CSGO, Major, NAVI

Credit: PGL

PGL Major Stockholm 2021: NAVI lift their first Major trophy

In this series we look back at all the previous Majors in CS:GO. We have reached the most recent Major: PGL Major Stockholm where NAVI secured their first-ever Major title with a flawless run.

The PGL Major Stockholm 2021 was the 16th CS:GO Major Championship and the most anticipated event of all time because the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible for organizers to arrange a championship with an audience for two years. Other than that, the PGL Major Stockholm was the first Counter-Strike Major broadcasted in 4k, while the event also had the biggest prize pool in the history of the franchise: a whopping $2 million! 

PGL Major Stockholm 2021

 

Date: Oct 26th – Nov 7th 

Number of teams: 24 

Prize Pool: $2,000,000 

Winner: Natus Vincere (s1mple – electronic – B1T – Boombl4 – Perfecto) 

MVP: Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev 

Map pool: Ancient, Dust2, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass, Vertigo. 

The Russian-Ukrainian squad was undoubtedly the best CS:GO team coming into the PGL Major in Stockholm and it seemed impossible to deny them this Major achievement. All of NAVI’s players were full of confidence as well as momentum, as they had just completed their Intel Grand Slam a month before the event. And with consistently high placements in the CIS Regional Major Rankings (RMR) events throughout the year, NAVI earned themselves a top-two seed at the PGL Stockholm Major. This meant that Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy’s troops got to start in the New Legends Stage as a part of the top 16 teams. 

However, their journey to glory wasn’t easy at all, as NAVI had to face multiple tough opponents on the way such as Heroic, NiP, Team Vitality, and Gambit before ultimately taking down G2 in the grand final. 

NAVI complete their flawless run 

Kirill “Boombl4” and company started the event with a match against Casper “cadiaN” Møller’s men from Heroic who were sitting in 5th place in the HLTV world ranking at that time. In a very tough match, NAVI came out on top of Ancient with a 16-11 scoreline. Later, NAVI took upon Dzhami “Jame” Ali and the rest of Virtus.pro in a matchup where NAVI left no chance for their opponents, closing out the match in dominant fashion on Overpass, 16-4. 

A bo3 match against Ninjas in Pyjamas for a spot in the playoffs as an undefeated 3-0 team awaited for Born To Win. The match was expected to deliver some nail-biting action, but both maps turned out to be one-sided affairs, as NAVI booked themselves a ticket to the playoffs with back-to-back 16-9 wins against the Swedes. 

Their first opponent in the playoffs was Team Vitality. Many predicted that the Frenchmen were going to be the first team to steal a map away from NAVI, but s1mple and company made quick work of them. NAVI took Vitality’s map pick of Dust2 16-11 before returning to their home of Nuke to extend their map-win streak to 17 with a 16-13 scoreline. That victory led them to the semi-finals where their rivals from Gambit waited for an exciting CIS derby. On two maps, NAVI gave away only 11 rounds in total and locked in a spot in the grand final. 

The grand final was the most closely contested match for NAVI at the event and the closest they came to losing a map. Boombl4’s men registered a somewhat comfortable 16-11 victory on the newest map in the rotation, Ancient, a planned curveball from the French-Balkan squad which took fans by surprise. G2 hoped to catch NAVI off guard but failed. G2 would need to deliver some magical individual performances to keep the series alive, considering NAVI’s home of Nuke was up next, where the Russian-Ukrainian squad held a 17 map win streak. 

On Nuke, NAVI were tested to their very limit by G2 who looked dangerous with some strong showing from the Kovac’s and Audric “JaCkz” Jug who all three pushed their team to a 10-5 advantage. The roster of G2 continued their strong form and secured match point at 15-10. However, s1mple and company resurfaced from the depths of defeat to force not one but two overtimes. In double overtime, NAVI secured match point and eventually snatched Nuke away from G2’s grip right in front of their eyes. 

With a 2-0 victory in the grand final, NAVI not only repeated Astralis’ flawless Major playoffs in the past but went a step further by not dropping a single map throughout the entire event, claiming the title with an incredible 10-0 map record. NAVI made history and completed the most dominant run ever seen at a CS:GO Major. 

Watch highlights from the Grand final right here: 

The king gets his crown  

The Ukrainian beast, Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev capped off a fantastic Major event with a powerful final performance as he inspired NAVI to a stellar 2-0 victory over G2 with a server-leading 1.51 rating and took home the MVP medal in the process. s1mple’s first-ever Major MVP and the 17th MVP medal of his career at the time. 

s1mple topped the charts in several categories across the event, most notably leading in rating (1.47), KD-diff (+106), and kills per round (0.95). The arguably best player of all time finally achieved his dream of winning a Major trophy and he showed up on every single map to become the only player in history to be both Major MVP and the highest-rated player. 

“I told myself that I would stay in NAVI and win a Major with them, I promised myself, and we did it. A lot of people didn’t believe in me, and made jokes, but I fucking did it. The major is ours, the major is NAVI’s. I told (the team), we just needed to believe in ourselves, and we were going to win… We just kept fighting. I am so proud of my team, the fucking champions! Just look at them, the champions.” – s1mple said in his postgame interview.

Tournament results:

1. Natus Vincere - $1,000,000
2. G2 - $300,000
3-4. Gambit - $140,000
3-4. Heroic - $140,000
5-8. Vitality - $70,000
5-8. FURIA - $70,000
5-8. Ninjas in Pyjamas - $70,000
5-8. Virtus.pro - $70,000
9-11. Copenhagen Flames - $17,500
9-11. FaZe Clan - $17,500
9-11. Entropiq - $17,500
12-14. MOUZ - $17,500
12-14. Astralis - $17,500
12-14. Team Liquid - $17,500
15-16. ENCE - $17,500
15-16. Evil Geniuses - $17,500

Highest rated players at PGL Major Stockholm 2021

1. Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev (NAVI) – 1.47 Rating
2. Nikola ”NiKo” Kovac (G2) – 1.36 Rating
3. Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut (Vitality) – 1.30 Rating
4. Dennis “electronic” Sharipov (NAVI) – 1.28 Rating
5. Valeriy “B1T” Vakhovskiy (NAVI) – 1.27 Rating
6. David “frozen” Cernanský (MOUZ) – 1.22 Rating
7. Dmitry ”sh1ro” Sokolov (Gambit) – 1.21 Rating
8. Helvijs ”broky” Saukants (FaZe) – 1.18 Rating
9. Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjidi (CPH Flames) – 1.16 Rating
10. Martin “stavn” Lund (Heroic) – 1.15 Rating

New CS:GO viewership record

The Grand final between Natus Vincere and G2 reached a peak viewership number of 2,748,434 viewers, demolishing the previous CS:GO peak viewership record by over 1 million, according to Esports Charts.

Earlier matchups in the event also consistently broke records from previous Majors and were watched on various streams across the world, setting a high new standard for CS:GO event viewership.

Here are the most-viewed CS:GO events:

1. PGL Major Stockholm 2021 – 2,748,434
2. ELEAGUE Major 2017 – 1,337,810
3. ELEAGUE Major 2018 – 1,329,096
4. IEM Katowice 2019 – 1,205,103
5. FACEIT Major London – 1,084,946

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