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What we Learned from the PGL Copenhagen Major European RMR

Zakaria Almughrabi

The PGL Copenhagen, Major European RMR events, have concluded. Of the 24 teams attending Counter-Strike 2’s first-ever Major, 18 come from the biggest and most prominent regional grouping. Despite the abundance of slots, the Major RMRs are some of the game’s most critical and competitive tournaments. Over the past week, teams have given everything they could to qualify for the Major. Who rose to the occasion, and who fell tragically short?

PGL Copenhagen Major RMR

Image Credit PGL

Spirit Beaten for the First Time on LAN

One of the biggest surprises at the top end of the table came in the first set of qualification matches from PGL Copenhagen Major RMR B. Team Spirit had just come off of their IEM Katowice Championship run, where young prodigy Danil “donk” Kryshkovets announced himself to the world. As a result of the team’s total domination, Spirit was an easy favourite to go undefeated in the group. And the unlucky victims were set to be MOUZ.

MOUZ didn’t do too shabby at IEM Katowice, snagging a playoff semifinal appearance before being unceremoniously bounced by FaZe Clan. Spirit was heavily favoured coming into the matchup. When the game started, however, Spirit didn’t look like the same team that had just won at Katowice.

MOUZ played exceptionally well across the board, especially in-game leader Kamil “Siuhy” Szkaradek. He not only called a great game but also topfragged the match at 42-30 with a 1.33 HLTV rating. Most notably, donk was proven to be mortal after all. He had his worst series on LAN to date with a 0.88 rating and was at the bottom of the server sans Spirit’s IGL.

This typically happens when a team comes up rapidly. They hit everyone with a huge sucker punch to perform well at or win a tournament; then, other teams have a chance to look at their tape and plan against them for future matches. That’s not to say that Spirit is done. They’ll just need to step up their game at the Major if they want to see the same magnitude of results.

Falcons Fall Hard…Wait…S1mple?!

Towards the end of 2023, the Counter-Strike scene was abuzz with rumours of a multi-million-dollar super team, courtesy of the Saudi esports org, Team Falcons. While the team ended up slightly different than expected, they still had a solid squad consisting of a top-tier ENCE core and pieces from Team Vitality’s (and formerly Astralis’s) Major winning squad.

When it comes to return on investment, qualifying for the Major is the most important thing for every Counter-Strike team monetarily. It’s even more critical to qualify than it is to win the thing. Yet, Team Falcons fell well short of that mark in RMR A. With a 1-3 record, the Falcons don’t even get a chance to play in the Decider Bracket for the final spot. They’re just done; pack it up; better luck next time in April for the ESL Pro League.

Naturally, the Falcons made a roster change shortly after. Mohammad “BOROS” Malhas, their most unproven piece, has been benched. Falcons have two months before big tournaments start up again post-Major. As they look to find their permanent replacement, they’ve enlisted the help of CS:GO’s GOAT Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev. Falcons is likely the only team that s1mple would hop off NAVI’s bench so quickly for, and for good reason. He’s getting a bag for sure, and that’s for only a month of practice and the five-day BLAST Premier Spring Showdown on the itinerary.

Could this be a permanent (yet expensive) solution for Team Falcons, or is this a band-aid fix that will just distract from the team’s other problems? Either way, all eyes are on the Falcons to start performing well come April. It’s important to give teams time to hit their peak, but these Falcons have a ton of weight on their wings.

Big Wins for National Rosters

In the modern era of Counter-Strike, big orgs seem focused on reaching their arms internationally to build their rosters. It seems too difficult for European-centric teams to find enough quality pieces from one nation alone. Yet, some long-time national squads had massive wins in the RMR to earn their place at the game’s most important event.


In RMR A, Spain’s biggest team, KOI (formerly Movistar Riders), qualified with a fantastic 3-1 record. While Movistar did have the odd brush with top tier here and there over the years, the last Major their core qualified for was PGL Major Stockholm 2021. Now, two-and-a-half years later, Spain is back in a big way. Their recent merger with KOI and MAD Lions has centralised the Spanish fan base into one team. KOI will have plenty of fanfare behind them as they head into PGL Copenhagen as beloved underdogs.


Spain’s next-door neighbour Portugal also has something to celebrate. Their premier national team, SAW, also qualified for the big dance. Unlike KOI/Movistar, SAW has never been to a Major before, making PGL Copenhagen the first appearance of an all-Portuguese team on the biggest stage. Some of SAW’s players have been playing for this chance since 2011. Their qualification is genuinely one of the feel-good stories of the RMRs.

Eternal Fire

Speeding through the next two, Turkey’s Eternal Fire and Poland’s ENCE earned their spot at the PGL Copenhagen Major. The former last qualified for a Major at PGL Antwerp in 2022. EF looked a step above their usual form at IEM Katowice earlier this month, sweeping Falcons and taking maps off both FaZe Clan and NAVI. Their decisive wins over the Falcons and BetBoom Team helped them escape the PGL Copenhagen Major RMR in one piece.


ENCE, on the other hand, has a brand-new core from their appearance at the most recent BLAST Paris Major. Led by former Astralis IGL Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander, the former Polish 9INE core has been much better than expected, earning a playoff appearance at IEM Katowice. ENCE even took down Astralis in the deciding match to cement their spot. Astralis has one final chance not to miss their second Major in a row.