This game is having its first international tournament since 2019!

CS:GOin’ places


PGL Stockholm 2021

Sam Blair, Writer

Counter-Strike, a Valve video game franchise that rose to fame in 1999 with the release of Counter-Strike 1.6, now one of the biggest games in the world with CS:GO reaching almost 30 million monthly players. Out of 30 million of those monthly players however, only 350 of them are considered professional players who play for the top 80 teams in the world.

Over the past few months, these pros have been playing for spots at the long awaited PGL Stockholm 2021 Major going from October 26 to November 7th (due to Covid, the Brazil 2020 major was cancelled), the biggest stage a world-class Counter Strike pro could ever imagine. Some teams have already qualified, but a few teams are still fighting for a few spots. And with the IEM Fall 2021 RMR closing up, it’s more heated than ever.

With the funding for the Brazil major cut due to Covid, all of that is going into this major in Stockholm, Sweden. With a $2,000,000 prize pool, this tournament is going to be insane. The tournament holds a normal format, containing a new Challengers stage and a new Legends stage. Top 8 teams from Challengers move to Legends, top 8 teams move to Champions where they go into a bracket and play best of 3’s until we find a winner. Aswell as a ton of money, the 1st place team will receive points to qualify themselves for other pro tournaments such as ESL Pro Tour and Blast Premier.

That being said, a ton of teams want those prizes, so teams are still fighting for a spot in the tournament even though the tournament is less than a month away. Many teams are very close to qualifying, those being FaZe and OG, who are playing in IEM Fall 2021 (IEM standing for Intel Extreme Masters if anyone was wondering). I have my money on FaZe making it, mostly due to their recent pick up of Twistzz who used to play for Team Liquid, a team who has already qualified for New Legends as of now. But on the other hand, OG is very close too. They don’t need many points to be on par with other teams who have qualified for the tournament. However, they need to stop relying on Aleksib to carry them lol. My guess is that both OG and FaZe will qualify, OG probably making Contenders and FaZe making Challengers just based off of their current standings.

All in all, this should be a very interesting major. I can’t wait to get back to real life Counter-Strike majors after last year, having all tournaments be online. Nothing beats the environment of a major, the crowd chanting, the players getting hype over 1vX clutches, the world-class gaming happening right in front of your eyes. Hopefully, the Stockholm 2021 major can revive the Counter-Strike pro scene and we can get back to regular majors.

-Last updated Oct 7, 2021