An interesting tournament to look out for new rosters and big guns competing against each other.
The PGL Major Stockholm has had an enormous impact on the Counter-Strike community. While the viewership during the tournament was off the charts, a few major teams who couldn’t perform have made significant changes to their squad. The upcoming competition will see teams like Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, Natus Vincere, Astralis and more. Here is a quick preview of teams going into the Fall Finals.
Natus Vincere Vs BIG
NAVI are in tremendous form. Their achievements in the current season is testament of the squad’s sheer talent and teamwork. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and company will be favorites to win the competition. NAVI has won the PGL Major, ESL Pro League Season 14 and IEM Cologne, which were tough competitions. Their impressive feat of success is a historic event in CS:GO itself.
BIG lost some easy matches to give away their chance of advancing further in the last Major. They immediately made a coach change after the tournament to address any issues they must have noticed during the tour with Niclas “enkay J” Krumhorn replacing Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić. Enkay J has been an Analyst for reputed teams like G2 Esports, Team EnVyUs, mousesports and many more. We will see what he offers in the short time he has got before the tournament. They have a tough start with NAVI as their first opponent in the tournament.
FaZe Clan Vs Heroic
Heroic were excellent in the PGL Major. They held a third place in the Legend’s Stage and could defeat Virtus.pro in the quarterfinals. It was only against G2 that the team suffered a 2-1 defeat and was denied entry into the Grand Finals. They have a serious chance of winning the title with their in-form squad. Teams like Natus Vincere and Team Vitality will pose an enormous challenge to them.
FaZe topped the Challenger’s Stage with wins against Team Spirit, ENCE and Virtus.pro. However, their poor performance in the next stage got them eliminated from the Major. They have an experienced squad with veterans who offer varied skills in the game. With fewer teams in the mix, FaZe could get a good run. However, they will have to face and defeat top teams in the game. Heroic will be their first challenge in the competition.
Team Vitality Vs Team Liquid
Team Vitality have had a great season, but have failed to win trophies. They were shaky in the Legend’s Stage of PGL, but made it to the playoffs. NAVI were their first opponents, which was a tough challenge for Vitality, who lost 2-0 to the Ukrainian giants. They are looking to change the squad for the new calendar year, which you can read in detail over here. For now, they will compete against Liquid in the opening match of the Fall Finals.
Liquid had a tough time in the Stockholm Major. They competed in Legend’s Stage, but fell short against FURIA with a 9-16 loss. They also lost 2-0 to Faze Clan and got eliminated. Led by Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, the team has made no roster changes for a while. Judging by their current form, Liquid has a long way to go to win trophies. However, they will certainly look to improve upon their performances.
Ninjas in Pyjamas Vs Astralis
NiP had a good run in the PGL Major. The arrival of Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz has affected their performances positively. They finished seventh in the Legend’s Stage of the Major, but G2 Esports defeated them in the Quarterfinals of the tournament. The Swedish team will definitely look to win the BLAST Premier and have the potential to do so when in excellent form.
Astralis have made some major changes after the big Stockholm tournament. They are still to play a game after the addition of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke and Benjamin “blameF” Bremer. Their new Head Coach Alexander “ave” Holdt will also get some time before they face NiP in the competition. Read more about the transfers here. The Danish side has struggled in the entire season and have failed to deliver what the fans expected of them. Their past achievements have created a high bar for the fans and Astralis have to come back to deliver.
Feature Images: BLAST Premier
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Author: Anuj Gupta