Atlanta’s ELEAGUE Major 2017 set a new Counter-Strike viewership record as Astralis scored a shocking upset over Virtus.pro to win their first Major title.
More than 1.2 million viewers watched the Turner and WME | IMG backed ELEAGUE Major 2017 Grand Final from Atlanta on Sunday, setting a new record for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive audiences as Astralis defeated Virtus.pro to make CS:GO history.
The record-setting audience was only counting viewers who streamed the finals online via Twitch; it doesn’t include those who were watching the national television broadcast on TBS, or who were in attendance at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre.
Having such a massive crowd was fitting, though, as Astralis and Virtus.pro battled for five hours in one of the greatest CS:GO games ever to have been played.
Virtus.pro, perhaps the most legendary team in the world, were looking for their second Major championship and first significant victory since last year’s DreamHack Bucharest; Astralis had never won a Major, always coming up short including a December upset in the ELEAGUE Season 2 finals.
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The two squads engaged in a best-of-three war of utter annihilation before Astralis shocked Virtus.pro to win the ELEAGUE Major by a score of 12-16, 16-14, 16-14.
The game was considerably back and forth, with Virtus.pro having numerous opportunities to break Astralis’ economy and put them away on the tie-breaking map, Train, but ultimately not being able to get the job done.
The Danish squad Astralis thus walks away with $500,000 in prize money, while Polish veterans Virtus.pro will split $150,000.
European team Fnatic and Brazilian organization SK Gaming finished as semifinalists and will each pocket $70,000 in rounding out the Top 4.
But the real story is that the ELEAGUE Major reached a massive audience the likes of which CS:GO has never seen before, while delivering a championship match the quality of which fans may never see again. If you missed it or want to re-live an instant classic ELEAGUE has posted the full match online:
Season 3 of ELEAGUE is planned but has yet to be announced. Until then, CS:GO fans can check out our exclusive interviews with host Richard Lewis and analyst Jason “Moses” O’Toole. For more events in the Atlanta area, visit the Atlanta section of Local POV here.