Ukrainian esports tournament organizer Starladder has announced its plans to return to the Counter-Strike esports scene, with four new tournaments scheduled for 2025 and 2026. Starladder cited Valve's new CS2 licensing rules as a key factor in their decision to make a comeback.


The company noted that the "new CS2 licensing rules" and a "significant increase in the number of professional teams" were the main reasons behind their return to the Counter-Strike ecosystem. The announced Starladder tournaments are scheduled as follows:

  • 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



Each of the four events will feature 16 teams, with qualifiers to be held around the world. Starladder also mentioned that they expect "several parallel events in different parts of the world will have worthy line-ups of teams and will generate interest among viewers."Starladder's return to Counter-Strike comes shortly after other major tournament organizers like PGL and ESL announced their own plans for the CS2 era. PGL revealed 11 tier-one events across 2025 and 2026, while ESL shared their 2025 schedule earlier this year. With the influx of new tournament organizers and events, the Counter-Strike esports scene is poised for a significant expansion in the coming years as the transition to CS2 takes place. Fans can look forward to a packed calendar of high-profile tournaments featuring the world's top teams.