The UK Counter-Strike scene has been eager to sink it’s teeth into LAN events since the lifting of COVID restrictions last year. In October, EPIC.LAN saw its third-biggest turnout for the CSGO event, and over the winter break, players and personalities alike waited to see how tournament organisers would continue to push the boundaries of CSGO LANs in 2023.
It was therefore an exciting day when details of this year’s Insomnia 70 CSGO tournament were released last week, but many members of the community felt that the specifics fell short of expectations.
King amongst all of the complaints raised was the reduction in the CSGO prize pool despite increasing ticket prices across all attendees, not just Counter-Strike fans. The announcement of an increased prize pool for the VALORANT LAN event may have raised some hopes for Counter-Strike fans hoping for a rejuvenated event, but scrolling to the bottom of the announcement only dampened spirits, with a scaling prize pool starting at £2500, a potential reduction of 50% from last years iteration.
Tournament organisers Player1 Events also chose to raise the ticket price to £113.30 for the basic BYOC package, likely in response to the ongoing energy crisis. This seemingly insignificant increase of £6 has only acted as a deterrent for returning players, who feel that their feedback has simply fallen on deaf ears.
It goes without saying that many players are disappointed, but Insomnia staff have shown their interest in regaining the trust of the UK’s CSGO community. In discussion mediated by the British Counter-Strike Association (BCSA), Insomnia’s Tournament Admins and Organisers have shown genuine interest in the feedback given by community figures, and have demonstrated the beginning of a roadmap towards improvement.
UKCSGO also reached out to Player1 Events for a comment, who stated:
With BYOC tournaments we have (almost) always operated with a scaling prize pool for the majority of our competitions. We are a grassroots tier tournament organiser and try to fund our prize pools appropriately. We set our minimum prize funds higher where possible when we have some confidence that enough teams will show up to warrant this.
CS:GO enjoyed quite a good period for several years pre-COVID where it had a very reliable high team turnout – this meant that we could be quite confident with those minimum prize funds, and it was not really a gamble. CS:GO’s minimum prize fund was generally higher than other titles for this reason.
In regards to the price of tickets increasing – everything we need to build and run an event now costs considerably more. We are doing what we can to build an event that is sustainable and keeps on running, and the tournaments that are part of the LAN experience are always something we are keen on championing even without big budgets, but this might mean some events and tournaments are smaller in comparison to previous ones.
Issues with this year’s Insomnia CSGO LAN had pushed many fans of the event to consider other mainland-European alternatives. When Copenhagen Games announced that they would be reopening their doors, many in the UK scene expressed their interest in attending this event as an alternative to attending Insomnia, as the events would occur during the same week.
The beloved Danish LAN was forced to temporarily cease operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had previously hosted up and coming talents from across Europe, including the current Cloud9 roster, then Gambit Youngsters. However, a recent tweet by the official account of Copenhagen Games announced that the event would not be going forward due to financial issues.
Many teams were looked forward to the prospect of an international LAN, but with the loss of Copenhagen Games there is a gap in the market. Is 2023 the year that we see a new LAN on the rise?
Sadly, due to financial issues, we won’t be able to make Copenhagen Games 2023 happen.
This doesn’t mean that we are shit down permanently, but are on pause for the time being.
We will continue to fight for the event, but only time can tell if it will happen.
— Copenhagen Games (@copenhagengames) January 30, 2023