The PGL Stockholm Major is going full steam ahead, and as we the event climax approaches, it’s the perfect time to go back and do a quick recap of the major events that happened so far. Surely, the Major is far from over, but plenty has happened already.
There’s no reason to beat around the bush. So, let’s get right into it: here are the biggest surprises, disappointments and key happenings from PGL Stockholm Major 2021.
At the start of PGL Stockholm Major, four Brazilian teams qualified to the event. With the New Challengers stage over, only one team from the South American country remain.
FURIA still is putting up a fight to remain in the Major and advance to the New Champions stage. GODSENT, paiN and Sharks, however, have all been eliminated, with GODSENT and Sharks having finished in last place of the tournament.
While expectations weren’t incredibly high for these squads, it was still surprising to see them – especially GODSENT – getting demolished in the event. The team led by Epitácio “TACO” de Melo had shown big improvements over the weeks before the Major, so watching them getting so outclassed was a grim reminder of the state of the Brazilian scene.
Fortunately, not all hope is lost for fans of Brazilian Counter-Strike. FURIA still is alive and has a chance to qualify to the New Champions stage. For fans of Team Liquid’s captain Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, his situation isn’t as good as FURIA, but his team is still in contention too.
Moreover, two of these Brazilian squads, paiN and Sharks, had rosters with very little experience in international LAN events. Having this opportunity certainly will help both squads develop further. For paiN’s Rafael “saffee” Costa specifically, the PGL Stockholm Major was the place to showcase his skills to possibly interested teams.
Just like Brazil, Denmark also had plenty of players representing the country coming to the PGL Stockholm Major. With three fully Danish teams in Astralis, Copenhagen Flames and Heroic, plus some players scattered in other teams such as ENCE and NiP, Denmark is in road for a successful campaign in Sweden.
However, the biggest surprise coming from the Danish squads is how strong they are compared to each other. Astralis and Heroic were in for a surprise in the New Challengers stage when Copenhagen Flames, the Danish underdogs, defeated both to advance undefeated.
It wasn’t a one-time fluke either. Copenhagen Flames have lost one match out of six in the Major. The squad has proven themselves as a real contender in these past weeks, and this success at the Major further consolidate their players’ as some of the best that Denmark has to offer right now.
As for Astralis and Heroic, both teams are still in contention. Astralis situation certainly doesn’t inspire confidence, though. The team led by Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander hasn’t been as strong as many expected. Heroic has performed slightly better, but also raised some red flags overall.
If you’re a fan of Danish Counter-Strike, then make sure you tune in later today. Copenhagen Flames will clash once again with Heroic for a spot in the Major playoffs.
WALKING ON A TIGHTROPE
MOUZ performance at the PGL Stockholm Major hasn’t been what they hoped for, surely. The European roster has been struggling for a while now. Unfortunately, while MOUZ has managed to survive the first stage of the Major, the big takeaway from this event is that just one roster move might not be enough.
The team led by Christopher “dexter” Nong was on the verge of elimination a few days ago. Thanks to a lucky drawn and a career-saving performance from MOUZ’ AWPer, Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand, the squad managed to close the New Challengers stage with a 3 – 2 record. Now, MOUZ luck seems to have come to an end as they will be facing Virtus.Pro later today. Unless one of their players go above and beyond, it’s hard to imagine MOUZ surviving this elimination match.
It’s an unfortunate reality for dexter and his teammates, but not a surprising one. MOUZ unfortunately has been on a constant struggle for the past months. Being honest, surviving the New Challengers stage is already a surprise. With a weak attacking side, inconsistent actors, and various other weaknesses, MOUZ was in for a difficult journey in Stockholm.
Again, we will be seeing MOUZ going against Virtus.Pro in a few hours. The loser will be sent home, and the winner will survive another day in Stockholm.
EASTERN EUROPEAN DOMINATION
PGL Stockholm has potential to be THE Major for Eastern European CS. Natus Vincere has never been this good. Gambit is looking strong. Virtus.Pro is still a threat to any team, and Entropiq and Spirit are two forces to be reckoned among second-tier competition.
So far in the Major, all these teams are looking incredibly good besides Team Spirit, which has already been eliminated. Na’Vi has qualified to the final stage of the event undefeated, and both Entropiq and Gambit could be next. Virtus.Pro failed to perform as well as the other four teams still in competition, but they are still in contention.
Overall, Eastern European Counter-Strike has never been this good and we had talked about it previously. So much that this Major might be the one with most teams from that region reaching the playoffs. We might not be living through an era defined by one team, but we certainly are in an era led by the CIS region. With rumours of Complexity, and possibly other organizations looking at the region to build future rosters, this is only going to get more developed from now onwards.
ANOTHER BLOW TO NORTH AMERICAN COUNTER-STRIKE
From the very beginning of the year to the day before the PGL Major started, it was clear that North American teams wouldn’t have an easy road ahead of them. Over the year, the situation proved to be even more dire than originally predicted. Then, at the end of the RMR circuit, only two teams from North America qualified to the Major. Evil Geniuses and Liquid.
Unfortunately, Evil Geniuses didn’t surprise anyone, and Team Liquid is, if anything, disappointing many. Evil Geniuses met expectations by getting eliminated from the major without winning a single game. Team Liquid, in the other hand, failed to win more than a game, disappointing many.
Fans of North American CS had enough reasons to worry about the scene before the Major. Now, the situation has somehow worsened. While EG was expected to be one of the worst teams in the event, Liquid not making through certainly is an unexpected blow.
North American Counter-Strike has seen better days for sure, and unfortunately, it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel for the region. Hopefully both EG and Liquid, as well as the remaining few organizations investing in the scene keep trying their best to start some sort of rebuilding process.
JUST A FEW DAYS LEFT
The PGL Stockholm Major has been a great event so far, and it’s only getting better from now on. After tomorrow, Counter-Strike will be heading to the Avicii Arena this weekend, where a new CSGO champion will be crowned.
Until then, make sure you keep up with us here!