After two years of waiting, CSGO fans and players alike are in for a treat as Major events return with PGL Major Stockholm kicking off on October 26.
Counter-Strike’s Majors are the biggest events on the game’s competitive calendar, bringing all of the best teams from around the world together in one epic tournament. The upcoming Major will be held in Stockholm and boasts a prize pool of $2 Million, as well as offering the teams the prestige of being able to call themselves Major champions.
We normally see two Major events every year, however, due to the pandemic, this will be the first since 2019. This means that the stakes are higher than ever and there’s just that much more to play for, considering the gap between this event and the ones prior.
Make sure to check out our guide on how to bet on CS:GO and let’s take a look at the event in more detail.
Who’s Playing at PGL Major Stockholm?
Being the biggest event of the year, the PGL Major doesn’t disappoint in terms of participants. We’ll see 24 of the world’s best competing, including teams from every competitive region. This means we’ll see favorites like Na`Vi, Gambit, Team Liquid, and Vitality, as well as underdogs and ‘minor’ region teams like Movistar Riders, Pain Gaming, Tyloo, Renegades, and many more!
Every team at the event earned their spot through rigorous competition over the last year, based on regional points. Spots were split between different regions based on historical performance rankings, as such, the event is composed of 11 European squads, five from both North America and CIS, as well as one from each of Asia, South America, and Oceania. So, wherever you’re from, you’ll likely have a hometown hero to cheer for.
Let’s also take a closer look at the event. CSGO Majors are different from most tournaments, they’re split into three stages: Challengers, Legends, and Champions. Teams are seeded into either Challenges or Legends based on their region and their ranking.
The first stage is the Challengers stage, where the 16 lowest-ranked teams start. This is played in a five-stage round-robin format, where teams first play a match against a random opponent, then subsequently face teams with the same results as them. Of these teams, eight move onto the Legends stage.
In the Legends stage, the highest-ranked teams meet the teams that survived the Challengers stage. This is played in the same format as the Legends stage, and once again eight teams move onto the next stage.
Last but not least comes the Champions stage. This is a single-elimination playoff bracket where a Sportsbook is decided once and for all. Each match here is a best of three and each team has just one life, once they lose they are out, and the last team left standing is crowned the Major champion.
|Ninjas in Pyjamas||+950|
Odds as of October 19 at Sportsbook
Na'Vi Poised to Finally Claim A Major Title
Natus Vincere and Simple will be giving it their all at this Major as both aim to finally obtain a well-deserved Major title. Both the organization and the player have been some of the biggest names in CSGO for years now, but have always failed to win the biggest competition.
However, with a very strong year under their belt and a great run of form, Na'Vi enter the tournament as favorites. Considering their performances so far, they have a very good shot at the title this year.
That being said, this is a Major, where just about anything can happen. All of the best teams in the world will be present and while Na'Vi have been dominant, they have been taken down before. We’re definitely set to see a competitive event and the Russian squad will have their work cut out for them.
Can Gambit Handle Major Pressure?
Gambit have definitely been a standout team this year, exploding onto the scene with a mind-blowing IEM Katowice win in February and not slowing down since.
The squad has battled it out with the best of them and taken home seven trophies this year, as well as a handful of top three finishes. They’ll be looking to continue their incredible run at the Major, however, they do face an issue of inexperience.
Only one player in Gambit has played at a Major event before, Krakow 2017 Champion Hobbit, the others have no experience at such a massive event and have only played one big LAN event in their careers, IEM Cologne earlier this year.
Considering this will be the biggest CSGO event in a long time, the pressure will be bigger than ever before. As such, what it really comes down to for Gambit is: Can they handle the pressure?
Is This The End of Astralis’ Major Streak?
Another key talking point of this Major is Astralis and their streak. The team went down as one of the best of all time in 2019, having won three Majors in a row, and totaled four championships overall.
However, a lot has changed since then. Astralis are no longer the unstoppable side they once were and after a mix of player breaks and roster moves barely even secured a spot at this Major, coming in as Challengers.
Their run was a historic one, but with a break of over two years since their last win CSGO is almost a different game. Astralis winning here would be a huge underdog story, even given their impressive history, but if anyone could upset the odds, it may just be them.
What to Expect From The Underdogs
Speaking of underdogs, there’s no better place for a miracle run than a Major. The stakes are insanely high and the pressure is overwhelming, this means even the best can fall and teams with little expectations can go surprisingly far.
We’ve seen it happen before, with Gambit shockingly winning in 2017 and Cloud9 being boosted by a home crowd to take a miracle win in 2018. Once again, there are a few key favorites, but also some dangerous underdogs.
Considering the level of the event, teams like Heroic and FaZe, ranked fifth and eighth respectively, come in with huge odds, even though they’ve proven they can take down the best. We also have squads like Copenhagen Flames, who come in hot off of a stunning 2-0 win against Gambit, and Godsent, who upset the odds to come second at IEM Fall North America.
Anything can happen at a Major, and while the favorites are favorites for a reason, we’ll almost certainly see a miracle run or two play out.