We continue our large-scale special project Educational program on eSportswhich we launched with Parimatch Ukraine. Earlier, we released a series of our articles, where we talked in detail about the well-known esports disciplines CS:GO, Dota 2, League of Legends, and also talked about new popular trends in the industry, introduced you to Valorant, Genshin Impact, mobile projects. In this article, we will talk about the main tournament of the first part of the CS:GO season. PGL Major Antwerp will draw a line under half of 2022 and answer the question of who is the strongest team in the world at the moment. We will tell you in detail about the format of the tournament, its participants, share our preview and try to name the main contenders for the championship.
Major series tournaments are the most prestigious in the CS:GO world. The first such tournament (DreamHack Winter) was held in 2013 in Sweden. Then the prize fund was 250 thousand dollars, but after a few years it increased to 1 million dollars. Since 2016, 24 of the best teams in the world have taken part in the majors. These are the teams that occupy the highest places in the ranking, and tickets to the tournament can also be earned at regional tournaments. In the CS:GO tournament system, the developer company Valve gives the right to hold third-party structures. Therefore, well-known tournament operators – such as ESL, PGL, DreamHack, FACEiT – are fighting for the right to host. The last two majors are hosted by PGL Esports. The Romanian organization qualitatively held the tournament in the fall of 2021 in Stockholm. Now PGL brought the major to Antwerp (Belgium).
The Antwerp Major runs from 9 to 22 May. 24 teams take part in the competition. The decisive stage will be taken by the Antwerps Sportpaleis arena. The tournament is held in three stages according to the Swiss system: the best will play with the best, the worst with the worst.
The first stage of the CS:GO Major will take place from May 9 to May 12. Eight best teams will advance to the next stage, the rest of the participants will leave the tournament. All matches, except for elimination or promotion matches, will be held in the best-of-1 format. The second stage will take place from 14 to 17 May. Teams that take the first eight places will receive slots in the playoffs, the rest will leave the championship. All matches, except for elimination or promotion matches, will be held in the best-of-1 format (up to one win). The playoffs will be held from May 19 to 22 in the Single-Elimination format. All playoff matches will be played according to the best-of-3 system (up to two wins).
What is interesting about the major
In addition to the tournament itself, CS:GO has a lot of events before the start of the Major. The organizers are trying to stir up interest in the competition and prepare various goodies for the fans. Stickers are the highlight. These virtual items can be obtained by opening the corresponding capsule or simply by purchasing them from the Steam marketplace. Developers collaborate with professional CS:GO teams and players to release branded sticker packs with club logos, player autographs, and other iconic symbols. The stickers are only available for a limited time, making them exclusive and highly valuable for collectors. Half of the proceeds from sticker sales go to these players and organizations. Over time, the price of stickers increases, especially for the stickers of the winning teams. Major sticker skins can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Another interesting element is Pick’em — a game task in which the player makes his own predictions for the course of the Major. Players receive prizes for correct predictions. Traditionally, professional players participating in majors, as well as analysts, commentators and other people from the industry share their predictions.
Traditionally, 24 teams take part in the Major. At the first stage of the Challengers Stage, 16 clubs play. Following the results of the matches between themselves, the 8 best teams will enter the stage of legends, where 8 of the best clubs in the world (best by rating) await them.
Challengers Stage participants: ENCE; G2 Esports; Team Vitality; forZe; Astralis; Bad News Eagles; Complexity Gaming; Eternal Fire; MIBR; Team Spirit; Outsiders; Imperial Esports; Team Liquid; IHC Esports; Renegades; 9z Team.
Members of the Legends Stage: BIG; Cloud9; Copenhagen Flames; Fury Sports; FaZe Clan; Heroic; Born to win; Ninjas in Pajamas; Team Vitality.
The last tournament of this NAVI roster?
The hegemony of Natus Vincere is close to completion. Born to Win hit hard for most of 2021 and topped the world rankings in 2022. The Ukrainian club held the first line of the HLTV rating from July 2021 to April 2022. NAVI are the reigning champions of the major and are still one of the main favorites of the tournament. What are the doubts? It’s all about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After February 24, the NAVI roster is outside of Ukraine, the team has three players from Russia at once, who have not spoken publicly about the war. Earlier, the leadership of the Ukrainian club stated that the decision on the composition would be made after the upcoming tournaments. Major – the last one before the pause. While tournament operators are banning Russian teams, and Russian players are playing without a flag, the situation with NAVI is ambiguous. It is quite possible that players from Russia will leave NAVI. This situation with the composition also affects the game component. At the moment, Natus Vincere are not showing the dominance they had for most of last season. Perhaps at the Major the team will come together and produce the best game at the end of this cycle.
FaZe Clan ready for the main challenge
The European mix of FaZe Clan took advantage of the instability of NAVI and climbed to the first line of the world ranking on April 11. After the final departure of the legendary olofmeister, FaZe found their stability. Excellent shooting ropz, who will claim the title of the best player in 2022. Captain karrigan is acting confidently, and Twistzz hasn’t lost his skills either. FaZe have always been strong individually, but now they have added good team tactics to this. The winner of IEM Katowice 2022 and ESL Pro League Season 15 FaZe Clan is the main contender for the Major.
ZywOo drags Team Vitality
ZywOo and the company have already started at the major. The French club confidently passed the Challengers Stage, winning three matches in a row. Vitality won the first game against CompLexity with a score of 16:1! Prior to this, the team played unsuccessfully at the ESL Pro League and could not reach the playoffs. There were also problems in the qualifiers for the major, where the French-Danish club lost to FaZe and NAVI, but these matches were almost a month ago. At the moment, Vitality are on a three win streak in a row and have shown that they are ready for the Major.
G2 is the first m0NESY Major
The stellar European mix is preparing for the next tournament. At the last major, NiKo and the company, unexpectedly for many, reached the final, where they lost to Natus Vincere in a bright confrontation. Kovac showed an excellent game and once again confirmed his status as one of the best players in the world. Later, G2 made an update, making the main transfer of the season in CS:GO – signing a young talent, a graduate of NAVI – Ilya m0NESY Osipov. There were doubts in the community whether the 16-year-old sniper would be able to broadcast his game to a new level, but Ilya succeeded. He progresses from match to match, adapting to team play. G2 are currently in sixth place in the world rankings, at the Major the team has already won three victories at the Challenger stage and secured the status of a legend. G2 are one of the shadow favorites of PGL Major Antwerp.
Heroic is the strength of Denmark
Fifth Team of the World. Heroic have been taking advantage of Astralis’ instability for over a year now and have become a top Danish team. The CadiaN gang confidently passed the qualifying tournament of the Major, where they beat NAVI and fnatic. Later there was an unsuccessful BLAST Premier: Spring European Showdown tournament, losing in the semi-finals. Heroic traditionally play well at major tournaments, they are a psychologically stable team that is not afraid of pressure from the stands and strong opponents.
The Antwerp Major runs from 9 to 22 May. Parimatch Ukraine offers a wide line for all matches of the tournament, you can bet on the winner of a particular match, round, determine the MVP of the match, the best player in the competition, or name other statistical nuances. Follow the tournament with Sport.ua i Parimatch Ukraine.