Now that the dust has settled over PGL’s Offline Qualifier, 8 Challengers join the 8 Legends in one of the world’s most competitive Counter Strike tournaments in the world, the PGL Major Krakow 2017. Whether you’re rooting for a rising contender or flying the colors of proven champions, the PGL Major is surely going to have every one of us looking to get in on the action come July 16th.
As you would have guessed, the odds lay mostly in favor of the Legends—those teams that didn’t need to prove anything in the Offline Qualifier, including the crown-defending Major team, Astralis—though there are a few Challengers that stand at pretty good odds of winning the whole thing as well.
Your Best Bet – Astralis (Legend)
Nobody could ever say that betting on the reigning champ is ever a bad move, and as the last ELEAGUE Major winner, Astralis isn’t looking to give up any time on the throne. They’re the team with the best odds going into the Krakow Major, sitting at 4.090.
With the recent addition of Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, a prized rifler who has got a sixth sense to see through smokescreens, Astralis’s roster compounds for a high ADM and viper-like speed.
On top of that, they’ve given partial credit for their most recent win at the ELEAGUE Major to, believe it or not, a sports psychologist. In a video feature produced by Mashable, Mia Stellberg explains how she’s spent time with each of Astralis’s members to make sure that she’s helping them play to the best of their ability, and the results seem to speak for themselves.
Mia and gla1ve are still an integral part of the team dynamic as Astralis makes their way towards the gates of the PGL Major. Does that mean we’ll see another victory for the all-Danish team? Only time will tell.
A Safe Second – SK Gaming (Legend)
For those that follow the sport of competitive Counter Strike, the name SK Gaming carries some historic weight to it. This once-Danish team has been through a lot, including disbandment just more than a year ago. But, what would have been a nail in the coffin for many teams fueled the flame of desire to win for SK Gaming’s newer all-Brazilian lineup.
They’re back, now more than ever before, and they’ve taken home more first place prizes than any other Legends within the current Major. While they don’t have that Major victory that’ll grant them their biggest prize reward yet, all signs are showing that they’re ready to vie for the top spot.
It’s through their winning runs, especially the recent first place win at Dreamhack Summer 2017, that SK Gaming’s odds trail only behind Astralis’s by a few decimal points. And what are those particular odds? Well, SK Gaming’s odds of winning the entire PGL Major is 4.370.
Worth The Risk – G2 Esports (Challenger)
While they weren’t the first to do it, G2 was only one of two teams to go undefeated in the PGL Offline Qualifiers. Their style of play is quick, while also heavy on the “force” as they try to wear down their opponent. It’s not a favorite by everyone who watches them, but it has proven its effectiveness. Their odds of winning the entire PGL is 8.190.
If you’re still having doubts, just take a look at their performance during the Offline Qualifier. During their second round against fellow challenger FlipSid3 Tactics, Kenny “KennyS” Schrub took home 31 kills almost exclusively with his weapon of choice: the notorious AWP. This led to him dealing over 99 damage per round and setting a precedent that his teammates followed. Anything can change, but G2 came ready to play, that’s for sure.
G2’s first pairing in the PGL Major is against Natus Vincere, a team that, while considered a Legend, is sitting with much worse odds of winning the entire thing. While this isn’t a guarantee, G2’s high-powered performance may mean an easy route to the second round of the Major.
The Vengeful Profit – Virtus Pro
If there’s anybody who’s ready to prove that they’re the best team in competitive Counter Strike, it’s Virtus Pro. They’ve got a lot of first-place trophies to their name already, but only a second place trophy where it counts the most: a Major tournament.
They lost to Astralis at the ELEAGUE Major in 2017, and it’s not a mistake that they’re looking to make twice. While their playstyle is unpredictable and at times risky, Virtus Pro can pull out clutch wins when needed. Hell, many people believe that it’s part of the strategy: to leave the competition guessing, even by losing some smaller matches, only to pull out the big guns where it counts. Their mysterious, competitive edge leaves them with the odds of winning the entire PGL Major at 11.270.
This number isn’t the best, leaving them around the middle of the pack, but it’s through that unpredictability that their odds of winning can’t really be pegged. From a betting man’s perspective, going in on Virtus Pro, especially when they’ve got a bone to pick could mean a very profitable ROI.
Don’t Count Out The Rest
Most of these names, even those of the Challengers are names that we’ve known for a while within the competitive Counter Strike pro scene. With that notoriety comes the fact that anybody can rise through the rankings into that final match regardless of past performance.
And for every victor, there’s a loser. In a time where the competitive circuit is thriving, teams like Team Liquid can lose to lesser known teams like BIG in the Offline Qualifiers, never even making it to the big stage.
But that’s why we love the sport, no? Nobody can rule forever, especially with new combatants making a name for themselves at every chance. Here’s a full listing of the odds for all sixteen teams that will be competing in the PGL Major 2017:
- Astralis 4.090
- SK Gaming 4.370
- FaZe 6.160
- G2 Esports 8.190
- North 9.220
- Fnatic 11.270
- Virtus Pro 11.270
- mousesports 17.420
- Natus Vincere 17.420
- Could9 26.630
- Immortals 26.630
- PENTA Sports 42.010
- BIG 42.010
- Flipsid3 Tactics 52.230
- Gambit Gaming 16.510
- Vega Squadron 103.460
Of this grouping, there are still several standouts that could prove to be quite a fruitful payout if you’re looking to put your cash on the line for them. Immortals have recently made a name for themselves and, quite honestly, their celebration of their victory may have been the best moment of the entire Offline Qualifier.
Flipsid3 Tactics was the last team to earn the status of Challenger during the Offline Qualifier, and they did so by removing Liquid gaming (you may have heard of them) from the running. While their odds are on the latter end of the rankings, there’s nothing saying that it couldn’t be them to, once more, turn on the ignition when it counts.
Something must be said about mousesports. They were the first team to go take home Challenger status in the Offline Qualifier, and they did so without losing a single match. They too have odds that gather around the middle of the pack, yet in just their last show out, they proved they can perform rapidly and predictably; something that can throw a wrench into many slow-burning team’s plans.
PGL Major 2017 is turning out to be one of the most exciting events of the year, and I say that as ESL: One Cologne is happening, so it’s definitely going to be exciting to watch these sixteen teams whittle themselves down to two, then finally one.
With dedicated coaching screens that will allow coaches to watch the entire team in one view, broadcasting talent that’s actually interesting to listen to and a stage presentation that’s unbeaten, PGL is taking all the right steps to ensure that teams will fight to be a part of their tournament.
One of the results of this progressive action is that the world’s best teams will show up to earn their spot. There is also, you know, one million dollars in the jumble somewhere. We’ll see the results of their hard work on July 16th as well as that of the competing teams.