The Next Counter Strike Major: PGL Major Antwerp 2022


Kyle Phillips, Staff Writer

The Counter Strike: Global Offensive major tournament is starting May 9 and crowns a world champion on May 22. This major is hosted by PGL, just as the last major in October last year was. This time, the major is in Antwerp, Belgium and is titled PGL Major Antwerp 2022.

If you don’t know, Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a 5v5 first person shooter game where the teams are either counter-terrorists or terrorists. The goal of the terrorists is to plant the bomb at one of the sites before time runs out or they all get killed by the counter-terrorists. If the bomb is planted, then the counter-terrorists have a time limit to defuse the bomb and win the round. The map lasts until one team has won at least 16 rounds and has two more rounds than the other team.

The format for the majority of the major is a Swiss-system. A Swiss-system is a format that in this case has 16 teams, where each team plays until they have three wins or three losses. The matches are seeded by how their region finished in the last major until the third round where it switches to Buchholz score which is a number generated from the win-loss of all of the teams that played. At the start of the Swiss, all teams play their first match and they are matches with teams that had the same first match result that they had. For example, if Bob and Charlie lost their first matchups, they could play each other, but they couldn’t play Luke if he won his first matchup. They play one map against everyone they face until they have two wins or two losses. When they reach this point, they play a best of three series where they play two to three maps based on if both teams win one of the first maps. This is basically like the NBA playoffs, but the series ends when one team has two wins, not four. An example for Buchholz calculation is if Kyle beat Bob and Luke beat Charlie, and in the second round Kyle won over Luke and Bob won over Charlie, the Buchholz score for Kyle would be 0 because both Bob and Luke are 1-1, so combined 2-2=0 for him.

The amount of teams per region were determined by results of the last major with Europe getting 16 spots, the Americas getting six spots and Asia-Pacific getting two spots to get the 24 teams at the major. The spots were earned through Regional Major Rankings (RMR) events with Europe having two RMRs, an Americas RMR and the Asia-Pacific RMR. All RMRs were played in Bucharest, Romania.

The two teams from Asia-Pacific are Renegades and IHC Esports. The Americas RMR qualified 9z Team, Team Liquid, Complexity Gaming, Imperial Esports, MIBR and Furia. The first European RMR qualified Heroic, BIG, FaZe Clan, Natus Vincere, forZe, Team Vitality, Eternal Fire and Outsiders (neutral name for The second European RMR qualified Copenhagen Flames, Players (neutral name for Gambit Esports now under Cloud9), Ninjas in Pyjamas, ENCE, G2 Esports, Astralis, Bad News Eagles and Team Spirit.

The Challengers Stage is the first stage of the major containing 16 teams in a Swiss-system and the top eight get a spot in the Legends Stage with the eight teams that have qualified as Legends. G2 Esports are favorites to get out of this stage because of this roster’s runner-up finish at IEM Katowice. ENCE should because they were finalists at Pro League. Then any of the rest could get out because there are a lot of other solid European, Brazilian and North American teams. Teams like Team Vitality, Astralis and Team Liquid should be able to get out. Depending on the form of Outsiders at the major, they could be a lock to get out of this stage.

Legends Stage is the second stage of the major consisting of a Swiss-system stage with the top eight teams who qualified as Legends and the eight teams who made it out of the Challengers Stage. The eight teams who start the major in this stage are Heroic, Copenhagen Flames, BIG, Cloud9, FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Natus Vincere from Europe and Furia from the Americas. Two teams that should make it out of this stage are Heroic and FaZe due to their results at IEM Katowice and Pro League. Heroic won their group but immediately lost the playoffs and FaZe won both events. G2, if they actually advance from Challengers Stage as expected, should be able to get out of that stage because they were finalists at Katowice where they pushed FaZe to a 58 round map, which is double most maps round count. Ninjas in Pyjamas could make it through due to their AWPer (sniper) dev1ce still not back and passing the role between members. Furia had a strong finish at Pro League finishing in the Semi-Finals with only two losses to FaZe. Natus Vincere, the reigning major winner, should get out due to winning their groups at both Pro League and Katowice, but they got immediately knocked out of playoffs by FaZe and G2 Esports respectively.

Champions Stage is a single elimination best-of-3 bracket with the eight teams that made it out of the Legends Stage. For this major, the Champions Stage will be played in Antwerps Sportpaleis, with the major winner getting crowned on May 22.