If there was a set of tick boxes for a great location for a Major, Antwerp ticks all of them.
Easy to get to, not overly expensive, cool place to visit, decent timezone for most of the CSGO-watching population and the COVID rules aren't too tight just yet.
It's just... who cares about Belgium?
I mean, from a CSGO perspective, anyway. They've had like, three good players and they all play VALORANT now. There's no history, no prestige; it's sterile, neutral, milquetoast.
Come to Brazil
The second Major of the year is going to be magical; while Brazil has weirder timezones and is generally a bit harder to visit, it's a place of passion, history and CSGO magic. Some of the greatest players - and one of the greatest teams - of all time have been Brazilian, and whatever you think of their fans, they're passionate.
Maybe a bit too passionate, sometimes.
But that captures everything CSGO is about. Passion, excitement, fun - a sense that the crowd can win the game on its own.
Belgium? Are we going to pretend it's going to be close?
I suppose at least, they're not going to be biased. In Sweden, the fans quite obviously wanted NiP to win; in Denmark, we all know what happened when Astralis looked like they might not win a round. In Brazil, there's going to be parties in the street if FURIA win a playoff game.
There won't be any of that in Belgium; it'll be subdued, but fair to all teams, for the most part. But... that's kinda boring. When there's a home crowd, it makes you feel one of two ways.
You either want the hometown team to win for the atmosphere, or you want to root against them because you feed of people's displeasure. I am the second one, unabashedly and unashamedly. I laughed my helmet off when huNter- cupped his ear to the crowd.
went to my hater’s funeral just to make sure they were dead pic.twitter.com/xDoTKenCSW
— voo "Donald" csgo (@vooCSGO) November 4, 2021
Maybe you're more invested in it being fair for all teams; maybe you think it's great that you can catch a train from anywhere in Europe to get there. That's all fair, but Belgium just isn't a home for Counter-Strike. France, Ukraine, even Germany or - a rogue suggestion - Latvia would be cooler and more interesting.
These are historic countries, with stories, fervour and players who don't currently play VALORANT.
It's too late to change it now, so I can only complain about it. Boo!