Culture & Society News Poland Sports

Why CS:GO remains one of the biggest e-sports titles in Poland

Katowice, Poland – E-sports was once a fringe activity reserved for gaming fanatics and computer enthusiasts. Now, it is a huge and incredibly lucrative industry that attracts millions of fans from across the world.

While the US and the UK are unsurprisingly two of the biggest markets, e-sports are booming in several other countries, Poland in particular. Shooters like Call of Duty and the best mobile games are particularly popular among e-sports fans and players, but there is one game in particular that has become the flagship title for e-sports in Poland: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

E-sports have boomed in recent years, accelerated by developments in technology and the proliferation of streaming platforms. The e-sports scene in Poland has proved particularly healthy, and the activity is expected to generate upwards of $14 million in revenue by the end of this year.

CS:GO conquers Polish market

Much like other regions, the primary e-sports games all have their place in Poland. Titles such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Overwatch, and Dota 2, as well as the best mobile games, all have big followings and generate lots of income annually.

For a game to remain popular, it needs to be constantly reviewed and updated to ensure it meets the shifting demands of players and fans. In recent years, mobile gaming has exploded, with players enjoying increased convenience and accessibility.

Previously, gamers assumed that CS:GO would remain a console and PC-only game. However, according to recent reports, the title could be set to join the ranks of the best mobile games.

CS:GO sees regular updates to improve the playing experience, the incoming mobile port being the most recent example. This is a major reason why the game has remained so popular in Poland and around the world.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons behind CS:GO’s popularity in Poland, and indeed around the world, is the game’s simplicity and realism. Modern combat games like Fortnite and Overwatch are heavily stylized, often with cartoon or fantasy elements.

This doesn’t appeal to everyone, with older gamers, in particular, appreciating the realism of CS:GO and its immersive, realistic gameplay mechanics and graphics.

Intel Extreme Masters

For the uninitiated, e-sports may seem like an anti-social, isolated activity with participants taking part remotely from their own homes. While this may be true in some instances, e-sports is in fact a largely social activity, with huge events that invite players and fans together into one space.

In Poland, the biggest e-sports event is undoubtedly the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM). Held in the southern city of Katowice every year, the IEM tournament attracts thousands of in-person visitors and millions of online viewers.

While a number of console titles are played at IEM, as well as the best mobile games, the tournament is particularly popular for its significant CS:GO contingent.

This year’s edition of IEM Katowice featured 24 CS:GO teams, including FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Team Liquid, Team Vitality, and Natus Vincere, all competing for a prize total of $1 million

G2 Esports won the title, a victory which saw them qualify for IEM Cologne 2023.

Staffed with a growing team of passionate journalists and local contributors, our Kraków office is fully dedicated to covering all-things Polish, from reporting on the latest news to promoting fascinating local initiatives across Poland.