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PGL Major Krakow 2017 Preview


14 July 2017 09:00

The PGL Major Krakow 2017 will be held at Tauron Arena, Poland, with a huge $1,000,000 prize pool to be won. The enticing eight-day event is one of the most eagerly awaited dates in the eSports calendar, with group stages held from Sunday 16th to Wednesday 19th July, and play-offs following on from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July.   

The Teams

The 16 competing teams are below, along with their odds on winning the tournament outright from Bet365:

  • Astralis – 3/1
  • SK Gaming – 7/2
  • FaZe Clan – 5/1
  • G2 Esports – 7/1
  • Natus Vincere – 8/1
  • North – 10/1
  • Mousesports – 12/1
  • Fnatic – 14/1
  • Cloud9 – 16/1
  • Virtus.pro – 16/1
  • Immortals – 25/1
  • PENTA Sports – 40/1
  • BIG – 40/1
  • FlipSid3 Tactics – 50/1
  • Gambit Esports – 60/1
  • Vega Squadron – 100/1

The Qualifiers and Format

Eight teams qualified for Krakow after coming through January’s EL Major Atlanta 2017 – Astralis, Virtus.pro, SK Gaming, Fnatic, Natus Vincere, Gambit Esports, North and FaZe Clan. They finished in the top eight places, and fully deserve their shot at a slice of the seven-figure prize pool.

Astralis went all the way despite an inconsistent start, resulting in a sixth-place finish in the group stages, registering three wins from five group games. Despite suffering early 16-6 and 19-17 defeats to GODSENT and SK Gaming, their +16 Round Difference was enough to see them advance through to the play-offs, where they regathered to win three consecutive games and emerge victorious in the grand final. The Danish-based side saw off Natus Vincere 2-1 in the quarter-finals, beat Fnatic 2-0 in the semis and then overcame Virtus.pro 2-1 in the final to take home $500,000 and claim one of the sixteen places. Markus "KjaerbyeKjærbye led the way for his team in the play-offs, with 73 kills (43 headshots), 23 assists, a 77.3% KAST, and 95.2 ADR.

The other eight teams qualified for Krakow off the back of February’s gruelling Offline Qualifiers in Bucharest – Mousesports, G2 Esports, PENTA Sports, Cloud9, BIG, Immortals, Vega Squadron and FLipsid3 Tactics.

Mousesports and G2 Esports topped the 16-team qualification table in Romania with three wins apiece, the former finishing ahead of their rivals with a superior Round Difference of +22, compared to the latter’s +10 Round Difference. Mousesports demolished bottom-side Tengri 16-1 in Round One before a 16-11 Round Two success over GODSENT and narrow 16-14 win over third-placed PENTA Sports in Round Three. Czech-born star Tomáš "oskar" Štastný impressed throughout, particularly against Tengri, with 21 kills (four headshots), five assists, an 88.2% KAST and ADR of 123.4. Alongside Chris "chrisJ" de Jong, Denis "denis" Howell, Christian "loWel" Antoran and Robin "ropz" Kool, the five-man Mousesports team delighted in qualification and will be dangerous in action this month.

The Format

The group stage in Krakow is a 16-team, best-of-one Swiss system, split into five rounds. This leads onto the best-of-three, single elimination bracket play-offs to determine who reaches the coveted grand final. Teams will clash in the Cache, Cobblestone, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass and Train maps, and a European team is 1/4 to be the winning region, whilst North American sides are priced at 3/1 and a CIS squad is 33/1 to emerge victorious.

Group Stage Round One

The Round One fixtures are below, along with Bet365 odds on reaching the final:

  • Gambit 33/1 v Mousesports 11/2
  • Fnatic 6/1 v FlipSid3 Tactics 25/1
  • Virtus.pro 15/2 v Vega Squadron 66/1 
  • SK Gaming 11/10 v PENTA Sports 20/1
  • FaZe Clan 2/1 v BIG 20/1
  • North 9/2 v Cloud9 15/2
  • Natus Vincere 7/2 v G2 Esports 3/1
  • Astralis 11/10 v Immortals 12/1

Prize Pool

The $1,000,000 prize pool is split into the following:

  • 1st place - $500,000
  • 2nd place - $150,000
  • 3rd place - $70,000
  • 4th place - $70,000
  • 5th to 8th place - $35,000
  • 9th to 16th place - $8,750

Who Will Lift The Trophy?

Astralis are clearly one of the pre-tournaments favourites, at 3/1 odds with Bet365 to go all the way after topping the EL Major Atlanta 2017 and finally winning the ELEAGUE Major earlier this year. Along with Kjærbye, Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, Peter "dupreeh" Rothmann, Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander will be one of the teams to beat in Krakow. Coached by fellow Dane Danny "zonic" Sørensen, they’re one team that will be looking to reach the latter stages of the competition. In their Round One clash against Immortals, they’ve been priced at 10/11 with a -4.5 Round Handicap on Map One and a 1/3 odds-on for the Match Winner 2-Way.

The CS:GO action will excited fans worldwide, and, with so much to play for, all 80 players know they will need to be on top of their game if they want to succeed.

 

Pulished on:
Updated on: 2017-08-18

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