The Major is the main event in CS:GO esports, which all players and spectators crave. This is a place of incredible atmosphere, the greatest victories, and unfortunate defeats.

The grand final of such a championship is its climax and denouement. Usually, thanks to the quality of this match, the entire Major is remembered.

But let’s be honest, sometimes the game is not worth the candle. Instead of a tense confrontation between the best, the audience gets the most mediocre match, the main feature of which is its status.

In the aftermath of the PGL Major Antwerp Grand Finals, we invite you to walk down the alley of Counter-Strike memories – and take a look at the worst CSGO Major finals.

Want to read about the worst Major finals? Click here to find more.

ESL Major Series One Katowice 2014 – Golden Final

Image: ESL

In the second Major grand final, two CS:GO giants of that time, namely Virtus.pro and NiP, crossed their paths at the Spodek Arena in Katowice. The total prize pool of the tournament was $250,000.

The Polish Major for the Golden Five was a memorable tournament. Still, the main ones were that the championship was held in their home country and that they were signed by Virtus.pro literally at the beginning of the year, who placed high hopes on the roster.

It must be said that these hopes paid off with interest. Four out of five players finished the Major with positive statistics. In the final battle against NiP, Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, with 58 kills, helped the team secure the coveted trophy over their heads.

The most valuable player of the entire championship was Jaroslaw “Pashabiceps” Jarzabkowski. Their star shone so brightly that it went far beyond esports.

These guys had become a real family. It would be stupid if they fought over a car or something, right? RIGHT?

ESL One Cologne 2015 – triple kill

Image: ESL

ESL One Cologne 2015 was the sixth major CS:GO championship and the first to take place at the legendary Lanxess Arena in Cologne.

This was the first tournament in which participants had to undergo drug tests due to the Adderall usage scandal among esports professional players.

The legendary five, perhaps one of the strongest in history, were the first team to win two majors in a row. In Cologne, the Swedes beat the French boys from Team EnVyUs 2:0.

The historic moment happened on the first map at 17:15, when four Fnatic players bought an AWP, surprised everyone, and earned legendary graffiti. 

Remembering that final today is sad because it was the last one for the Swedish Fnatic. At the end of the day, they beat Team EnVyUs, getting the second major in a row – the very first team that ever accomplished such an achievement.

DreamHack Winter 2014 – Not this time, NiP

Image: DreamHack

ESL One: Cologne 2014 – They got it right

Watching French CS:GO has always been incredibly fun. At their peak, their style is somewhat reminiscent of Quake, when you are being jumped on from all sides and fired at by a rocket launcher.

The audience of DreamHack Winter 2014 experienced the same vibe in the grand final between NiP and LDLC! The excitement also peaked because the Swedes played CS 1.6 before CS:GO, and the French played Source, which certainly affected the game’s dynamics. 

Following the results of three maps, the LDLC team trampled NiP’s dream of winning the Major, snatching victory in intense overtime.

This was the first and last Major final for the LDLC team. Well, at least gave us one of the best CSGO Major finals. And they made money on stickers.

Image: ESL

Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of the main CS:GO competitive tags. The players of this organization were among the first to switch to this version of the game. The reward was the legendary win streak and a period of complete dominance on the pro scene.

But despite their accomplishments, the Major title has consistently shied away.

ESL One Cologne 2014 has become a symbolic tournament for NiP and the entirety of CS:GO. As the third major Counter-Strike: Global Offensive championship, the event started a tradition of hosting the prestigious summer championship in Cologne.

In the final of the Major, sworn enemies met – Fnatic and NiP. Their confrontation was always to be watched because the match was critical for both teams.

The players knew each other well and understood their game; they came from the same region, and in addition, Fnatic “stole” their first major from the ninjas.

When the dust settled after the match, no one was disappointed but Fnatic players. NiP took revenge and won such a long-awaited title of Major champions. Just look at this Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund photo – there is no better description.

ESL One Katowice 2015 – First sequel for Fnatic

Image: ESL

After ESL One: Cologne 2014, almost nothing has changed in this final. The teams are the same, the maps are nearly the same, the score is the same, but the winner is different!

As a result of the playoff stage, Fnatic and NiP reached the final again. As a result of the confrontation, Fnatic claimed their second championship by finishing ninjas 2:1 (Dust 16:14, Cache 10:16, Inferno 16:13).

This was the last major final for NiP. After this tournament, their results declined and never returned to their previous level right up to the disbanding.

PGL Major 2017 – “Olofmeister, I love you”

Image: DreamHack

For the third time in the history of CS:GO, a team from Eastern Europe reached the final of the Major, and again under the leadership of Danil “Zeus” Teslenko.

In this championship, no one bet on Gambit; for many, they were underdogs on the border with outsiders. The situation and rumors that Gambit was experiencing problems within the team did not help either.

But a 3-month long boot camp with grueling training took its toll, and Gambit made it to the final. They were accompanied by Immortals, a new generation of Brazilian CS:GO, who was a dark horse before the tournament.

This played to the benefit of the final. It had it all: a meme and accurate grenade from Dosia, an inspiring speech from Zeus in the middle of a lost round, and a consistent performance of their star trio. Fans also went crazy – the main sign of a good match.

Gambit emerged victorious from the confrontation, bringing the first title to Eastern Europe. Everything was looking so promising until the players decided to kick the coach. And Zeus. And they never won anything worth mentioning ever again.

Except for Abai “Hobbit” Khasenov, but he’s a good boy.

ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017 – the anniversary

Image: ELEAGUE

Each era has its beginning. The famous Astralis Era began in 2017 in Atlanta at the 10th ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta with a prize pool of one million dollars.

The trio of Danish players Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth, Markus “Dupreeh” Rasmussen, and Nicolai “Device” Reedtz have always been considered incredibly talented. But they seemed to be missing something. Even the famous Karrigan could not unlock their full potential.

The answer to the equation of the Danes’ success was their other compatriot, Lukas “Gla1ve” Rossander. In just less than 3 months, he turned simply strong players into a force that all CS:GO players will have to reckon with for many years to come.

The final between Astralis and Virtus.pro is an example of an elite Counter-Strike. Having spent a very controversial 2016, the Poles seemed to have regained their former strength and were on their way to a second champion title.

The Danes often climbed high in tournaments, but never that much. For both teams, the stakes were high, and no one would give up easily.

Rarely do opponents live so long in each other’s heads, but as a result of 3 maps, Astralis took their first victory at the Major (Nuke 16:12, Overpass 16:14, Train 16:14).

The MVP of the Major was their fifth teammate – Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjaerbye. Do you still remember him?

PGL Major Stockholm 2021 – way too s1mple for NAVI

Image: PGL

PGL Major Stockholm 2021 is the first major held after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The prize pool also had a bombastic $2,000,000.

Therefore, each team gave 150% to show their best game. But NAVI’s best game bettered every other. The Born to Win relentlessly defeated every opponent, reaching the finals undefeated.

Their opponent in the final – G2 – came closest to breaking Natus Vincere’s winning streak. But a fatal miss with a Deagle allowed NAVI to regain the initiative on Nuke and presented the Eastern European team with their first, such a long-awaited championship in the club’s history.

ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018 – “I am not crying; you are”

Source

NA CS has long been a meme in Twitch chat. The players of this region have always been strong, but they valued their individual games too much and could not find an equilibrium between their own firepower and teamwork.

ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 changed everything. Until the tournament’s playoffs, no one spoke a word about Cloud9. The main stars of the championship were FaZe Clan – a talented mix of talented players under the strict leadership of Karrigan.

This team was predicted to have a relatively easy victory in the tournament. And who will stop them, QBF?

But Cloud9 happened. In this ridiculous finale, the Americans simply refused to give up. Even within a hair’s breadth of elimination, Cloud9 delivered one of the most spectacular comebacks in CS:GO history, winning the only title for the North American region.

And after giving us the best CSGO Major final ever, they fell apart.

What place do you think the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 final should take in the ranking?

Taras Bortnik is an esports writer for jaxon.gg with a specific emphasis on Counter-Strike and Dota 2, Valve's two biggest competitive games and two of the biggest esports titles in the industry's growing history. Taras has a great knowledge of, and passion for, both CS and Dota 2, and he brings that knowledge and passion in equal amounts to his analysis on jaxon.gg.