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CSGO majors lookback

PGL Major Stockholm: A look back to the previous Majors

CS:GO Sharil “memeranglaut” Abdul Rahman

What can we expect from the Major Stockholm based on looking at the previous iterations of the famed CS:GO event.

After 24 months (ish), we finally have another CS:GO Major in our calendars. The upcoming PGL Major Stockholm is the first major tournament for the CS:GO Community in the pandemic era. Ever since the ESL One: Rio 2020 was cancelled because of the pandemic; fans have been waiting patiently (and for some, impatiently) for the next time they can watch a CS:GO Major live in person.

With the Stockholm edition mere days away from starting, we take a quick look back at the last few editions of the Majors and see into the crystal ball to predict what we can expect from Stockholm 2021.

Previous CS: GO Majors

FACEIT Major: London 2018

The only Major so far played in the UK, FACEIT Major: London 2018 saw the top 16 teams from Boston 2018 automatically qualify for the event, with 8 more teams qualifying from regional qualifications.

The legends for London 2018 were:

  • Cloud9
  • FaZe Clan
  • Natus Vincere
  • MIBR
  • Fnatic
  • G2 Esports
  • mousesports
  • Winstrike Team

This Major was the first of the three consecutive wins for Astralis. Na’Vi was the runner up. No official MVP was given, but Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz was deemed as the MVP by HLTV.org thanks to his performance during the tournament.

Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII – Katowice Major 2019

Taking place in Poland, the 14th Major was both a CS: GO Major and the world championship for the long-running Intel Extreme Masters series. It was the first Major of 2019, with Katowice playing host for a Major for the second time in less than 5 years; the earlier was the ESL Major Series One Katowice in 2014. The top 14 teams from London 2018 automatically qualified for the Major, with an additional 10 teams coming in from regional qualifiers.

The Legends for Katowice 2019 were:

  • Astralis
  • Vincere
  • MIBR
  • Team Liquid
  • BIG
  • compLexity Gaming
  • FaZe Clan
  • HellRaisers

Astralis was the winner for this Major, with ENCE coming in as runner up. Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif was crowned the MVP of the tournament.

StarLadder Major: Berlin 2019

The 15th CS: GO Major was held in Berlin from 23 August until 9 September 2019. This was the second Major played for CS: GO in 2019 and the last before the pandemic struck globally. In this Major, 24 teams – 14 teams qualified based on their placement at Katowice 2019 and 10 from regional qualifier events. It was the first Major to be organized and hosted by StarLadder, an Ukrainian-based event organizer. It is also the last Major to offer a prize pool of $1,000,000.

The legends for this Major were

  • Astralis
  • ENCE
  • MIBR
  • Natus Vincere
  • FaZe Clan
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Renegades
  • Team Liquid

The winner for this Major was Astralis from Denmark, with AVANGAR from Kazakhstan as the runner up of the tournament. With this win, Astralis was the first team to win four Majors, and the only so far to win three Majors consecutively.

Astralis Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz was crowned as the tournament MVP, making him and David "coldzera" Marcelo to be the only players to have two Major MVPs

ESL Rio 2020

This was the major that was cancelled due to the pandemic. Originally supposed to be the 16th Major for CS: GO and the first Major in a South American country, the event was postponed twice before seeing a total cancellation due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Brazil. It was also supposed to be the first Major with a $2,000,000 prize pool.

It was originally scheduled to take place from 11-24 May 2020 and was supposed to follow the current format for Majors, featuring three stages; with the rise of the pandemic, however, ESL and Valve announced the event was postponed to November instead. With the continued complications from the pandemic, they announced in September that Rio 2020 will be cancelled outright.

Due to the 14-month gap between Berlin 2019 and Rio 2020, a new qualification was announced called Road to Rio. The minor events were region-based, which meant no team was to be given an automatic invitation based on the previous Major results.

PGL Major Stockholm 2021

The 16th Major for CS: GO, Stockholm 2021 features 24 teams who qualified through regional major rankings, unlike the previous edition of Majors where the top teams from the previous Majors were selected as seeds. It is the first Major to offer a $2,000,000 prize pool, due to the absence of offline competition during the pandemic. It is also the second major hosted by PGL, which hosted the PGL Major: Krakow 2017. Additionally, it is the first Major in 24 months since Starladder Major: Berlin 2019.

The Legends of the competition are:

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Esports
  • G2 Esports
  • Esports
  • Natus Vincere
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Team Liquid
  • Vitality

They are joined by the Challengers:

  • Astralis
  • BIG
  • ENCE
  • Heroic
  • mousesports
  • Movistar Riders
  • paiN Gaming
  • Team Spirit

And the Contenders:

  • Copenhagen Flames
  • Entropiq
  • FaZe Clan
  • GODSENT
  • Renegades
  • Sharks Esports
  • TYLOO
  • Virtus.pro

Astralis is the defending champion for this Major, but they have been relegated to the Challengers thanks to their ranking in the RMR table. The same roster who won Berlin 2019 is back this time around, sans dev1ce; we will have to see if they can replicate their success again.

The last MVP – dev1ce – is now with Ninjas in Pyjamas; the community will be looking in anticipation if he can replicate his previous accomplishments with his new team.

Natus Vincere is up in the legends table, continuing their prowess in the CS: GO world. Other notable names include ENCE ( Challengers, previously Legends), Ninjas in Pyjamas (Legends) and Renegades (Contenders, previously Legends).

PGL Major Stockholm 2021 will start on October 26 and end on November 7.

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Sharil “memeranglaut” Abdul Rahman
He dabbles in Esports, checking out what's new and hip with the industry. Outside of Esports and gaming, he likes Japan. Ijou. Check him out at @SharilGosu

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