by Valve™ in 2012. CS GO has been on the rise to be one of the biggest Esports of today.

Cloud9 is a North American team in an European dominated Esport. They have been the underdog for the past 3 years. .

“We were cheering for Cloud9 the whole major,” Jung said. “It’s a North American team in a North American major.”

An Esport’s major is a “major” event where challenging teams and invited teams face-off against one another. A challenging team had to face other teams in an offline tournament in order to enter the major, while legendary teams were invited because they left the groups last major. The groups are when all the teams face off in order to advance to the quarterfinals and gain legend status. Each major has a prize pool from donations and Valve™ itself. This event had a prize pool of $1 million.

The event is always live and is respectfully named after the city it is held in. The Major was run by ELEAGUE, An American Organization. It was ELEAGUE’s second CSGO major out of the 12 majors. The major took place in the Agganis Arena, Boston. Fans of Cloud9 and CS GO, seniors Jung, Conner McGraw, Blake Jarrell, Joey Keck, Josh Rigby, and Gehrig Faircloth all attended to see their favorite teams compete LIVE!!

“All 7,000 seats were filled,” McGraw said. “ The room was electrifying.”

The Arena was filled with North American CS GO fans, cheering and yelling after every frag from Cloud9; 1.8 million fans were watching the major live from their homes all around the world. The six KRHS fans have been playing CS GO since late freshmen year. They all have logged many hours and may be the best team in Kettle Run. Counter-Strike is one of the biggest games in the world and has a big following in Kettle Run itself.

“I just got 1400 hours yesterday,” sophomore Garret Heiston said.

Lots of students have implemented plenty of hours into CS GO. Some don’t even play the game, but instead watch Twitch streamers or these events. Many people, inside this school and out, do this game without having to ever own it.

“It’s hard to make it to pro,” McGraw said. “I play for fun and watching makes it more fun .”

“It’s more motivating to improve after watching a Pro match,” Jung said.

Should Esports be considered a true sport? Sports like football and soccer can motivate young athletes to practice to be the best. Esports does the same thing. Players like McGraw, Jung and Keck are all motivated to play to improve their game.