The stage during the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019.
Photo by Igor Bezborodov via StarLadder

Classic Counter-Strike organizer making massive comeback in 2025

Nature is healing.

The Counter-Strike scene is apparently healing, with another legendary tournament organizer announcing its return in 2025.

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On April 1, StarLadder revealed its plans ahead of 2025. The company is returning with its tournament circuit, introducing two seasons in 2025 and a further two in 2026. Here’s the schedule.

  • Season 19: May 26 – June 1, 2025
  • Season 20: Sept. 12 – 21, 2025
  • Season 21: May 25 – 31, 2026
  • Season 22: Sept. 11 – 20, 2026

“We consider a significant increase in the number of professional teams as the criterion for entering a new era. A large number of tournaments, with new CS2 licensing rules, should contribute to this,” StarLadder said.

Crowd enjoying the PGL Copenhagen CS2 Major.
StarLadder isn’t the only company returning to CS2 on a full scale. Photo by Joao Ferreira via PGL

StarLadder’s return is ultimately a result of the end of ESL and BLAST’s monopolization of the scene following Valve’s changes to the CS2 circuit. From 2025 onward, organizers won’t be allowed to have unique relationships with participating teams, and invites must use Valve rankings. This essentially means the best teams won’t have exclusive access to tier-one tournaments.

StarLadder isn’t the only company that announced its return to the scene. Over last weekend, when NAVI were crowned the champions of the first CS2 Major, PGL also revealed its plans for 2025 and 2026, including 11 events.

CS2 fans are surely happy to see StarLadder and PGL’s return, but the scheduling could be a course of concern. Teams may have to skip events during the busy schedule, making room for other tournaments.


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Author
Mateusz Miter
Polish Staff Writer. Mateusz previously worked for numerous outlets and gaming-adjacent companies, including ESL. League of Legends or CS:GO? He loves them both. In fact, he wonders which game he loves more every day. He wanted to go pro years ago, but somewhere along the way decided journalism was the more sensible option—and he was right.
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