Two men casting a CS:GO tournament from their couch with a giant mustache on the wall behind them
Two men casting a CS:GO tournament from their couch with a giant mustache on the wall behind them

Mustache Masters charity CS:GO tourney aims to raise money, awareness for men’s health

by Brian Bencomo

Mustache Masters, an online Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament meant to raise awareness and money for men’s health, kicks off this weekend. Donations raised through the tournament will benefit the Movember Foundation, which aims to fight prostate and testicular cancer as well as raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention among men.

For the founders of Mustache Masters, the cause is something near and dear to their hearts. Mike “DarfMike” Winnick admitted that he has struggled with depression and anxiety in the past and first got involved with Movember the year before helping to create Mustache Masters.

“In 2018 I started a personal fundraiser for Movember, just growing a terrible mustache and posting update pics to my Facebook to raise some money from friends,” he said. “I think I raised maybe a couple of hundred dollars. But at the beginning of that month I had the thought that a community CS tournament to benefit Movember could be a cool project to put together.”

Fellow co-founder Chris “Pluro” Palac has been involved in charitable work when he was younger, so getting involved with Mustache Masters was a natural fit.

“Growing up my family would run the St. Denis Fun Fair here in Havertown, Pennsylvania, for over 50 years,” he said. “A key principle I was taught growing up was to give back to the community, and through that journey you will find what you love.”

The community is what really makes Mustache Masters special. The goofy atmosphere and intimate setting of the creators’ homes makes this a unique CS:GO tournament.

“On the couch we want to communicate as clearly as possible that we’re just a group of friends coming together for an important cause and I think that resonates with our audience,” DarfMike said. “They become a part of what we’re doing, sharing in the stories and moments, both chaotic and heartfelt.”

Photo credit: Mustache Masters

The event has gotten bigger every year. This weekend’s tournament will be the third annual edition of Mustache Masters. The inaugural Mustache Masters event raised $10,000 in 2019, and last year the tournament raised just over $27,000. This year the group has a more ambitious goal.

“$75,000 takes my eyebrows off again, so if we hit that number my mind will officially be blown,” DarfMike said.


INTZ eSports won the 2019 tournament, and Extra Salt were the champions of last year’s event. This year’s tournament will feature a 32-team field competing in a double-elimination tournament. Party Astronauts and Bad News Bears, the top two finishers at Fragadelphia 15, are among the teams slated to participate.

In addition to competing for a good cause, the teams playing this weekend will have a chance to earn points toward qualification for the finals of Nerd Street’s Winter Championship for CS:GO.


Below is the points breakdown for finishers at Mustache Masters:

  • 1st place - 800 points
  • 2nd place - 400 points
  • 3rd/4th place - 200 points
  • 5th-8th place - 100 points
  • 9th-16th place - 50 points
  • 17th-32nd place - 10 points

With a higher fundraising goal, more visibility and Winter Champs points at stake, this year’s Mustache Masters is shaping up to be the best one yet.

“This year we’ve got more teams, more guests, more donation goals and a hopefully bigger outreach, so we’re looking to have a biiiiiit more polish on the show this time around,” DarfMike said. “Not a whole lot more. Don’t worry, the goofy, chaotic broadcasts the audience has come to know and love will still be scuffed in all the right ways, but for our sakes I think we’ll have everything running a bit smoother.”

You can watch the event pre-show tonight at 7 p.m. ET on the Mustache Masters Twitch channel, and the tournament starts Saturday at 12 p.m. ET, with the semifinals and grand finals set for Sunday.

Lead photo credit: Mustache Masters

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