NiP and Fnatic clash

The worst CSGO Major finals, Ranked

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.

1. StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 – bad, bad, bad


Image: Starladder

Do you disagree? StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 is the fifteenth Major, after which the coronavirus pandemic put this series of events on pause for a long time.

This Major is memorable for many reasons. This was the last time we saw Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko in NAVI. This tournament was the beginning of the end for the northern tale of the original ENCE lineup.

The Berlin Major gave us one of the most remarkable runs from AVANGAR, proving to everyone that you don’t need to invest millions of dollars in a team to succeed.

And, of course, this was the last time we saw the legendary players of Astralis together on stage with a trophy in their hands.

But the finale? The finale was as lame as it was fast. Astralis destroyed AVANGAR (Inferno 16:5, Dust 16:5) and lifted the trophy. In terms of entertainment, it was so bad that it is a pity to even write about it. Arguably the worst CSGO Major final.


2. ESL One: Cologne 2016 – too good to be good


Image: ESL

Back in 2016, only one team could undoubtedly be called the strongest – SK Gaming. At this time, the Brazilians had such unreal power that the community came up with a particular term for them – “The Era.”

Their strength was to be tested again at the ninth Major in the legendary Lanxess Arena in Cologne, with a prize pool of one million US dollars.

SK Gaming met Team Liquid in the final of the Major. The American squad promised at least a stand-off, but that came out ugly.

Therefore, the final was unilateral: the Brazilians beat the Americans first on Train (16:7) and finished them on Cobblestone, letting loose only 6 rounds.

Frankly, the main event of the entire championship was the insane highlight from Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev against Fnatic, which gave him graffiti and gave us one of the best esports moments in history.

3. Faceit Major: London 2018 – boring butchery


Image: FaceIT

2018 was a very strange year for CS:GO because, in fact, it was the most successful year for two teams at once; both Astralis and NAVI had great seasons, winning the most important tournaments of the year.

The culmination of their confrontation was supposed to be FACEIT Major: London 2018 – the thirteenth tournament in the Major series and the only one hosted in the UK.

Before the Major, the Danes and the Ukrainian club met in the semifinals of ESL One Cologne 2018 in a match that overshadowed the actual finals.

Methodically cracking down on their rivals, both teams confidently reached the final. The audience was looking forward to a satisfying dénouement but received a weak apéritif.

Astralis just swept through their rivals on Nuke (16:6) and Overpass (16:9) and went home with the cup. NAVI looked absolutely helpless.

The only thing they came up with was a cunning lurk from Ioann “Edward” Sokhariev in the back of the Danes; but let’s be honest, this is a personal initiative of a game veteran and not a well-thought-out team strategy.

Despite all the hype, it turned into one of the worst CSGO Major finals.

4. IEM Katowice Major 2019 – Not easy at all for ENCE


Image: ESL

The road to the grand final of IEM Katowice Major 2019 for ENCE began long before the event even started. Always an underdog, they were developing quickly for a short span of six months.

At the Major, ENCE were still underdogs, but after consequent victories over all tiers of teams, fans thought that this team might be the one to dethrone Astralis, who easily made it to the final in Poland.

Spoilers! No, they didn’t. ENCE showed at least some resemblance of resistance only on the first map. Astralis didn’t even let Fins score five on the second one.

While everyone loved the underdog run, this was one of the worst CSGO Major finals.

5. DreamHack Open Cluj⁠-⁠Napoca 2015 – Vive la France


Image: DreamHack

I must admit, as a NAVI fan, I’m somewhat biased. This was the first Major in which the Born to Win reached the final!

But the French, who finally abandoned CS: Source, were too good. While Zeus and Edward muttered how good it was in the 1.6 days, Kenny “kennyS” Schrub’s genius took over and mowed them down like a shooting range (to be fair, Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs pretty much did the same).

Unfortunately, NAVI was able to show at least some opposition only on the first map, which was taken by the guys from Team EnVyUs Train (16:14). On the second map, Team EnVyUs had already rolled over their opponents on good old Cobblestone (16:5).

6. MLG Major: Columbus 2016 – Born to lose in finals


Image: MLG

NAVI and the finals of the major – until 2021, it was a meme because no matter how well the players played during the tournament, they performed just disgustingly in the final.

It also happened at the MLG Major Championship: Columbus – the first Major with a prize pool of $1,000,000!

The guys from Luminosity Gaming were waiting for them in the final – and even though the Born to “Win” lost the match 0:2 (Mirage 19:17, Overpass 16:2), their failure opened up South America to esports.

7. DreamHack 2013 Winter – The Progenitor


Image: DreamHack

DreamHack Winter 2013 is the very first tournament sponsored by Valve. Considering that Valve held The International with a prize pool of more than three million dollars in the same year, it turned out so-so, but this is not the point.

The ending was not particularly interesting. The grand final clashed two of the strongest teams of the dawn of CS:GO – NiP and Fnatic. The first map was more intriguing, which eventually led to the victory of Fnatic on Dust 2 (16:11).

But the next two passed pretty much one-sided. First, NiP took their Inferno (16:6), and later Fnatic had the same confident Train (16:2).

Whatever this final was, it still remains legendary forever because the Fnatic was able to win the first Major in history!

Want to continue the list, and find out what the best CSGO Major Finals are? Click here to find more.

Taras Bortnik is an esports writer for 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