What we learned from PGL Antwerp 2022

The last day of the PGL Major Antwerp saw the world's two greatest teams compete for the coveted Major trophy. FaZe came out on top after two heated maps, winning their first Major victory.

The first CS:GO Major of 2022, the PGL Major Antwerp is now over. Twenty-four teams from around the world battled for $1 million in prize money and the title of Major champions, but it was FaZe who lifted the trophy in the end and they won the $500,000 prize for the winner with the rest divided between the follow up teams.

Here’s what we learned from PGL Major Antwerp 2022, and what to expect from the teams that will be attending the IEM Dallas next week.

Which teams are going to IEM Dallas next week

Next week we’ll see the playoff teams once again with the exception of Copenhagen Flames, the only team that made it to the playoffs, that won’t make it to IEM Dallas.

CPHF’s lack of appearance will surely be felt since their astronomical run in the PGL, sadly they didn’t manage to qualify through IEM’s own qualifiers and not a partner team of the organisation itself.

PGL Major began with 24 of the world's best teams, but by the start of the Champions Stage on May 19, the field had been reduced to only eight.

Out of all the teams that competed in the PGL Major only a few will be attending the Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII - Dallas major tournament and most are coming from the playoffs. Teams are below:

From the playoffs

From Legends stage

Cloud9, Team Vitality, Team Liquid, Imperial Esports and G2 Esports.

From the Challengers stage

Complexity Gaming and Astralis

Teams that don’t have much chance: Astralis, Complexity, Imperial, Cloud9, Team Liquid and Team Vitality

Astralis was ousted from the PGL Major Antwerp Challengers stage by Team Liquid. The 2-0 loss was heartbreaking for Astralis, the most successful Counter-Strike: Global Offensive franchise in history.  

Astralis was ousted from the PGL Major Antwerp Challengers stage by Team Liquid. The 2-0 loss was heartbreaking for Astralis, the most successful Counter-Strike: Global Offensive franchise in history.

While blameF has consistently proven his worth, k0nfig's outcomes have been inconsistent. Legacy Astralis members Xyp9x and Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander have also failed to build a name for themselves.

It's unclear whether Astralis' lineup will alter as a result of this poor finish. Over the last few years, the Danish org hasn't hesitated away from developing moves for acquiring other players when they believed it was important.

But they are not the same Astralis that they once were, and they are not returning anytime soon.

There’s also not much to say about Complexity either, since they left the tournament in the 12th standing, two below where Astralis was. Do not expect these two teams to create any miracles any time soon.

Not much to say about the Imperial, they are dwarfed by their fellow countrymen NiP and FURIA.

With Cloud9  After acquiring the Gambit squad, Cloud9 has returned to CSGO competition but the team still hasn't warmed up yet.

Team Liquid: As one of the tournament's lowest-ranked CSGO teams, Team Liquid is a clear underdog and unlike Spirit and CPHF in PGL, they are not expected to shine anytime soon.

Team Vitality, winners of IEM Winter 2021 and a very tough contender over the years, having one of the best players in CS:GO history (Zywoo) in their roster, started the tournament very strong on Challengers with a 3-0 score at the stages end, with Zywoo amassing an incredible k/d throughout. Nevertheless they are seemingly getting worse instead of better with time and even lost to the Liquid in Legend stage.

Expect more, but not too much: FURIA Esports, G2 Esports, Heroic

Many CSGO fans regard FURIA as a 50-50 squad, and it's impossible to predict how the team will do in a tournament. They made it to the end only to be disqualified by Team Spirit with ease, giving away the match 0-2 and not to forget G2 lost to FURIA in a 1-2 close match. These teams look on par and their next matches will probably play out the same too.

Heroic also gave their opponents NAVI the shock at first, but slowly and surely with years of experience under their belt, NAVI beat them to the ground but Heroic still deserves the merit of forcing NAVI to a 3 round game by losing 1-2 and not to forget that they beat their opponents before in the RMRs.

These teams might shock: ENCE, Spirit and Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Last Thursday, Team Spirit defeated FURIA Esports in the quarterfinals of the PGL Major Antwerp 2022. The Russian team's surprise run at the Antwerp major just like their Dota 2 counterparts shocked everyone, and they almost made it to the end but toppling FaZe was an extraordinarily hard challenge. Consistent and skillful throughout the tournament, It is expected a lot from Spirit in the upcoming major.

NiP on the other hand is another beast, as one of the top 10 CS:GO Squads and finest teams out there they gave the FaZe Clan a hard time, barely losing 1-2 against their superior foes. Perhaps they might’ve picked up something along the way and will adapt tactics in Dallas.

ENCE, with its relatively new roster of players that joined just a year ago they pushed and pushed hard. Making it to the semifinals without a hiccup, just barely after Team Spirit and NAVI. They have seamless cohesion for such a newly formed team and defeated the prodigal CPHF before losing it to NAVI. They might shock you indeed.

Tournament favourites: FaZe in NAVI out

Champs FaZe faced their greatest opposition of the playoffs, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and won 2-1. NAVI was also up against a challenge in the first round, losing 2-1 to Heroic.

Both teams breezed through the Semifinals with 2-0 wins. FaZe had little trouble with Team Spirit, and NAVI handled the ENCE roster with ease. This would pave the way for the largest CS:GO match of 2022, a Grand Final between FaZe and NAVI.

Karrigan, PGL Antwerp 2022 via HTLV

Both Team Spirit and Heroic were considered the dark horses of the tournament. They had the skill set to shock, albeit with low odds but at the end majors are majors and most of the time skill and luck won’t cut it at that level of highly professional gameplay. So FaZe and Navi made it to the end and set up the dream finale, which was expected of them.

The Final certainly did not disappoint FaZe fans and spectators alike. Despite being the defending champions, NAVI were thoroughly outmatched by Karrigan, Rain, and the rest of the fresh FaZe roster.

Karrigan also now stands as the first IGL to win a major with an internationally assembled squad, setting a new precedent.  

When the dust had settled, FaZe changed the equilibrium of the CS:GO esports scene. At Katowice it was thought that the poor performance of Natus Vincere was due to the crisis in Ukraine. It was understandable for the team to lose cohesion whilst there’s a war going on in their country.

They not only won the Grand Final 2-0, but they did so against the one and only s1mple led NAVI. Winning a major is one thing; winning one while decimating one of the finest teams in the world is a record setter on its own.

NaVi's fall strikes a mournful note. With the war in Ukraine, it's doubtful that this 5-man team will ever play another tournament together.

Regardless of this year's losses, the demise of this NaVi lineup will always be one of Counter-Strike’s biggest questions. A team that was on the verge of becoming one of the greatest ever now seems to be getting buried in the past much as Liquid 2019 and others, and it’s not their fault.

Maybe in the future we’ll see NAVI rising up from its ashes, but that future sure is not close and this puts NAVI in a precarious position for the upcoming IEM Dallas next week. They will probably be demoralised and inefficient and might get eliminated from the tournament in the group stage.

Or who knows, maybe they’ll come back even stronger for a revenge against FaZe, but I doubt a one week of preparation would make much of a difference at this point.

IEM Dallas begins

With titles at ESL Pro League 15 and IEM Katowice, FaZe Clan has clearly established itself as the squad to beat in 2022. With their victory over Na'Vi, FaZe has firmly established itself as the best team in the current era.

As is customary in CS:GO, the struggle never ends. The squad will be back in action in only one week at the IEM Masters Dallas, where they are expected to be tournament favourites.

Don't forget to claim your first deposit by using the code GLHF.