Valve has announced that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s first Major of 2022 will be held in Antwerp, Belgium, and hosted by PGL Esports. The Antwerp Sportpaleis will be the venue for the competition’s later stages, and has a max capacity of 23,000. The preliminary rounds will be broadcast in 4K from May 9, and the playoffs take place over May 19-22 (the bit held in the arena).
Hurray! Erm… except last year’s Stockholm Major, also run by PGL, was something of a mess. It began with a host of audio and production issues during the early stages, with the broadcast cutting out entirely at some points, difficulties with the crowd noise being inaudible, commentators being too quiet or too loud, long delays before certain matches, and various other gaffes. It reached the stage where the analysts and commentary team were taking the mickey. In PGL’s defense things got a lot better after the early stages but, initially at least, this was not a well-run Major.
So Counter-Strike fans did not respond to the news with overwhelming enthusiasm. There are plenty of folk just dunking on PGL (“Why? They are absolutely trash hosts!”), others advocating for alternative broadcasters, and I suppose one of the slightly kinder comments is “They better get their shit together. Having a major on home soil here in Sweden and it being a joke of a production was embarrassing.”