PGL Antwerp FaZe vs Na'Vi Grand Final Is The Second Most-Viewed CS:GO Match Ever
Counter-Strike is by no means dead. In fact, after being threatened by VALORANT and the coronavirus pandemic, CS:GO's resilience has been pushed to the limit, and now the beloved game has bounced back bigger than ever before.
As the second major back since the pandemic pressed pause on international events, PGL Antwerp hosted the elite CS:GO teams, who fought it out for a share of the $1,000,000 prize pool and the chance to go down in the history books.
Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) looked to become only the third team ever to win back-to-back Majors (following Astralis' hat-trick in London 2018, Katowice 2019, and Berlin 2019, and Fnatic's double at Katowice and Cologne 2015), while FaZe Clan eyed the missing jewel to their impressive trophy cabinet. With the gameplay throughout the entire tournament offering electricity and fireworks, the final was poised to thrill, and the fans came flocking in.
PGL Antwerp Final Becomes Second Most-Viewed CS:GO Match Ever
After topping the world rankings for the first time since 2018, FaZe Clan were faced with Na'Vi who attempted to cement their own era within CS:GO folklore. With the stakes raised so high, over 1,500,000 fans tuned in from the get-go, making the PGL Antwerp Grand Final the second-most-watched CS:GO game of all time.
Across all platforms, the match peaked at over 2,100,000 viewers, which surpassed the PGL Stockholm semi-final between Gambit Esports and Na'Vi. PGL Antwerp also saw the tournament surpass 62 million hours watched, which is also second, behind the aforementioned Stockholm Major.
Both events have now surpassed viewership figures pre-coronavirus, which only compliments the tournament organisers for keeping the competitions alive throughout the online period and heightening the spectacle when events returned.
FaZe Clan Become First-Ever International CS:GO Major Champions
With so many eyes on the game, the Grand Finals didn't disappoint, as the first map on Inferno headed to overtime, where FaZe Clan managed to get one hand on the trophy by taking the tie 19-16.
The tension could have been cut by a knife in map two, as Nuke provided for a cagey affair, but again it was FaZe clan who prevailed behind MVP Håvard "rain" Nygaard, to take the Major Championship title and be crowned as the best Counter-Strike team in the world.
This is now the first time in CS:GO history that a fully-international team has won a Major, as FaZe boasts players from five separate nations. Previously, it was common for all-Swedish, Danish, or Brazilian teams to take home the spoils, with the closest to a full-international roster being Gambit Esports in 2016 with three nationalities.
FaZe Clan are now hoping for a dynasty of their own, even drawing comparisons to the great Astralis roster.