Counter-Strike: Global Offensiveâ€™s best teams battle it out on the gameâ€™s biggest stage.
From the success and surprises that came out of CS:GOâ€™s previous Major, PGL Krakow, comes the next tournament in the gameâ€™s most prestigious tier â€“ ELEAGUE Major Boston. It boasts a $1,000,000 prize pool and a staggering 24-teams.
Last December, Valve also announced the new format, bringing in the old â€œQualifiersâ€ to the same LAN, now calling it â€œThe New Challengers Stageâ€, and renaming the group-stage as â€œThe New Legends Stageâ€. The playoffs are now also called â€œThe New Champions Stageâ€ â€“ effectively increasing the number of participating teams to 24, with all teams receiving in-game stickers.
A breakdown infographic by ELEAGUE can be seen below:
Note that both The New Challengers stage and The New Legend stage will be utilizing the 16-team Swiss format, while The New Champions stage will be played out in a single-elimination, best-of-three bracket.
The prize pool will also be distributed as follows:
- 1st Place: $500,000
- 2nd Place: $ 150,000
- 3rd-4th Place: $ 70,000
- 5th-8th Place: $35,000
So, who are the participating teams this Major?
The Minor Champions:
- Europe: Space Soldiers, Team EnVyUs
- Americas: Team Liquid, Misfits
- CIS: AVANGAR, Quantum Bellator Fire
- Asia: Renegades, Flash Gaming
*note that Flash Gaming are coming in to replace TyLoo, who will not be attending due to visa issues with Hansel â€œBnTetâ€ Ferdinand and disagreements with their supposed stand-in, Luis â€œpeacemakerâ€ Tadeu.
They will be joined by Krakowâ€™s bottom-8 placers:
- Cloud9, who, since benching Jordan â€œn0thingâ€ Gilbert and Michael â€œshroudâ€ Grzesiek, have brought in Will â€œRUSHâ€ Wierzba and Tarik â€œtarikâ€ Celik to replace them.
- FlipSid3 Tactics, who are playing with former Natus Vincere IGL, Denis â€œseizedâ€ Kostin, currently on-loan.
- G2 Esports, the French all-star team sporting Kenny â€œKennySâ€ Schrub as their primary AWPer.
- Natus Vincere, who has brought back their former IGL, Danil â€œZeusâ€ Teslenko, and added Denis â€œelectronicâ€ Sharipov to the roster.
- mousesports, who have replaced Christian â€œIoWelâ€ Antoran and Denis â€œdenisâ€ Howell with Miika â€œsuNnyâ€ Kemppi and Martin â€œSTYKOâ€ Styk.
- Sprout, made up of former PENTA players plus Timo â€œSpiidiâ€ Richter.
- FaZe Clan, who have been revitalized thanks to their new all-star roster with Ladislav â€œGuardiaNâ€ Kovacs and Olof â€œolofmeisterâ€ Kajbjer and star Nikola â€œNiKoâ€ Kovac.
- Vega Squadron, the same CIS underdogs who took out NiPâ€™s chances at the previous Major.
And of course, the Legends from Krakow:
- Gambit Esports, the previous Major champions, who will be tested here without their previous IGL, while bringing in new blood in Bektiyar â€œfitchâ€ Bahytov.
- 100 Thieves, made up of last Majorâ€™s runner-up players, who back then were playing under the Immortals banner.
- Astralis, who are looking to make a comeback to the top of the scene, and perhaps get their hands on a second Major.
- Virtus.Pro, who while facing consistency issues, almost always seem to show up at the Majors.
- Fnatic, who are looking to return to their glory days.
- SK Gaming, who are currently enjoying a highly successful season and a healthy rivalry with FaZe Clan.
- BIG, another surprise underdog team who performed well above expectations last Major.
- North, who are also trying to rekindle their old tournament-topping form after a string of middling results.
Itâ€™s gonna be one of the most stacked tournaments this year, for sure. Thereâ€™s a lot of interesting storylines as well: Will Gambit be able to stand on the big stage without Zeus? Will Naâ€™Vi help their star player, Oleksandr â€œs1mpleâ€ Kostyliev reach his true potential? Will FaZe finally reach the pinnacle of CS:GO, or will SK Gaming take another Grand Final from their clutches?
Letâ€™s all tune in later to find out! Games begin at around 11pm here in the Philippine local time.