Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s best teams battle it out on the game’s biggest stage.
From the success and surprises that came out of CS:GO’s previous Major, PGL Krakow, comes the next tournament in the game’s most prestigious tier – ELEAGUE Major Boston. It boasts a $1,000,000 prize pool and a staggering 24-teams.
Last December, Valve also announced the new format, bringing in the old “Qualifiers” to the same LAN, now calling it “The New Challengers Stage”, and renaming the group-stage as “The New Legends Stage”. The playoffs are now also called “The New Champions Stage” – effectively increasing the number of participating teams to 24, with all teams receiving in-game stickers.
A breakdown infographic by ELEAGUE can be seen below:
Note that both The New Challengers stage and The New Legend stage will be utilizing the 16-team Swiss format, while The New Champions stage will be played out in a single-elimination, best-of-three bracket.
The prize pool will also be distributed as follows:
- 1st Place: $500,000
- 2nd Place: $ 150,000
- 3rd-4th Place: $ 70,000
- 5th-8th Place: $35,000
So, who are the participating teams this Major?
The Minor Champions:
- Europe: Space Soldiers, Team EnVyUs
- Americas: Team Liquid, Misfits
- CIS: AVANGAR, Quantum Bellator Fire
- Asia: Renegades, Flash Gaming
*note that Flash Gaming are coming in to replace TyLoo, who will not be attending due to visa issues with Hansel “BnTet” Ferdinand and disagreements with their supposed stand-in, Luis “peacemaker” Tadeu.
They will be joined by Krakow’s bottom-8 placers:
- Cloud9, who, since benching Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert and Michael “shroud” Grzesiek, have brought in Will “RUSH” Wierzba and Tarik “tarik” Celik to replace them.
- FlipSid3 Tactics, who are playing with former Natus Vincere IGL, Denis “seized” Kostin, currently on-loan.
- G2 Esports, the French all-star team sporting Kenny “KennyS” Schrub as their primary AWPer.
- Natus Vincere, who has brought back their former IGL, Danil “Zeus” Teslenko, and added Denis “electronic” Sharipov to the roster.
- mousesports, who have replaced Christian “IoWel” Antoran and Denis “denis” Howell with Miika “suNny” Kemppi and Martin “STYKO” Styk.
- Sprout, made up of former PENTA players plus Timo “Spiidi” Richter.
- FaZe Clan, who have been revitalized thanks to their new all-star roster with Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs and Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer and star Nikola “NiKo” Kovac.
- Vega Squadron, the same CIS underdogs who took out NiP’s chances at the previous Major.
And of course, the Legends from Krakow:
- Gambit Esports, the previous Major champions, who will be tested here without their previous IGL, while bringing in new blood in Bektiyar “fitch” Bahytov.
- 100 Thieves, made up of last Major’s runner-up players, who back then were playing under the Immortals banner.
- Astralis, who are looking to make a comeback to the top of the scene, and perhaps get their hands on a second Major.
- Virtus.Pro, who while facing consistency issues, almost always seem to show up at the Majors.
- Fnatic, who are looking to return to their glory days.
- SK Gaming, who are currently enjoying a highly successful season and a healthy rivalry with FaZe Clan.
- BIG, another surprise underdog team who performed well above expectations last Major.
- North, who are also trying to rekindle their old tournament-topping form after a string of middling results.
It’s gonna be one of the most stacked tournaments this year, for sure. There’s a lot of interesting storylines as well: Will Gambit be able to stand on the big stage without Zeus? Will Na’Vi help their star player, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev reach his true potential? Will FaZe finally reach the pinnacle of CS:GO, or will SK Gaming take another Grand Final from their clutches?
Let’s all tune in later to find out! Games begin at around 11pm here in the Philippine local time.
KaLeRei usually can’t shut up about video games, so she writes about them instead. Single-player RPGs or empire-builders/strategy games are her usual cup of tea, but she’s also been an avid follower of the Dota 2 and CS:GO professional scenes for a while. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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