The first two stages (Challengers and Legends) in the 2022 CS: GO PGL Major Antwerp have been played to a conclusion, and eight teams have secured their spots in the final (Champions) stage.
Team Spirit and Natus Vincere had perfect outings in the Legends stage to secure the first two spots in the playoffs. ENCE, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and FaZe Clan finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, leaving three available slots among six teams at the end of Round 4 matches.
Heroic booked their passage with a win against European counterparts Team Vitality. It was a closely contested affair, as Vitality evened the series 1-1 after a hard-fought match on Overpass.
Heroic, who were the slight favorites on several esports betting sites, got the job done on Inferno.
Vitality attempted an incredible comeback despite going down 14-5 in the map. They won the next seven rounds to bring the score to 14-12, but Heroic managed to stop the bleeding early enough to avoid losing the series.
Although it is not the result Vitality hoped for, especially with the big-name signings at the beginning of the year, they fought hard in the tournament.
The second team to clinch one of the remaining three spots available was FURIA. They are the only non-European team remaining in the competition.
The American team secured direct seeding to the Legends stage after finishing atop the standings in the American Regional Major Rankings. But they struggled to assert their dominance in the early rounds in Antwerp, going 2-2 in the Legends stage, with their fate decided by a Round 5 matchup.
Despite a bright start to the series, winning Vertigo 16-12, FURIA were facing elimination after losing Inferno to G2 Esports.
On the final map, Ancient, G2 had a good lead after the first half with a 10-5 record. Led by Andrei “arT” Piovezan, FURIA executed an inspired comeback, finishing the map 16-11.
Unfortunately for G2, who made it to the 2021 Stockholm Major, their journey in Antwerp came to an end with that loss.
Copenhagen Flames claimed the last spot in the playoffs after a convincing series sweep over Imperial Esports. The first game was played on Imperial’s map pick, Inferno, with Copenhagen claiming a dominant 16-2 win.
Things got a lot closer on Vertigo, as Imperial were not looking to go out easily. The game finished 15-15 in the regular period, but the Flames saw out the game in overtime.
Proceedings in the tournament will resume on May 19 with quarterfinal matchups. Top-seeded Team Spirit will play the eighth-placed FURIA in a best-of-three single-elimination match. Whoever wins will advance to the semifinals and will square off against the winner of the FaZe-NiP matchup.
In the remaining quarterfinals, ENCE will take on the Flames and Heroic will square up against the Stockholm champions, Natus Vincere.
One of the eight teams left will walk away with $500,000 of the US$1 million prize pool and direct qualification to the 2022 BLAST Premier World Final. The second to eighth-placed teams will also receive points for the global leaderboard.