The CS:GO Major circuit is back, baby, and the best and brightest of the scene won’t get involved with the event until the second group stage. Is this advantage justified based on the insane mess of the RMR circuit? If so, how far can they go in Stockholm? Here’s our analysis.

NiP: it’s time to prove a point

The org responsible for the biggest statement signing in the history of CS:GO esports is still looking for the dominant results device’s arrival was supposed to herald, and nothing but a title challenge can satisfy at the Major on home soil.

The team seems to be picking up form at just the right time, and though it still feels like they’d need some nouveau NiP magic to go all the way, a playoffs stage spot seems nailed-on for this talented side.

Prediction: New Champions Stage

Team Vitality: will ZywOo steal the show?

After some struggles in the online era, the French side also seems to be picking up steam at just the right moment. As with so many other top-heavy teams where the special oomph is concentrated in one player, there’s always going to be that critical series or two where they underperform and the rest of the squad has to pick up the slack.

Whether shox and the rest can lead the line if needed will be a critical part of Vitality’s tournament run, and could make the difference between a forgettable Major or something legendary for them.

Prediction: New Champions Stage

G2: so mercurial as to be poisonous

Another NiKo team where he’s the only one performing out of his mind, and it’s simply not enough to go all the way. We’ve been here before and it never ended well. The raw talent on the roster may be enough for a top eight finish but anything beyond would require heretofore unseen consistency from this side.

Prediction: New Champions Stage

FURIA: the strongest North American side?

At least HEN1’s assisted career suicide didn’t lead to the failure of North America’s most entertaining CS:GO side. FURIA have been on the European grind for a while, albeit with limited success, but the very fact that they’re up-to-date on the regional meta should be enough of a leg up to snatch a top eight finish at the Stockholm Major.

Prediction: New Champions Stage

Team Liquid: flickers of a renaissance

At least they’re getting there. The painter paints, the writer writes, the AWPer AWPs and the smoke criminal is making insane pushes again. They still lost to paiN and MAD Lions though, so, you know, swings and roundabouts. There’s promise here, but not playoffs-level promise. 2-3 elimination and a heartbreak? Makes sense to me.

Prediction: New Legends Stage

Evil Geniuses: impostor syndrome

Under no normal circumstances would EG be classified as a Legends team at this Major. They’re the old of 2021 (or Cloud9 and QBF, depending on your viewpoint), stinking out the place in this bracket due to what is essentially a technicality.

We know this core can be good – we also know that they haven’t been for a very, very long time. There’s little reason to expect this to change now – their qualification process for this Major certainly hasn’t impressed anyone.

Prediction: New Legends Stage (0-3)

Natus Vincere: destiny to fulfill

Intel Grand Slam winners in the online era: how about that? This is a team that was seen as the ultimate LAN side back in 2020, and yet it was in this unfamiliar space that they stumbled upon the alchemy they’ve missed for so many years.

No longer is s1mple alone and diminished and the rotating cast finally has the firepower required to take over games by themselves. Make no mistake, Na’Vi should be seen as the favorites to win this Major.

Prediction: New Champions Stage (3-0)

Gambit: it’s crunch time

Did they peak at the wrong time? Can they do it on LAN? Is Na’Vi just simply too good to compete with? There are infinite ‘what if?’ scenarios to consider with this squad whose dominance in the online era is already beginning to fade from the memory. Top eight makes a lot of sense, then comes the cauldron of the arena. It will be interesting to see whether all that “LAN experience” stuff is just bullshit or not.

Prediction: New Champions Stage

Check out our overview of the Contenders teams here and the Challengers teams here!