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Valve boosts Counter-Strike major tournament prize pool to $1 million

Just in time for MLG Columbus 2016

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Valve is injecting even more cash into the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship increasing the prize pool to $1 million in time for next month's MLG Major Championship in Columbus.

The boost quadruples the original prize pool of $250,000 set three years ago. There have been seven Majors so far, one in 2013 and three each in 2014 and 2015. So far only one is scheduled for this year.

"Professional CS:GO has grown, and the CS:GO Major Championships are about to grow with it," Valve said on the Counter-Strike blog.

It's another big development in esports for Valve's cornerstone shooter, which is typically Steam's second-most played game after esports mainstay Dota 2. Last month, TBS announced the newly formed E-League would feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in a 10-week series to be televised on the cable network.

MLG Columbus 2016 will be held March 29 to April 3, featuring 16 teams. Of the prize pool, $500,000 will go to the champion, $150,000 to the runner-up, $70,000 each to the third and fourth-place finishers, and $35,000 each for fifth through eighth place teams. Elimination-round play will take place at Nationwide Arena and is open to spectators.

MLG is now owned by Activision, which acquired the esports pioneer for $40 million at the end of 2015.

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