Bulletpoints: PGL Major Antwerp Contenders

We take a quick preview at the eight teams that have qualified as Contenders for the PGL Major Antwerp.

Six months since the PGL Major Stockholm, the world's best teams once again find themselves competing for one of the game's most prestigious titles: A Major championship.

The Valve-sanctioned competition will take place across a span of two weeks, which includes the Challengers, Legends and Champions stages. The first sixteen teams, who qualified as either Contenders or Challengers, will compete in the Challengers stage for a shot at moving on to the succeeding phases of the tournament.

Can Outsiders find their form at the Major?

With the Challengers stage set to kick off on Monday, let's take a look at the eight Contender teams that will take part in the preliminary matches of the Major.

CIS Outsiders (#10)

- Looking to bounce back after early EPL exit and shaky RMR performance
- YEKINDAR's uncertain future could impact team morale

Outsiders come into the Major as the highest-ranked team qualified as Contenders, yet they have seen some shaky results in recent tournaments. They finished a mere 17th-20th at ESL Pro League Season 15, and qualified for the PGL Major through the Europe RMR A by the skin of their teeth, taking the eighth and final spot.

Read more
Virtus.pro exit on the cards for YEKINDAR - Report

On top of that, Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis has also stated that his future with the team is still up in the air, while a report links the Latvian with an exit from the team, so another disappointing finish at the Major may very well spell the team's final days with the current roster. Still, Outsiders are the 10th-highest-ranked team in the world for a reason, and their fortunes might just start turning around at the Major.

United States Liquid (#13)

- North America's hope aiming to improve on last year's Major collapse
- Have steadily climbed since the beginning of the year
- Look to build on a promising EPL run

While the previous Major in Sweden was nothing to write home about, Liquid have been steadily improving with their new lineup as Nick "⁠nitr0⁠" Cannella and company have climbed to 13th on the world rankings since the beginning of 2022.

Even though the NA side still have to prove their worth as a serious title contender, their 5th-8th place finish and a promising victory over Heroic at ESL Pro League will surely give their fans something to hold on to. With two top 20 players of 2021 in Jonathan "⁠EliGE⁠" Jablonowski and Keith "⁠NAF⁠" Markovic leading the way and a third star in new AWPer Josh "⁠oSee⁠" Ohm, Liquid may just surpass the expectations heading into the Major.

United States Complexity (#22)

- Good performance at the RMR and Dallas qualifiers
- An atrocious Showdown series a blip on the radar
- Grim and floppy the difference-makers

Complexity have an exciting young squad who have proven to be one of the strongest teams in North America in qualifiers for Big Events such as the PGL Major and IEM Dallas. In the build up to the Major, Johnny "⁠JT⁠" Theodosiou's side took convincing wins against TeamOne, 00NATION, and Sao Caetano to book their place at the tournament and went on to secure a place in Dallas after taking down another Brazilian squad in GODSENT twice.

Despite the difficult matchups at ESL Pro League, which saw them go up against Heroic, Natus Vincere, and Astralis in tightly-contested losses, Michael "⁠Grim⁠" Wince and Ricky "⁠floppy⁠" Kemery have consistently been the team's best fraggers, massively contributing to many close games against some of the world's highest-ranked teams.

Most recently, Complexity showed signs of struggle at the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, suffering a loss at the hands of a MIBR blowout, which they'll hope to brush off as they head back over to Europe.

Grim continues to shine for his team on the server

Russia Spirit (#25)

- Youngest Major team with success at smaller events
- Need to prove themselves against top teams

Spirit come into the Major as a young squad full of potential behind their longtime three-man core of Leonid "⁠chopper⁠" Vishnyakov, Boris "⁠magixx⁠" Vorobiev, and Abdul "⁠degster⁠" Gasanov. The Russian side have enjoyed success at the Malta Vibes Knockout Series 6, where they took home first place, and are among the strongest teams at the currently ongoing Pinnacle Cup IV.

Although they have seen their fair share of good performances in the events they have participated in, they have yet to put up significant results against tier-one opponents. If their narrow 11-16 loss against ENCE at the RMR is anything to go by, however, then Spirit may just be able to hang with some of the better teams at the Major.

Turkey Eternal Fire (#29)

- Looking to rally behind strong RMR victories
- XANTARES continues to impress

Eternal Fire head into the PGL Major as massive underdogs coming out of the Europe RMR A, where the Turkish superteam managed a seventh-place finish to qualify for the Belgian event. Their run was nothing short of remarkable, as they knocked out fnatic and a revamped OG en route to the Major.

XANTARES boasts a team-best 1.28 rating

For Eternal Fire, one name has always been the anchor to the team's success: Ismailcan "⁠XANTARES⁠" Dörtkardeş. The 26-year-old provides the much-needed firepower his squad needs to constantly bring the pressure to their opponents, and has shined bright over and over again. Riding the wave of momentum from their recent matches, one mustn't count Eternal Fire out from making a serious Cinderella run at the Major themselves.

South America 9z (#30)

- Outstanding five-match win streak at RMR
- Capable of pulling off upsets against strong opponents

9z made the PGL Major Antwerp by clinching the sixth and final spot at the Americas RMR after remarkably overcoming their 0-2 Swiss stage record and winning five best-of-threes in a row to lock in their place at the Major in Belgium. Their wins came at the expense of notable names such as Marcelo "⁠coldzera⁠" David's Brazilian team 00NATION, Jake "⁠Stewie2K⁠" Yip's Evil Geniuses, and finally against paiN in the sixth-place decider.

Read more
9z clinch last Major spot for the Americas after defeating EG and paiN

After such a strong showing of form during their run at the RMR, fans should not be so quick to count 9z out. The way they have been playing, it's not out of the picture for them to give some of the favorites in the Challengers stage a difficult time, though advancement to the Legends stage seems too far out of the realms of possibilities.

Australia Renegades (#51)

- Revitalized under Liazz's addition to the team
- Have had a tough time facing European opposition

Renegades qualified for the PGL Major through the Asia RMR, where they placed second overall, defeating TYLOO and Looking For Org in the process. They have been by far the Oceania region's strongest team, having won nearly every competition they played there since 2020 with the exception of just a few that they have had to pull out of.

The Australian outfit are definitely enjoying the contributions that Jay "⁠Liazz⁠" Tregillgas brings in his return to this revamped Renegades squad led by Simon "⁠Sico⁠" Williams's veteran leadership, who has been calling the shots since their RMR campaign. Although their success in the region is almost unmatched, the odds are definitely stacked against them in the Challengers stage versus international opponents who they are mostly unproven against.

Mongolia IHC (#52)

- Won the Asia RMR after beating both favorites
- The first Mongolian team to attend any Major stage
- By far the least experienced side at the Major

IHC head into the Major in Belgium as their region's only representative. They took first place at the Asia RMR to ensure their qualification, beating both TYLOO and Renegades in a surprisingly convincing campaign. Adding to their RMR victory, IHC finished third in the ESL Challenger League Season 40 Asia-Pacific tournament.

Just like Renegades, the former Checkmate squad are still unproven against opponents outside their region. As most of their victories have come against fellow Asian teams, it'll be interesting to see how IHC's campaign at the PGL Major plays out and whether they can hang with the best once they come over to Europe for the first time.

Brazil Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Marcelo 'coldzera' David
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
1410
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.62
United States Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Josh 'oSee' Ohm
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
1067
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
Turkey Ismailcan 'XANTARES' Dörtkardeş
Ismailcan 'XANTARES' Dörtkardeş
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1727
KPR:
0.81
DPR:
0.68
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
1369
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1543
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
United States Michael 'Grim' Wince
Michael 'Grim' Wince
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
870
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
Russia Boris 'magixx' Vorobiev
Boris 'magixx' Vorobiev
Age:
18
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
610
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.63
New Zealand Simon 'Sico' Williams
Simon 'Sico' Williams
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
888
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.59
Russia Abdul 'degster' Gasanov
Abdul 'degster' Gasanov
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.19
Maps played:
661
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.60
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1078
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.70
Australia Jay 'Liazz' Tregillgas
Jay 'Liazz' Tregillgas
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
964
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.62
United States Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1525
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
United States Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1582
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
Russia Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakov
Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakov
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1075
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.67
United States Ricky 'floppy' Kemery
Ricky 'floppy' Kemery
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
791
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
South Africa Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou
Johnny 'JT' Theodosiou
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
1039
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.67
#1
NAF | 
Hong Kong Naffer^
i swear to god if liquid lose again
2022-05-07 15:13
8 replies
It would business as usual
2022-05-07 15:14
5 replies
True
2022-05-07 16:09
4 replies
#57
 | 
United Kingdom Redfrozr
at least you aren't disappointed
2022-05-09 21:06
3 replies
Liquid only perform when you have no faith in them, that's how their curse works
2022-05-09 21:18
2 replies
#59
 | 
Canada Ju11ien
ayo
2022-05-10 13:51
1 reply
#60
 | 
United Kingdom Redfrozr
To be fair i used to be a liquid fan and they would win the unlikely games and lose the free ones
2022-05-11 18:43
liquid bro, they dont even practise
2022-05-07 16:15
well they are not gonna win, so they will lose...
2022-05-07 16:19
ok
2022-05-07 15:13
EZ FOR ETERNAL FIRE
2022-05-07 15:14
ok
2022-05-07 15:14
waiting for an article that praising xyp
2022-05-07 15:15
2 replies
You might have to start looking into time machines.
2022-05-08 10:37
1 reply
lmao
2022-05-12 23:07
#7
 | 
Mongolia TengisG
Baen
2022-05-07 15:16
#8
 | 
Hungary YoloKutya
people who put ihc as 0-3 🤡🤡
2022-05-07 15:18
5 replies
+1 they are gonna qualify
2022-05-07 15:26
lmao bcoz they will :D so you think they gonna make it to legend stage ?
2022-05-07 15:42
2 replies
who is your 0-3
2022-05-07 16:24
#47
 | 
Asia 42gami
They will atleast win 1 game. Just because you didn't watch them play doesn't mean its same bad asian representative team. IHC is one of the few team that plays eu style of cs, and with strong fire power and actually has chance compared to other asian teams
2022-05-08 04:00
#48
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
who to put 0-3 then? also i dont have ihc 0-3 im deciding between coL & 9z
2022-05-08 06:11
#9
 | 
Romania Prevail_RO
5 bucks to everyone in the forum if complexity don't go 0-3
2022-05-07 15:16
10 replies
putting myself in forum i could use the money
2022-05-07 15:17
ty for 5 bucks
2022-05-07 15:26
Romanians dont have money= this is bait
2022-05-07 16:10
Free $5
2022-05-07 17:08
Brain dead Astralis fan strikes again
2022-05-07 17:14
Romanians are poor, its lie.
2022-05-08 01:45
Free bucks... Wait, what?!
2022-05-08 08:41
yaaaaaay 5 bucks
2022-05-08 09:09
free 5 bucks ty they're not 0-3 material.
2022-05-08 12:21
Col will qualify tho
2022-05-08 13:59
Easy for IHC
2022-05-07 15:21
#12
 | 
Turkey edsvi
EZ4EF
2022-05-07 15:22
Liquid will not go through
2022-05-07 15:40
#17
 | 
Brazil jmario
Col 0-3?
2022-05-07 15:42
1 reply
#29
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
Col are better than quite many teams here but if they get unluko seeding, they can very well go 0-3
2022-05-07 16:49
Vitality will win major change my mind
2022-05-07 15:46
#20
 | 
Turkey FxCt
M.R XANTERES GODXİC YOUNG TALENT XFLOUD COLD BLOODED KİLLER CALYX THE WOLF İMORR
2022-05-07 15:50
2 replies
xdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
2022-05-07 15:59
lmao
2022-05-08 15:21
ez4outsiders
2022-05-07 15:59
#23
 | 
Brazil darkfroid
EZ49Z
2022-05-07 16:03
Let's go 9z
2022-05-07 16:52
#31
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
Outsiders : they aren't even practicing, players are individually streaming their pugs, disband is inevitable Liquid : Elige and especially Shox are looking terrible individually but they have enough capable players to qualify. Believe in NAF Complexity : not terrible but bad enough to not qualify. Junior is a bot against decent teams, Fang has disappeared since forever and both Grim and Floppy are but inconsistent. Spirit : no one really knows what they got brimming and they defeated easy opponents during the RMR. The core however, was successful last year EF : actual upset potential here, they improved upon in the RMR itself. Considerable better chance among these to actually make it. 9z, Renegades, IHC : strongest contenders for going 0-3. 9z and Renegades just not good enough and IHC are an unknown entity that no one really knows what to expect. TLDR : Liquid are the only one I can see qualifying among this bunch.
2022-05-07 16:58
1 reply
Even as a dead team outsiders are still a level above most teams and I'd say EF is 50-50 with BNE for the legends stage
2022-05-08 17:30
Brasil?
2022-05-07 17:08
1 reply
#40
 | 
United States DarkFX
Brazil !! Brazil!!
2022-05-07 19:02
I think only Outsiders and Liquid will qualify to TOP 16 from those teams, maybe 9z can upset some teams but I doubt it. Will be interesting for sure tho.
2022-05-07 17:08
#36
 | 
Fiji Juuzou_
I don’t think outsiders will make it somehow..
2022-05-07 17:18
#37
 | 
Poland Poc0Loc0
9Z 0:3, I don't see any time that they could beat
2022-05-07 17:47
#38
 | 
Hungary Gulaash
Outsiders, Liquid, Spirit... pls dont fck my pickem
2022-05-07 17:58
#41
 | 
United States Illusi0n1g
Where is BIG?
2022-05-07 19:31
EZ4ENCE
2022-05-07 20:51
lets go outsiders!
2022-05-07 21:29
#44
 | 
Brazil guidbe
What is the meaning of 9z?
2022-05-07 22:32
1 reply
0 - 3
2022-05-08 02:13
Xantares is coming boiz #forEF
2022-05-09 01:02
1 reply
Hes out of the major
2022-05-13 05:42
oSee aint winning shit
2022-05-13 05:03
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