G2, Astralis, and more headed to PGL Stockholm after IEM Fall

Kenneth Williams • October 3, 19:15

Europe has nominated its five competitors for the $2 million PGL Stockholm Major through IEM Fall 2021’s European tournament.

Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Vitality, Heroic, and G2 Esports have all secured tickets to the PGL Stockholm Major in November. Four of the teams secured a windfall of points with strong group stage showings. Heroic is set to play in the ninth-place tiebreaker, but has mathematically guaranteed a spot in the major regardless.

IEM Fall 2021 is the final set of events for the Regional Major Rankings circuit to decide the participants for the PGL Stockholm Major, the first CSGO major in over two years. IEM Fall includes competitions in each of CSGO’s regions, with the CIS, South America, and Oceania representatives to the major all now decided.

Astralis confirmed its spot in Stockholm by dominating Group B with a clean 4-0 record. The Danes are second on the leaderboard with 2,430 points. With 2,894 points, Ninjas in Pyjamas is currently slated to become the unexpected Regional Major Rankings champion after a 5-0 finish in Group D. The pan-European squad dunked on FaZe Clan, Double Poney, and Fnatic to secure November’s payday. 

G2 Esports went 4-1 in Group A while Team Vitality went 4-1 in Group C. The pair finished behind 5-0 Copenhagen Flames and ENCE respectively, but neither of those teams have mathematically guaranteed a spot in the major yet. They are positioned to qualify but need to either advance in the playoffs or get some specific results in the tiebreakers.

There are a total of 11 spots in the PGL Stockholm Major up for grabs for European teams. Though these five have secured spots in the major, none of them have secured a high seed in the event. The playoffs will decide whether teams will start in the legends stage, challenger stage, or contender stage. The playoffs for IEM Fall 2021 run from October 8 to 10.

Who are the favorites at the PGL Stockholm Major?

Astralis, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Team Vitality are all contenders for the PGL Stockholm Major championship, but Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports are the true favorites for the tournament.

Astralis has been struggling over the past few months. Multiple player breaks and scattered roster announcements have led to the signing of Philip “Lucky” Ewald as a sixth man. Astralis is strong, but it’s recently had difficulty against heavy-hitters like Natus Vincere and Team Vitality. Many fans expect Astralis to make the finals given the team will enter the major as the reigning champions, but a podium finish is far from guaranteed.

Ninjas in Pyjamas is possibly the most improved European CSGO team of the season. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz isn’t playing quite to his prime, but his sheer firepower and defensive mastery have won matches for the team they otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s hard to call them a serious favorite, but they’re in a strong position for a deep run at the tournament.

Team Vitality will likely be considered one of the top favorites to win the major. The French squad looks to be a serious contender but the team has fallen short in the past. If they get hot at the right time, they’re difficult to stop.

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