With first place and $1 million at the Stockholm Major, Natus Vincere is the first Counter-Strike major champion in two years.
After years of attempts, s1mple has finally won his first CSGO major.
Natus Vincere solidly defeated G2 Esports 2-0 to win the PGL Major Stockholm grand finals. Na’Vi will walk away with the trophy and $1 million, the biggest grand prize in CSGO history. Stockholm is also the first time in CSGO history that a team won a major without dropping a single map.
Natus Vincere now rules as the reigning champion of the new offline era. Right after the match, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev proudly announced to a packed stadium “major is ours! Major is Na’Vi!”
Despite his reputation as one of the greatest CSGO players of all time, PGL Stockholm is s1mple’s first major win. With the 2021 major and the Intel Grand Slam earlier this season, Na’Vi’s AWPer has practically won everything there is to win in CSGO esports. At this point in his career, s1mple has an ESL Pro League championship, two ESL Cologne titles, one IEM Katowice championship, and plenty other trophies to go alongside them.
Based on some of his previous statements, s1mple could take up to a six-month break after this historic championship. The major title has evaded s1mple on several occasions, and his most lucrative year ever deserves to end with a vacation. Fans will miss s1mple if the rumors are true, but the greatest CSGO player of all time will definitely return in the future.
A surprising map veto process left G2 Esports picking Ancient for the first map. Natus Vincere dominated the early rounds, but G2 caught a brief respite in a four-on-two ending with a clutch for AmaNEk. That ended after a successful eco round from Na’Vi.
The two squads continued to trade gun rounds up to a 7-7 scoreline. Snappy sniping from s1mple gave Na’Vi the 8-7 advantage for the second half, but that advantage was quickly negated with a clutch pistol round from NiKo.
Tied again at 9-9, G2’s coordination secured another round. Natus Vincere finally started pulling away on the last leg of Stockholm Major grand finals map one. A one-on-two clutch from b1t and some excellent retakes later, boombl4’s boys were up 15 to 11. One more hectic A take sealed the deal. Such a close game on Na’Vi’s map pick suggested a very competitive series from G2 Esports.
Natus Vincere’s players looked very confident as they returned for map two. Nuke was Na’Vi’s pick, so G2 Esports was faced with an uphill battle on the enemy team’s home turf. Natus Vincere won 19 of its last 20 maps on Nuke, so the Russian-Ukrainian team had a clear advantage on match point.
G2 surprised fans with a successful pistol round and follow-up, but Na’Vi stole the driver’s seat with rifles. Things looked grim, but G2 entry fragger Audric “JaCkz” Jug became the star of the first half with 17 kills by round 13. G2 Esports secured its crucial eighth CT round with two buys to go. Key frags from nexa secure 10-5.
A pistol round win for G2 was quickly stumped by an unexpected force buy, once against giving Na’Vi the initiative. s1mple even turned a G2 ramp rush into dust with a perfect five-man spray.
It wasn’t enough to halt the aggression though, as G2 continued rushing bomb sites for 15 rounds. Natus Vincere called a last-minute tactical timeout to reassess its gameplan. Round 28 ended with a heartbreaker for G2, where NiKo missed four Deagle shots on an unaware s1mple. NiKo reared back with two kills in a one-on-four clutch situation on round 30, but Natus Vincere played the clock to secure overtime.
An early frag by NiKo onto s1mple prompted Na’Vi to save with four players alive. It paid off in the next two rounds with s1mple finally securing his PGL Stockholm Major grand finals 30 bomb. After more trades, NiKo dumpstered a desperate Na’Vi B take to secure double overtime.
It looked like round 37 was over when b1t flanked for two kills, but a brazen triple spray from AmaNEk snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The relief didn’t last, as a crossfire between b1t, Boombl4, and s1mple put Natus Vincere on match and tournament point. One B hold later and Na’Vi became the Stockholm Major grand finals champion.
s1mple is also undoubtedly the MVP of the Stockholm Major.
The Ukrainian sniper turned it up to 11 in the playoffs, ending the event with 93.8 damage and .95 kills per round. He recorded a chart-busting 1.74 KD ratio across the Stockholm Major with 72 kills across two maps. Despite his historic career, the $2 million event marks the first time that s1mple has won a Valve major.