20 Years of Hype

2004 – Leveraging a strong base of fans and competitors, ESL now peaked at 400,000 members and counting. Holding regular Counter-Strike tournaments with both Ocrana and mousesports winning the EPS Season IV & V Finals respectively, Counter-Strike 1.6 was showing no signs of slowing down. However, during September of 2004, Counter-Strike: Source was welcomed by ESL.

The European Nations Championship [ESL ENC 2004] took place in August with Sweden conquering the 24-team event. Prominent legends such as HeatoN and SpawN stamped their authority over the Counter-Strike landscape as a dominant force.

Introducing new features such as Playercards, Instant Challenger and a new broadcast format at ESL TV, ESL saw their player base more than double the following year.

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