Credit: ESL Adela Sznajder
Things are getting intense at the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Europe RMR A event and a picture is beginning to take form, slowly but surely. With the preliminary Bo1-series out of the way, we head to the more intense Bo3-series as the qualifying spots begin to get occupied. The first Bo3-brawl for a spot at the upcoming PGL Major in Antwerp was between Natus Vincere and Heroic. As both the two CS:GO giants were sitting on a 2-0 record, a victory would mean instant qualification for the winning side. As expected it was a close affair between the two rosters. An otherwise great performance from the CIS giants, and "s1mple" especially, proved to be inadequate against the cohesive and charismatic beast that is Heroic. "cadiaN" and his troops claimed victory after a third and final map and secured a much-deserved spot at the upcoming PGL Major.
The first map of the Bo3-series was chosen by NaVi, which meant that the brawl was set to kick off on Mirage. Known for its open spaces and AWP'ing possibilities, Mirage seemed perfect for a battleground for superstars "stavn" and "s1mple" to face each other. An exciting brawl ensued as both teams seemed eager and ready for Mirage. Natus Vincere, however, proved slightly more warmed up from the get-go, as they quickly gained an early 6-2 lead. It wasn't long until Heroic themselves woke up and answered back and at the scoreline of 8-7, it was as close as possible going into the second half of Mirage. The second half quickly became the "s1mple" show. Failing to move past the Ukrainian beast, Heroic had to see themselves bested against a cohesive and potent CT-sided defense. At the scoreline of 16-11, Natus Vincere claimed Mirage and secured an advantage going into the remainder of the Bo3-series.
The second map of the series was, of course, picked by Heroic and meant a trip to Inferno. Despite only playing it four times in the past three months, Heroic were sitting on a 75% win rate and seemed eager to prove themselves after a disappointing result on Mirage. It was also Heroic to come flying out of the gate on their T-side. The aggressive and creative nature of Heroic proved a mouthful for the CIS giants in the early stages of Inferno, and Heroic quickly gained a needed lead on them. At the scoreline of 10-5, a stellar first half for the Danes concluded. The second half began with Heroic continuing their impressive form, however, it didn't take long before NaVi regained momentum and began to embark on Heroic's lead. At the close scoreline of 16-13, it was ultimately Heroic, thanks to great performances from the Danish trio of "sjuush", "stavn", and "refrezh", to claim victory on Inferno.
The final map of the Bo3-series took place on the Nuke. With both teams being incredibly experienced on Nuke it seemed the perfect common ground for the Bo3-series to find a victor. As expected the battle between NaVi and Heroic continued to be as close as possible on Nuke. At 8-7, the two rosters switched sides and got ready for the second half of Nuke. The second half saw Heroic impress on their T-side, the arguably more difficult side on Nuke. Creative executes orchestrated by the charismatic "cadiaN" proved potent as the calculated Natus Vincere roster was caught off guard a handful of times. At 15-9, Natus Vincere were placed on their back foot and needed six consecutive rounds to force overtime. It never happened, however, and at 16-9 Heroic walked away with a well-deserved victory against NaVi and a spot in the upcoming PGL Major in Antwerp.
Highlight of the Bo3-series
Natus Vincere - Heroic 1-2 | PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Europe RMR A
16-11 (Mirage) | s1mple - 1.47 Rating / 28-14 K-D / 86.0 ADR
13-16 (Inferno) | refrezh - 1.36 Rating / 25-17 K-D / 84.4 ADR
9-16 (Nuke) | TeSeS - 1.31 Rating / 20-15 K-D / 89.4 ADR
MVP: Martin "stavn" Lund – 1.26 Rating / 67-48 K-D / 81.8 ADR
PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Europe RMR A - Overview (Unique vs QUAZAR: 2-1)
Whilst the huge brawl between the two CS:GO giants, Natus Vincere and Heroic, took place on the A-stream, another crucial Bo3-series was played between Unique and QUAZAR. Both teams were, before the match, sitting on a 0-2 record, meaning the losing team would be eliminated from the RMR event and miss out on the upcoming major.
The first map of the Bo3-series went the way of QUAZAR, edging a slight victory on Ancient. Whilst it was QUAZAR to take home the first map, however, it was all Unique from there on and out. Two confident performances on Overpass and Dust 2 saw Unique claim the victory and keep themselves alive at the event. They will have to win their two next matches in order to stay alive and secure a spot at the upcoming major.