| Tags: CS:GO
| Author Rohat Dicle Kılınç
CS:GO: 2022 PGL Antwerp Major Quarterfinals Previews And Predictions
With the Challengers and Legends stages of the Major in the rearview window, the wait is over, and the PGL Antwerp Major Quarterfinals are here.
There are only eight teams left in the competition without too many surprises. The first round of the playoffs will start on Thursday, May 19th, at 16:30 CET. Antwerps Sportpaleis will host the fans who cheer for their teams through the single elimination bracket. Most teams remaining won’t surprise people, a list that includes the current number one FaZe and the reigning champions NAVI. Three rosters will play their first Major quarters: ENCE, Copenhagen Flames, and Spirit. This is a tremendous achievement for Spirit as the current number 23 team joined the tournament as Contenders.
As the start nears, the hype around the Antwerp Major only gets greater. Before tunning into the stream to catch the best players competing for the trophy, make sure to read our breakdowns for each series and take a look at our predictions.
NIP – FaZe (May 19, 16:30 CET)
The first game on the block is a must-watch for everyone, as it features two top 10 teams that both passed the Legends stage with a 3-1 score. Unfortunately for the Ninjas, their star player Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz is still not with the roster. Dev1ce went inactive in the last month of 2021 because of personal reasons related to mental health, and the organization has yet to give any information on his return. Still, Ludvig ‘Brollan’ Brolin who is trying to make up for his absence has been putting up numbers during the event. The AWP-ing duties, on the other hand, were left to Patrick ‘es3tag’ Hansen who hasn’t had his best showing during the Legends stage. While NIP had a great showing against good teams like VIT, C9, and FURIA, they weren’t able to go toe to toe with the tournament favorite NAVI, which doesn’t bode well for their upcoming matchup.
This is primarily due to the fact their opponent FaZe is coming from two straight tournament wins at IEM Katowice and ESL Pro League Season 15, convincing wins at that. FaZe carries a lineup full of both experience and talent under the leadership of Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen. While they had a slow start, they were able to pick up steam through to the Legends stage. FaZe is looking to get themselves to the final and hopefully not repeat the disaster of the 2018 Boston Major. One good news for that is the new lineup of Cloud9 is out of contention.
Prediction: NIP 1 – 2 FaZe
See our CS:GO betting tips.
Spirit – FURIA (May 19, 20:00 CET)
If you are looking for an underdog to support during the quarters, CIS has your back. The Russians, who were only Contenders, impressed everyone during the Challenger stage, where they only dropped a series against G2. However, the big surprise was the Legends series, where they went 3-0, dropping only one map against Copenhagen Flames. Their performance is only made more impressive as the three teams they beat during this stage (FURIA, Flames, and Heroic) all made the quarters. And by the fact that they are the youngest team in the Major with an average of 20.7 years old. The team is led by Leonid ‘chopper' Vishnyakov, who isn't a stranger to underdog surprises from his stint at Vega Squadron. But they will mostly rely on Robert ‘Patsi’ Isyanov, who boasted an impressive 1.50 rating through the Legends stage.
FURIA, on the other hand, came into the Major as more of a dark horse rather than an underdog. But their performance hasn't installed the most confidence in their fans. They had a shaky Legends stage and had to fight tooth and nail against G2 for a 2-1 victory in their last game. The team has been on an upward trajectory after the pickup of Rafael ‘saffee’ Costa from paiN Gaming at the start of the year, but they couldn't manage to carry it to the Major yet. Their most significant advantage over Spirit is the experience of players like KSCERATO, yuurih, and arT. FURIA, in the past, tended to struggle against interregional opponents, and the in-form Spirit can pose them a significant danger.
Prediction: Spirit 1 – 2 FURIA
ENCE – Copenhagen Flames (May 20, 16:30 CET)
Copenhagen Flames has been one of the most exciting teams to follow in the recent years of Counter-Strike, which makes the speculations that players are looking to sail brighter seas after the Major more bad news. They are now looking to get one last shot, albeit they are already in a better position compared to the Stockholm Major. Their road into the playoffs was in no way easy, however. They lost their first two Bo3s and had to face a red hot Imperial in their last one. Fortunately for the Danes, they were able to overcome the legends of the Brazillian scene, primarily thanks to Rasmus ‘Zyphon’ Nordfoss. The series' favorites ENCE is looking to go back to the glory days of their Finnish roster. They are the current number 3 coming into the game with a string of good results, including a first-place at BLAST Premier: Spring European Showdown 2022.
Despite the promising results, ENCE lacks experience when it comes to Major quarters. For four of their players, this is the first time in front of a crowd, let alone a Major. They will have to look at the experience IGL Marco ‘Snappi' Pfeiffer for guidance in this one. The good news for viewers, and maybe bad ones for ENCE, is that we've seen these teams play during the Legends stage. Flames came on top in that game with not too much trouble, even though it was a Bo1. Still, the talent ENCE has can spell an early end for Copenhagen Flames' apparent last tourney.
Predictions: ENCE 2 – 1 Copenhagen Flames
Natus Vincere – Heroic (May 20, 20:00 CET)
Last but definitely not least, maybe the most hype game of the quarters sees Heroic facing the reigning champs. Before playing in the RMR tournaments, Heroic had a six-game losing streak against the CIS representatives. Combined with their bad record against NAVI, Heroic hadn't had the best Legends stage. They were on the brink of elimination against Vitality and had to claw their way to the quarters. While all members of the squad are carrying their weight, they will have to get a really good performance from Martin ‘stavn' Lund if they expect to win this one.
On the other side, NAVI is back to reclaim the throne.
The champs had a 3-0 Legends stage, but they had to go to three maps against NIP and overtime against G2, which doesn't scream easy games. The Ukrainian team didn't have the best start to 2022, not seeing finals yet in any tourney this year. Of course, everyone's minds are on the war in Ukraine and the future of the organization has been in the air. Still, the talent on this roster is undeniable, and when all else fails, they still have the greatest player ever to play the game: Oleksandr ‘s1mple' Kostyliev.
Predictions: NAVI 2 – 0 Heroic