Based off what Valve’s Erik Johnson told Prodota.ru in an interview in Seattle, it seems likely.
“We don’t have anything to announce right now, but as a company there’s a lot of data in how much the community has responded around The International, and how its grown, and that’s something that’d be pretty difficult to ignore for any game team,” Johnson said.
This week, the fourth iteration of The International will turn its winning team into instant millionaires. It’s one of the largest crowd funded projects in history. Its $10.7 million plus prize pool funded mostly by community contributions through sales of The Compendium, an interactive virtual guide to the tournament. The sales unlocked stretch rewards like in-game items, model updates, and even new Dota 2 features.
This is the fourth year Valve has run the tournament, with the revenue raked in increasing every year—the company take was over $30 million for TI4, so there’s a lot of incentive to make that model work for their other titles.
“I don’t know if it would be called The International, but the guys working on Counter-Strike have made a lot of progress on supporting the professional community around that game,” said Johnson. “Given how successful this tournament has become I don’t see any reason why a lot of the same things couldn’t be applied directly to Counter-Strike.”
In fact, Valve already has a proof-of-concept in Counter-Strike. Valve used sales of the esports keys, which unlock esports cases that contain special in-game items, to fund an esports war chest. Instead of hosting their own event, Valve enlisted the Electronic Sports League to give out the money in their $250,000 ESL One tournament.
But, as Johnson says, there’s no reason Valve can’t make that work on a bigger scale, for their own event. And with the success of The International every year, the real questio should be why hasn’t Valve done a Counter-Strike version sooner?
Image via Valve