How CS:GO Majors Work – The Ultimate Guide

CS:GO Majors are the pinnacle of esports. Winning one is the greatest honour bestowed upon the players of CS:GO, the jewel in the crown of the best CS:GO players of all time. We’re going to show you how these Majors work, and how teams qualify for the chance to compete on CS:GO’s biggest stage.

CS:GO Majors

Outsiders won the IEM Rio Major 2022.


The best part about CS:GO Majors is that they’re completely open-circuit. Even the lowest-ranked CS:GO team can qualify if they play perfectly. The process begins with a series of online open and closed qualifiers across different regions. These games are best-of-one matches and can be punishing. Anyone can enter the open qualifiers, whereas the closed qualifiers are reserved for higher-ranked teams that haven’t automatically qualified for the next stage through other means.

Teams that qualify from here, move on to a series of Regional Major Ranking qualifiers, or RMRs for short. These are typically European RMR A, European RMR B, American RMR, and Asia-Pacific RMR. These are LAN events that determine the eventual contenders of the Major. In the European RMRs, the top eight teams from both proceed to the Major, with 9th-11th moving to a last-chance Decider Bracket. In the American and Asia-Pacific RMRs, it’s the top four and top two teams that qualify directly to the Major respectively. The final two Major places are decided by the results of the Decider Bracket.

As you can tell, qualifying for CS:GO Majors involves a lot of Counter-Strike. It’s why typically, only the best CS:GO esports teams manage to climb the hill and reach the CS:GO Majors.

CS:GO Major Stages

The Major itself features several stages. It begins with the Challengers Stage, where the lowest-ranked teams from the RMRs compete for a place in the next stage. A seeding system decides the opponents here to ensure it’s as fair as possible. To progress from the Challengers Stage, teams must win three out of five games. The eight teams that manage to win three games move onto the Legends Stage. The bottom eight go home.

The eight top-ranked teams from the RMRs automatically qualify for the Legends Stage, joined by the teams progressing from the Challengers Stage. The concept here is exactly the same – win three out of five games to progress. Eight teams move on, and eight are on the first plane home.

The final eight teams left standing progress to the Champions Stage. This is the best-of-the-best, where the competition really begins to hot up. Over a few days of CS:GO, teams aim to move from the Quarter-Finals to the Grand Final where they compete for a huge cash prize, as well as automatic qualification to upcoming CS:GO events. Every match in the Champions Stage is a best-of-three, so there are no accidents here. For the team that makes it over the finish line, every player has their name embedded in CS:GO history forever.

CS:GO Majors 2023

The next CS:GO Major is fast approaching. The Paris Major 2023 kicks off on May 8th, 2023, with qualifying ongoing over the next few months. Here, Outsiders aim to become only the third-ever back-to-back CS:GO Major winners, after the legendary Astralis and Fnatic rosters. Their CS:GO Major 2022 win at Rio was a huge surprise, and doing it again would be a remarkable achievement.