PGL Krakow CS GO Major Preview
The 11th CSGO major is just around the corner and here at lkgaming.com we couldn’t be more excited to see how things play out. Things have arguably never been more unpredictable in the CS GO pro scene and outside of the the Top 3 of SK, Astralis and Faze, anyone from the Top 15-20 can jump 5-10 spots after this tournament. The first major hosted by production geniuses PGL, is full of interesting storylines that should keep us on the edge of our seat. Here’s a few of our favourite narratives coming into the biggest tournament of the year.
Virtus Pro - How will the team play in the first major in Poland in over 2 years?
One of the biggest stories coming into Krakow is how Virtus Pro will play in front of their home crowd. Virtus Pro has always been an inconsistent team that made gamblers chew their fingernails to the bone, but last major’s runner-ups have hit a new low in their long career. VP’s free fall out of the Top 10 started somewhere in March or April, but the thought of the Poles losing their legendary status in front of their home crowd is a scary one. On the flip side, if the Plow can be activated by a passionate crowd and we see them make it to the big stage, what a story that would be. Just think about it, one of the most prestigious teams in CS GO history hits rock bottom, rumours of them disbanding coming from their own members and then a July miracle on home soil keeps the longest standing 5 man squad together. Regardless of how you feel about Pashabiceps and co., what an amazing CS moment that would be.
Last tournament before the CIS Shuffle?
The understanding is that a CIS shuffle is in the works for after the major. Thorin first suggested it in late June to which Stepan Shulga (Starladder Executive Producer) replied that it would happen right after the major. A looming shuffle involving NaVi, Gambit, F3 (and maybe Vega Squadron), can’t bode well for the CIS region at the major. NaVi’s results without Zeus and Starix have left much to be desired and after a hot start Gambit is looking like I team that knows a shuffle is around the corner. In the past few weeks, Gambit has BO1 losses to Kinguin, WySix, Epsilon, Gatekeepers and Vitalis. The team who won DreamHack Open Austin in late April is probably all the proof you need that a shuffle is incoming. The only hope I have for a CIS team in the major, is if the upcoming shuffle makes some players step up and play without any pressure. Mir from Vega might have something to showcase if he wants to be a part of a higher tier CIS team, but I don’t see any of the CIS teams making legendary status.
Does 4 in row solidify SK as the GOAT?
The brazilians have won the last 3 tournaments in a row and are favourites coming into the major. Would a 4th win put SK above the likes of Fnatic from the pronax era or the 87-0 NiP days? It’s hard to say, the era is different and parity is at an all time high. However, one thing is for sure, a 4th consecutive win would at least put them in the conversation for the greatest CS GO lineup of all time.
Wherever your allegiances lie, SK have to be considered favourites to win in Krakow and the closest thing to a sure bet at maintaining legendary status. If anything, they are definitely the greatest cs go soccer (football for you EU folks) team of all time.
Potential Cinderella Stories?
Cool Runnings, Rocky Balboa, Seabiscuit or Miracle on Ice, everyone loves a great underdog story. In the upcoming major, the stage is set for a few possible underdogs to make history and have all of us cheering for a team we've never cheered for. We've already talked about how a VP resurrection would be one of the greatest Counter-Strike fairytales ever, but here’s a couple more interesting narratives that we think could happen if the stars align.
Cloud 9 has seen a surge in the last month or so. Going from 15th in the HLTV rankings on June 19th to 5th today. A win at the major, would make the americans the first NA team to win a CS GO major and maybe put a temporary pause to the NA vs EU memes.
Mousesports could have a cinderella run. Quarters or semis. But just making legendary status would be outstanding for international mix. The departure of Niko somehow made the team better and proved that building a team around one star isn’t the way CS works anymore. For mousesports to have a good run, Oskar needs to repeat his outstanding performance from Cologne, and ropz needs to be the FPL god that got him noticed.
Fnatic isn’t a team you would normally consider to be a potential cinderella story, but it’s been a tumultuous year for the former swedish powerhouse. Once considered one of the greatest lineups of all time and a favourite to win every tournament they attended, the swedes have fallen out of HLTVs top 10 rankings. Since bringing the 5 man squad back together, we’ve seen signs of improvement, but everyone is still waiting to see if the most decorated core in CS GO history has recovered from their surprising divorce. For Fnatic to win or make a good run in the PGL major, we need to see pistols from dennis, clutches from Krimz, swagger from jw, god mode from olof and mouse lifts from flusha.
Our Bold Predictions
Winners: SK will win their 3rd major (1 under LG) and 4th tournament in a row putting them in the conversation for the greatest team of all time. Fer will be the MVP.
2nd Place: Astralis will make it to the finals, but an average performance from Device coupled with a poor tournament from gla1ve will have them fall short.
Top 8: The 8 teams making legendary status will be SK, Astralis, Faze, G2, Cloud 9, Fnatic, North and mousesports.
Notable Exclusions: If we’re right about the top 8 teams, it would leave out some big teams including VP, NaVi, and Immortals.