PGL Esports has announced that they will be hosting the first Counter-Strike major in two years, when they host PGL Stockholm from October 23rd to November 7th of 2021.
The event will feature, for the first time, a $2 million prize pool, and will be the first major broadcast in 4K 60 fps. The current plan is also to host a live crowd inside Ericsson Globe for the main event portion of the tournament, but will only do so if “all safety conditions to hold live competitions [in Sweden] are met by that time.” This will be the third-ever major where PGL has been involved; they were a part of DreamHack Cluj-Napoca in 2015, and hosted PGL Krakow in 2017.
📢 PGL TO HOST THE FIRST CS:GO MAJOR AFTER A TWO-YEAR BREAK
— PGL (@pglesports) January 14, 2021
The last major to occur was the StarLadder Major in Berlin, which ended in September of 2019 when Astralis defeated AVANGAR in the grand finals to claim their third straight major title, and their fourth overall. The major was supposed to head to Brazil for the first time in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic initially delayed the ESL Rio major before out right cancelling it.
As for PGL Stockholm, teams will no longer qualify solely based on how they finished at the previous major. Teams will be split into three groups: Legends, Challengers, and Contenders. The Challengers and the Contenders will duke it out for the eight remaining spots in the main event not already taken by the Legends. Spots in each group are distributed by region and determined by a team’s rank in that region, or their Regional Major Ranking. In Europe for example, the top three teams in EU would obtain Legends status, #4-#9 would be Challengers, and #10-11 would be Contenders.
In a subsequent announcement from Valve confirming the status of the PGL major, the CS:GO developers confirmed that the PGL Stockholm major will use the Regional Major Ranking system to determine its 24 teams. Additionally, they confirmed that there will be at least one offline RMR event for each region prior to the major.