PGL Antwerp Contenders Preview Who will make it to the legends stage. Will Outsiders go out with a dream run?
The 17th CSGO Major begins on 9th May 2022. With 2 swiss stages, and 24 teams, here is a preview of the 8 Contenders that will play in the Challengers stage for a spot at the Legends stage of PGL Antwerp.
Outsiders: A true cContender at PGL Antwerp
Outsiders' 2022 has been really rough. After making the playoffs at IEM Katowice, they went out 5th in their group at EPL Season 15, despite a 2-0 win over FaZe. At the PGL Antwerp RMR A, they didn't fare much better. A win over Unique wasn't anything surprising, but back-to-back losses to BIG and MOUZ were disastrous. 2-1 wins over Dignitas and SAW let Outsiders enter the major as a PGL Antwerp Contender.
Compound that with Yekindar's apparently imminent departure, and PGL Antwerp might be the Outsider's last event together. While on the one hand, the situation might destroy the camp's confidence, as rumors say the team isn't practicing together. But on the other hand, the last time a team with so much skill went into the CS: GO major with no practice, they went home with a trophy.
Team Liquid: Can NA's only hope be a true contender
The liquid is the best NA team without contest. But in 2022, that achievement means almost nothing. Ever since nitr0 returned, the team has been steadily improving, but they still lack some firepower with oSee's inconsistency. Playing in his first major, oSee is expected to be below his usual form. This means Liquid will be relying on Shox's veteran smarts and Elige and NAF's superstar duo. Liquid as always though has a strong puncher's chance coming in as a PGL Antwerp Contender.
Complexity: A lack of experience
Complexity and EG form a weird Duality of NACS. On the one hand, Complexity has all the best talents in the scene put together, while EG has the greatest experienced players in the region. Neither team can be a true contender at top events, let alone PGL Antwerp. If you put together the best pieces of both teams, NA could have a true 2nd top team behind Liquid. But as it stands, expecting anything from this team is "Hopium" as the NA fans would say.
Team Spirit: The youngest Contender at PGL Antwerp
Spirit comes into the Major after months of absence from the tier 1 events. Ever since their last-place finish at the PGL Stockholm major, the team has been in the rebuild phase. Around the core of Chopper, Magixx, and Degster, the team has signed the youngsters Patsi and S1ren. While their journey to the Major hasn't been too difficult, with ENCE and Sinner being the toughest opponents they faced.
Now at the PGL Antwerp Major as a Contender team, they will be looking to cause a few upsets, but few would be predicting them to make a run to even the Legends stage. Still, their opening game against Imperial gives them the best shot at starting off well.
Eternal Fire: Turkish Superteam finally assembled
At the Europe RMR A, Eternal Fire was a massive underdog that nobody expected to qualify. After facing a FaZe stomp they barely survived a Dignitas scare. That was followed by a Vitality loss as well, sending the team down to 1-2. At this point, everyone wrote Eternal Fire off. OG, Fnatic, and MOUZ were all fighting for a spot at the major so the hype for EF was pretty low. We all know what followed, Eternal fire beat Fnatic 2-1 and dominated OG 2-0 to qualify for the PGL Antwerp Major as a Contender.
The Turkish Superteam may not be a team that you would expect to compete for the trophy, but at this stage of the event, they will cause upsets for sure. But can they win enough games to secure one of the qualifying slots?
9z: The LATAM Miracle
Brazil has historically been the only relevant South American country in CS:GO. While sometimes we saw the best of Argentina cameo in Brazilian teams (Meyern MIBR), there was never a true LATAM team competing at big events. 9z is finally that team. Bringing together the best talents of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. After losing their star player Santino "try" Rigal to 00nation, the team has somehow found another way to be competitive.
After barely making it to the last place tiebreaker at the NA RMR, they went on to beat EG and paiN to qualify for the PGL Antwerp in a miracle Contender spot run. With how close they were to failing the major, expectations are low for the team, especially with the suspension of coach zakk.
Renegades: The Revamped Aussie Squad
One of the two Asia/Oceania representatives at the major, Renegades have dominated their domestic circuit for over two years. In recent international LANs, however, they have been underwhelming. While the Liazz move gave them a firepower bump, it hasn't been enough to take wins in EU. However, with the format of the Major, they will have the opportunity to play against lower seed teams in the loser matches which might give them some wins. Overall though, it is unlikely Renegades will do much considering they even lost to the final Contender at PGL Antwerp.
IHC Esports: The Mongolian Contender at PGL Antwerp
The former Checkmate roster signed with IHC at the beginning of March 2022. Finishing second behind NKT showed some promise, but it was the RMR that left the world shocked. Their opening game against Tyloo was supposed to be a death sentence, but they managed to not only take the win there but also went on to beat Renegades in the upper bracket final. They may be the least experienced squad at the Major, but they have some key pieces that can upset in Best of Ones.
The 8 contenders are ready to play in the PGL Antwerp Challengers Stage. Who will qualify for the top 16? Who will disappoint? Stay tuned to Esports.gg to find out.