PGL Antwerp moves into the Playoffs with only 8 teams remaining. Will Faze finally give Karrigan a major? Will S1mple go back to back?
The Legends stage did not go as expected with G2, Vitality, Cloud9, and Outsiders all failing to make the playoffs. But with the teams ready to compete in the Sportspaleis, here are the 8 teams that will play in the PGL Antwerp Playoffs.
Kicking us off are the young squads in the playoffs that made miracle runs to make it into the playoffs. They may not have the biggest names or the biggest orgs, but they have made it to the biggest stage in the Counter-Strike world.
Team Spirit – An RMR Underdog Makes PGL Antwerp Playoffs
In one of the biggest upset runs in Major history, Team Spirit was a huge underdog coming into the event. Even for the RMR that led to their qualification to the Major, Spirit was an unexpected result. Their first big result was a win over Astralis that qualified them for the Legends Stage. But their victories over Furia and Heroic were even more impressive.
With the strong firepower coming from all 5 players, and Chopper in Veg Squadron form, the team is competing in the PGL Antwerp Playoffs. What’s even more impressive is their map pool development. Dust2 has always been a piece of Chopper’s toolkit, but their prowess on Nuke can not be understated. While they are still an underdog, they have a puncher’s chance as always. Especially as their Quarter-Final game is a rematch with Furia.
Copenhagen Flames – Revenge for Stockholm at PGL Antwerp Playoffs
PGL Stockholm was the cinderella run for CPH Flames. But in the end, NIP’s Academy player LNZ denied them a berth in the playoffs. The Flames started off 2-0 in the Legends Stage here at PGL Antwerp, with wins over BNE and ENCE. Their 3rd game should’ve been a win over Spirit but the Russian squad blew Flames out of the water in the 2nd and 3rd map.
Their next matchup was the world no.1 in Faze and after another 3 map loss, Copenhagen Flames found themselves in a familiar position. A high-pressure game in the 2-2 match. This time they were the favorites against Imperial and they showed it. They started by battering Imperial on Inferno and followed it up with an ultra-close vertigo win, locking in their berth in the playoffs. They are continuing their Stockholm run but just like last time, the run will come to an end.
The Dark Horses
The Underdogs may not be the most exciting squads, but before we look at the top contenders for the major, here are the Dark Horses that have the potential for an upset run at the PGL Antwerp Playoffs.
Furia: Representing Brazil in the PGL Antwerp Playoffs
Furia was another 3-2 team in the legends stage. As the only representative of the Americas and Brazil in the playoffs, they are carrying the torch for a lot of fans. As always KSCERATO and yuurih are great, but the rest of the squad aren’t performing to the required level. Their style means they still get a chance to win games, and with their opener being against Spirit, they are almost guaranteed to make the top 4. If arT can pull off more of his amazing plays, this team is a dark horse that can easily make a run for the finals.
Ninjas In Pyjamas: The Wrong Danish AWPer, The Right Swedish Squad
Ninjas In Pyjamas have been on form, one of the best teams so far at PGL Antwerp going into the Playoffs. Despite the AWP situation, es3tag hasn’t been a big issue so far. Their recent signing, Brollan has been straight fire and is without a doubt the best player Sweden has produced since Olofmeister and Krimz. The team has potential, and with their opponent being a not-peak-form Faze Clan, this team has an outside chance to make it all the way to the finals. Will es3tag, not Device, turn out to be the Danish AWP that NIP needed?
The penultimate set of teams. The contenders are the teams that are the closest to the trophy, but just far enough that they need to put up a performance of their life to make it. Here are the teams looking to take down one of the favorites.
ENCE: Spinx is a Top 5 player in the world
ENCE is a top 3 team in the world. After their finals run at ESL Pro League, they have established themselves as a contender for every trophy. But the only thing holding them back from being a favorite is experience. Their only playoff run was in a Studio event, with PGL Antwerp being their first-ever arena event.
Maybe they can be a miraculous team that can shake off the nerves and becomes the first International squad to win a major. But they haven’t shown that tenacity yet, as their AWPer Hades has struggled in Important matches. Will this be the team that takes it all? or will they prove that nothing beats experience?
Heroic: A Usual Story ready to Repeat
Heroic has been one of the top 4 teams on form at the Major. But they have already taken losses to Spirit and ENCE. Combine that with their history of struggling in high-pressure matches, and Heroic is an underdog while being a contender. Plus they are playing NaVi, the best team on current form. This team has the pieces to make it, but it isn’t going to happen at PGL Antwerp Playoffs.
Faze Clan: Can Karrigan win the PGL Antwerp Playoffs?
This is Karrigan’s best chance to win the major since Boston. His team was the favorite coming in, and now they have the easier side of the bracket with only NIP to beat. Even their support, Rain, has rolled back the years and is one of the top 10 players at the event. The only competition for FaZe is NaVi. If they fail to make the finals, this will be a disaster.
But the squad is ready. Karrigan’s master tactics are working flawlessly, the Ropz-Twistzz-Broky trio is all fired up, and Rain is playing like he is still at Boston. For the legendary Danish IGL, this is the time to make history, and take an Internation squad to the top of the world.
PGL Antwerp CS: GO Major playoffs to kick off with NiP and FaZe match
The Playoffs are here!
Natus Vincere: Time to Go Back-To-Back
After the invasion of Ukraine, NaVi was the team that suffered the most. Their form dipped, and their stars started slowing down. The team as a whole wasn’t the unbeatable squad of gods that had stormed the last major. But so far, this Major has been a return to form. B1t has gone nuclear again, as he is the best-rated player at the Major again. S1mple is still performing and to fill the gap left by electronic’s struggles, Perfecto has gone above and beyond his support roles and is tied for 5th place in the event.
With the uncertain situation around them, this could be the last ride for NaVi as a five. But they look like they will do what all other last dances have failed to do. They want to go out with a bang, making history for their region by not only winning 2 majors but going back-to-back. And if he continues his form, B1t could easily win the MVP award at this major.
That was our preview of the PGL Antwerp Playoffs. Do you think NaVi will win the Major? or will FaZe Clan finally take the Major for an International Squad? Stay tuned to Esports.gg to find out.