Counter-Strike is an FPS Game that originated in 1999 as a mod for the popular game Half-Life by Valve, the property rights were later purchased by the latter and developed into its own franchise with multiple releases and updates coming through the years. As of 2023, the latest release is named Counter-Strike 2 and replaced the previous and successful CS:GO.
As happens with many other games, Counter-Strike counts with its own eSports scene with its first major competition dating back to 2001 with the Cyberathlete Professional League or CPL with a prize pool of thousands of dollars for the winners. Many competitions are hosted each year, either officially sponsored by brands or unofficially by other players, this is essentially a challenge on a new level that can't be compared to average matches, as tournaments can attract the best players available who enjoy competing and proving their skills for the chance and goal of going home with the prize.
Overall, tournaments can be quite a challenge and a fun experience, they can also be a good way to improve your brand and attract new players, with a server and the information from this guide you will soon be able to host your own competition as well!
So, how do I host my own Counter-Strike 2 Tournament?
The first step to hosting your own Tournament is getting a Counter Strike 2 Server, you will need to take into consideration many factors such as the number of slots, the server location, and the internal specs of the server such as the RAM or CPU as they will have a huge impact.
Fortunately, here at Iceline Hosting we offer CS2 Hosting with high-quality server specs and low latency server locations, you can choose one of our available locations suitable for your community and don't worry about lag, and thanks to the Transfer System from the Game Panel you can transfer your server to a different location at any time if needed! Do you want to learn more about what server location should you use? Feel free to read our guide here!
How to purchase a Counter-Strike 2 server with Iceline
- Go to our CS2 hosting page.
- Choose the plan that suits your needs and click on Get Started. Don't worry, you can always upgrade later if required.
- You'll be redirected to the Shopping cart, click on Checkout.
- Fill in your details to create a new account or login into your account, then select a payment method and click on 'Complete Order'.
- Pay for the invoice.
Iceline hosting also features a custom game panel for game servers, which will be your best tool to manage all your server aspects and ease your tasks with features like Startup commands for quick changes, SFTP access, File Manager, and Mods Installer.
Though we mainly offer Game Servers, we also have Game VPS plans available for purchase, which are optimized to run your Game Servers, quite a good alternative for experienced server owners who need more control over their resources. You can purchase a Game VPS here!
Protecting your server against DDoS attacks
Another thing to keep in mind while deciding on your server provider is the DDoS protection offered, this is critical to ensure no interruptions in your tournament which will affect the experience for all the involved players, and given the nature of these competitions, even a small delay can result in you having to reschedule the tournament to keep the competition fair.
This is not a problem for us! Iceline Hosting works with the Iceline Shield technology, an innovative DDoS protection that will keep your server online and protected against DDoS attacks from Layers XXC. All our Services come with DDoS protection, so manage your server and leave the protection to us! You can learn more about our DDoS protection here.
How to manage your CS2 Tournament:
Now that you have a working Counter-Strike 2 server, you'll need to adjust the server according to your tournament rules, this includes setting a server name, choosing some maps and the gamemode you will be using, though it's also recommended to set a password to make your Counter-Strike 2 Server private and avoid external people joining.
Change the Game Mode or Game Type.
You need to select the gamemode for your Tournament, for this, you can use any of the available Game Modes and Game Types from Counter-Strike 2, with Bomb Defusal and Team Deathmatch being the popular options for competition.
To the Game Mode and Game Type from your server, you'll only need to edit the variables from the Startup tab in the Game Panel.
Alternatively, you can use the commands game_mode and game_type in the console followed by the number corresponding to the game mode or type you want to use. Check the documentation here to see all the available options.
Change the Server Map
Every tournament and server needs a map to start, use the Map variable from the Startup tab to indicate what map should the server use by default, this can be set to any of the available CS2 maps, or your custom-added ones.
The Server Map can also be adjusted through the server console, just use either map <map name> or changelevel <map name>.
Change the Server Name
The Server Name and Tags are really important to display your Tournament information or any possible sponsors, this can be adjusted through the Hostname and Tags variable from the Startup tab as you wish.
You can also adjust the Server Name through the Server.cfg file. Just follow these steps:
- Access your server files.
- Go to game > csgo > cfg
- Locate and open the server.cfg file.
- Add these lines:
- hostname "Your Server Name"
- sv_tags "Tag1, Tag2, Tag3"
- Save the file
Just replace the default values as you like, and remember that tags have to be separated by commas to work.
Set a Password for your Server
If you would rather keep your tournament private that is not an issue, just set a server password following these steps:
- Access your server files.
- Go to game > csgo > cfg
- Locate the server.cfg file and open it.
- Add this convar: sv_password "password". Replace password with anything of your choice.
- Click on the "Save Content" button.
You can also use the sv_password <Password> command in your console to set the server password, but it's recommended to do it through the server.cfg instead.
Kick players from the server
Are any players disturbing the experience in your tournament? You need to enforce your server rules and revoke their access to the server, and this can be done through a command in the console. To kick a player from your server just use the kick <username> command.
If you want to give a specific reason you can use kickid <identifier> <reason> instead, you don't know the identifier of the user? just type status in your console to find the identifier from each player with a bunch of other information.
How to Find Participants for Your CS2 Tournament:
Finding participants for a tournament may be a bit hard if you haven't built a Community for your server already, but it's still possible thanks to many of the websites available or the gaming communities! For example:
Recommendations to host a CS2 Tournament:
Test the server in advance.
You need to make sure everything goes smoothly during the competition and that there won't be any disruptions to the experience, a good way to be sure of this is by testing the server in advance before the scheduled date, checking that all plugins (if used) are up to date and that there aren't any bugs in your maps, and check your console log for any possible errors or connection issues to the server.
Usually, you would only need to play a few test matches to identify likely issues.
Give enough time to prepare
Setting a date far in the calendar should be your standard for many reasons, for starters, it gives you enough time to make all the preparations and it helps to create expectation and excitement for your players (for both player and server owners), but make sure to set a reasonable date and try to advertise your tournament every few days to keep the interest high.
Create and enforce rules
Competitions may bring out the worst in some players so you will need to decide what's acceptable and what's not and create rules to reflect this, these rules can also be related to the gamemode or weapons if you decide so (for example, a knife-only fight with banned guns competition), you have the final word.
These rules will be your factor to determine if a player qualifies or not for the next round, you need to enforce these rules and sanction any rule breaker to ensure fair competition.
Provide a prize
Having fun is important, but consider including a prize to award players for their skill or their time for participating in your competition, you'll be surprised how motivated players can be for any sort of prize.
Choose a location suitable for your community and participants
The server latency is essential in a competition and can make a huge difference, so make sure to select the location with a better ping for your player base, you wouldn't like hosting the server in Singapore while all your player base is from America.
Ideally, you would like all your players to be from the same location but this is not always the case, so you can decide whether a certain location is a requirement for your competition or not.
And with that, we've reached the end of this blog, feel free to check our Knowledgebase for new guides to help you get started in your Counter-Strike 2 server. Do you have any questions? Please open a ticket or contact us through a livechat, we'll be happy to help!