Valve is clearly making a big marketing move here, by announcing this contest. One million dollars was the total prize pool of the recent IEM Cologne. And it’s the standard prize pool of A CS:GO or Dota 2 Major. To offer that amount of money in a contest reserved for the artists that create CS:GO skins is quite unheard of.
The International 1 Vibes
Remember The International 1 from 2011? Back then, esports was nothing compared to what it is today. Prizes for tournaments ranged from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. And then Valve came along and decided to create an event in which the winner would get $1 million. The total prize pool was $1.6 million.
This decision changed not just Dota 2, but the entire esports industry. It was a huge alarm bell that told everyone what they had been dreaming for years: you can make serious money by playing video games professionally.
Valve’s reputation went up, Dota 2 started to recover some of the market share it had lost to Riot Game’s League of Legends, and everyone who was playing video games 10 hours a day was ecstatic.
Now, Valve is launching a new tournament with a huge prize pool. But this time it’s for designers. Are they trying to attract a lot of designers and their audiences to CS:GO? What’s going on here?
Dreams and Nightmares
The Workshop contest that has just been announced by Valve takes place between July 22nd and October 21st. So the participants have 2 months to create their finest work end enlist. The winners will be decided one month after the end of the competition, on November 21st.
The tournament will have a total of 10 winners and the prize pool will be equally divided among them. Each of these artists will have their CS:GO skin selected and included in an upcoming case called Dreams and Nightmares. If you think this sounds Lovecraftian, it’s because it does.
The number of items selected for this crate is 17. And the artists can create a skin for any of them. And the rules stated by Valve offer big advantages to the artists. In effect, this is an offer you can’t refuse.
For example, Valve will not own the artist’s work. The rights will continue to belong to the artist. So if by any chance your skin gets selected, not only it will bring you a lot of money from Valve. It will also bring you tremendous popularity wherever else you might want to use it or the collection it belongs to. This is a fantastic way to launch yourself as an artist!
The second rule states that you can enter more than one submission. And that there is no limit to the number of submissions an individual can include. This practically means that if you enjoy creating Lovecraftian art and have the necessary technical skills, you can enlist with a huge collection and have a real chance at having one of your best works selected for what will no doubt become one of Valve’s most famous loot-cases.
Another rule states that the artist’s submitted work could be included in a later case. So if you don’t succeed this time, who knows what the future can bring?
The Brilliance of Valve’s Move
Of course, it’s hard to see what Valve is aiming for in the long run by getting a lot of great designers to join its Workshop. But what is certain is that with this contest, the company will become known as a sort of patron of the digital arts.