Esports tournament organiser PGL has struck a partnership with Cyprus-based online gambling company 1xBet for Counter-Strike’s upcoming PGL Major Copenhagen.
PGL has named 1xBet as the official betting partner for the event, which takes place from March 17th-31st in Copenhagen, Denmark.
PGL Major Copenhagen will be the first ever Major in Counter-Strike 2, following the transition away from CS:GO last year. Qualifying events for the Major called RMRs are set to take place starting in and throughout February.
PGL did not provide details on terms, nor what activations would be included in the partnership. 1xBet said in a post on X it would be the ‘main partner’ of the event. The tournament organiser did not respond to two requests for comment.
In a release, PGL described the deal as a ‘mutually beneficial partnership’, and said 1xBet has a ‘successful history of supporting big tournaments and popular teams’.
1xBet sponsors a host of esports organisations, tournaments and other esports companies. The brand is a major partner of the ESL Pro League and Counter-Strike news site HLTV, among others. In 2023, 1xBet also sponsored the Dota 2 Bali Major, Skyesports Masters and Asia-focused esports team Talon Esports.
However, the Curaçao-licenced betting company has a highly controversial track record. 1xBet was reportedly declared bankrupt by a Dutch court in January 2023, which it later denied and continues to operate.
The Russia-founded firm also lost its UK licence in 2019 following a Sunday Times investigation that found it promoted topless female croupiers and allowed bets on cockfighting and children’s sports. UK football clubs Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham cancelled high-profile sponsorships with 1xBet in the wake of the investigation.
Majors are the most prestigious events in the Counter-Strike esports calendar and the only in the game’s ecosystem to receive support and funding from game developer Valve.
Esports organisations that qualify receive in-game items which fans can buy which can draw significant revenue.