After PGL, StarLadder announces their return to Counter Strike

StarLadder to resume its StarSeries Counter Strike tournaments from 2025 after the new rules for CS are in effect, announced tournament schedule for 2025-2026

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StarLadder StarSeries (Source: Instagram)

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Valve’s decision to make changes in the Counter Strike pro circuit seems to be doing wonders as StarLadder, another OG tournament organizer, have announced their return to the scene alongside a roadmap of the upcoming tournaments.

It is one of the biggest esports tournament organizer in CIS region whose CS tournaments are highly enjoyed. The organizer will be picking up the StarSeries with two events in 2025 and two more in 2026. Although there could be more coming with them.

Many pro players and casters also welcomed the organizer. Many were even doubtful about the announcement as it came on April 1st and believed it to be a joke.

Here’s the tournament schedule -

  • Season 19: May 26 – June 1, 2025
  • Season 20: September 12 – September 21, 2025
  • Season 21: May 25 – May 31, 2026
  • Season 22: September 11 – September 20, 2026

StarLadder is now the second organizer to embrace the new professional CS circuit. Prior to them, PGL after hosting a successful CS2 Major announced more involvement in Counter Strike starting 2025. Before the changes, PGL was mostly limited to Major tournaments, however, the rule chance will allow them to go for further non-major events.

Are the changes to tournament rules beneficial?

The changes were announced back in 2023 under a blog named ‘A Level Playing Field’ which was short but had the biggest impact in years. Valve clearly stated that the organizers will ‘no longer have unique business relationships’ with teams for events.

Starting 2025, all teams will be invited as per Valve’s own ranking system and open qualifiers. This will create an open gaming scene up for grabs for anyone who performs well. New teams will get a chance to prove themselves without any restrictions.

Valve also gave a whole year to sort out the current partnership programs between teams and organizers, Furthermore, prize distribution will also be made public. The decision was seen as a massive win from Valve by the CS community and was highly welcomed.