CSGO fans finally got a massive live event with the PGL Stockholm Major, but it’s been dogged by production troubles throughout.
PGL Major Stockholm experienced several audio and production issues during the Challengers Stage. Things got better for the Legends stage, but mutes and delays still hampered the experience. Now in the in-person Champions Stage playoffs, the problems continue to persist. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s first live crowd in years has been flip-flopping between barely audible and way too loud.
The live audience in attendance for the playoffs was a major marketing point for the event, but the roar of the crowd was extremely difficult to hear on the first day. Commentary and game audio have been faint or too loud on several occasions. All of this is on top of unexpected delays and the gaffes from the earlier stages. Even the desk analysts have been poking fun at all the mishaps.
In all fairness to PGL, the Stockholm Major production team is trying to respond to fan complaints. Fans first said that the crowd audio was too quiet, so PGL turned it up. Then fans complained that it was too loud. As of the end of FURIA Esports vs. Gambit, the production seems to have found a happy medium.
The live crowd is a very important part of CSGO majors. Seeing gamers assemble to celebrate their favorite game brings a real sense of physicality to esports. Fans from all over the world have come together to witness CSGO history, and many of them are making the most of it. Even if PGL’s production isn’t stellar, the live crowd is extremely refreshing at the Stockholm Major.
On top of some subpar production, the PGL Stockholm Major continues to have issues with coaching. Earlier in the event, Valve made the controversial decision to prevent coaches from interacting with their players during the match. Most notably, CSGO coaches are not allowed to high-five their players or compliment their play.
The CSGO community is up in arms over the decision, but Valve is unlikely to listen to the fans, pro players, or anyone else once its mind is made up.
The PGL Stockholm Major coach rules created a funny situation on the official stream. After François “AmaNEk” Delaunay secured a crucial round for G2 Esports, team coach Damien “maLeK” Marcel began rightfully celebrating. In a booth camera view, you can see a Stockholm Major referee lean over and ask him to settle down.
Coaches in CSGO are typically allowed to interact with their team between rounds, though they are not always able to give tactical advice. In addition to strategy, CSGO coaches can play a big role in team morale. A simple “Nice!” at the end of a close clutch can help players get ready for the next round. These rules could change for the 2022 Regional Major Rankings season.