Who will go to the PGL Major Antwerp from America? The RMR tournament announcement

Alisa Barladyan
13 Apr 2022

It seems such a short time ago since we were happy with the victory of Natus Vincere at the Stockholm Major and thought that the next prestigious championship was so far away. But time has passed very quickly. The major in Antwerp, Belgium, will start in a month. The PGL will be its organizers. This time, there won't be several RMR tournaments. All regions will determine their participants during one competition. The teams from North and South America will be the first and play for 6 tickets to Belgium. How does the new qualification system work? Which teams will perform at the RMR tournament? Who is a favorite and who is an outsider? It's time to discuss it.

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PGL Major Antwerp

The tournament format


Valve changed the RMR tournament rules in early 2022, that's why we will have only one qualification which will be held according to a new system. 16 American teams got to the RMR via invites and qualifications, including both titans of the global arena, like Liquid or Furia, and tier-4 teams. The tournament will have two stages. Its format will be similar to that of the PGL Major Stockholm. It is a Swiss system, where winners play against each other, and losers play against each other, thus making a bracket of confrontations. The matches of the first stage will be bo1, where teams that will have three losses won't continue the fight. The teams with 3-0, 3-1, and 3-2 statistics will share six slots from the American region. Three 3-2 teams will determine the sixth lucky team in the best of 3 matches. The match for the RMR tournament championship will be held in the same format. The match winner will get a place among the "legends" in the major itself. Other owners of five slots will be among the challengers. The bouts will start on April 11, the finals will be held on April 14, and the matches for the sixth slot will be on Friday (April 15). 

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The first-day matches

first day

The drawing of the opening matches has finished, so we can easily discuss them. There are few bright confrontations, the favorites get the outsiders, but the bo1 format is dicey. Everything may happen, considering the American teams' instability. The meeting between the new Liquid, rapidly climbing in the world rankings and the new team of Marcelo "coldzera" David is especially tempting. 00NATION approaching the battle with the Liquid with a 12-12 meeting balance in 2022. The legendary Brazilian has not yet shined, but according to the statistics, he is one of the best players in the organization along with a young and promising Argentinian sniper try. On paper, Liquid is an unconditional favorite. Other matches are less interesting, but we may also expect some sudden victories of outsiders.

Who should you follow?


Definitely, FURIA. The Brazilians are currently in perfect shape. They made it to the ESL Pro League Season 15 semifinals, where they lost to FaZe Clan for the second time during the tournament. By the way, the team won its most difficult group and was defeated only by the Europeans mentioned above. Other EPL 15 ENCE finalists, Vitality, Outsiders (Virtus.pro) were beaten by FURIA. Yes, it will play without its coach Nicholas "guerri" Nogueira, whose ban at the majors for using the coach's bug is still valid, but FURIA has only one competitor to win. We will write about it a bit later. We cannot help mentioning Kaike "KSCERATO" Cerato (15th HLTV place) and Yuri Gomes dos Santos Boian. The Brazilian riflers demonstrate top-notch Counter-Strike, and we suspect they will fight for the MVP title.

Now let's talk about the Brazilian roster's main competitor. We have noted several times in our previous materials that Liquid was not lucky with the draw: it had to play against FaZe Clan, NaVi, G2, Gambit during the first months of 2022. At the ESL Pro League, it got into the simplest group where it took third place showing quite a decent game. The audience noticed the team's ambitions during the playoff where Liquid left no chance to Heroic, the upper bracket favorite. The Americans lost to Ninjas in Pyjamas in a bitter struggle of the decider, but the fans saw the team's huge potential. Captain Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella is getting in shape after his return from Valorant, Richard "shox" Papillon is establishing himself in America, and young sniper Joshua "oSee" Ohm has shone brightly at the EPL. In terms of lineup and play, the only competitor for Liquid is FURIA. These two teams are obvious favorites who will go to the finals.

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Jason Lake's project has started to inspire optimism. It has qualified for this RMR without losses, having won Liquid during the first qualification finals. They took 5th place at the ESL Pro League Season 15, having defeated only Evil Geniuses (we will tell you about this horrible thing later). Disappointing losses to AGO and Astralis will be a lesson for the Americans, and the good game against Heroic and Natus Vincere makes us think the team has some potential. Some other tier-1 teams praise Complexity for powerful performance in practice matches. We wish the team would handle its nervousness and play decently during the official matches. And of course, we call for the return of Justin "jks" Savage.

Who can surprise us?

Bad News Bears

We should not disregard such teams as Bad News Bears, TeamOne, Case, MIBR (it surprised everyone with its victory over NaVi at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups). These teams are performing well in the American region and are capable of qualifying for the main tournament. MIBR impresses us with its 22-8 match statistics in 2022. It can be called a shadow favorite of the competition. But most intriguing is how the great Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo's new team will perform. The Brazilian has been working on the return of the legendary Luminocity Gaming/SK Gaming roster, but only 2 of his teammates (Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and Lincoln "fnx" Lau) have returned under the sniper's wing. Gabriel also poached his old friend boltz and young Vini from Furia. Fans dreamt of a reunion of Fallen and coldzera, but Marcelo left the project at the last minute, opting for 00NATION. We hope that the draw will bring coldzera against old comrades in the RMR tournament. The team under the umbrella of "Last Dance" was adopted by the Imperial organization. The team has qualified for the competition, therefore, we should wait for its bright performance at the RMR. We are sure that many of you would like to see Fallen, fer, and fnx rock the major once again. By the way, fnx, just like Valerii "b1t" Vakhovskyi has never lost at the major. We wanted to note Party Astronauts after its powerful performance at the qualifiers, but its failure at the EPL has set things straight. 

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Who will disappoint you?


GODSENT and Sharks play so badly that after they participated in the PGL Major Stockholm 2021, they didn't even get to the RMR tournament. We have finished with them, let's move on to the team, which, having just appeared, at the speed of light breaks through one level after another. Evil Geniuses has changed its roster by returning autimatic from Valorant and uniting with teammates, champions from Cloud9 (RUSH and Stewie2k). Brehze and CeRq are the only members of the old team. The decision was a catastrophe: 3 wins in 12 official matches. The percentage of winning meetings in practice games varies at the 10 mark. The roster cannot get 20 frags, there is no pattern of play. Their problems with shooting are combined with a lack of knowledge of trivial things (throwing, position names, modern understanding of the game). Timothy "autimatic" Ta shoots better than the others but performs other tasks poorly. Nitr0 and NBK who have returned from Valorant look several times preferable now. The naked eye can see the slump in the IGL position, and it is still unclear who is still in the captain's chair on EG. The American RMR is the roster's last chance to live in this organization, but something tells us that the audience will see the team's fiasco.

This is our announcement of the first RMR tournament for the Belgian Major. We are waiting for a fierce fight which always happens in America. Let us remind you that the first matches start on April 11 at 9:00 UTC.

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