Biggest winners and losers of Paris CS:GO Major

The BLAST Paris CS:GO Major had one thing going for it from day one: It was always going to be a symbolic moment in the history of Counter-Strike.

Valve’s announcement of Counter-Strike 2 confirmed that the French capital would host the final CS:GO Major, but the Paris tournament did not rely on that for its legacy. The Paris CS:GO Major delivered glory to one of the greatest Counter-Strike players in history and great disappointment to many other teams.

There are no participation trophies in esports. To the most competitive players out there, this may mean that any tournament they do not win is a letdown. We don’t want to use this extreme frame to point out the winners and losers at the Paris CS:GO Major, and we don’t need to. There were so many surprises in France that it felt more like the first CS:GO Major ever rather than the last.

Related: From CYPHER to ZywOo, here are the best CS:GO highlights of the BLAST Paris Major

Besides upsets being entertaining to neutral fans, they make this particular part of our job significantly easier. The winners and losers at the Paris CS:GO Major are rather clear to see and we don’t plan on going for nonsensical shock value picks. Without further delay, let’s rate who got the best and worst end of the deal in the love capital.

Winner: Vitality

There can be no bigger winner than the champion. As our list will prove soon, losing at some point doesn’t equate to failure, but winning is still the far preferable option. Vitality had not won a Major yet, and they were never really close to doing so. At pretty much any Major since the team’s inception, they would have warranted a spot on the losers list. Not this time, though.

Playing in front of the home crowd apparently unlocked something in ZywOo and crew. The Paris CS:GO Major was Vitality’s first Major semifinal ever. Once the gang got a taste of the pie, they swallowed the whole damn plate. Admittedly, other results made the task theoretically easier than it probably should have been.

All of the upsets left the door wide open for Vitality, who saw themselves quickly become the outstanding favorite for the title. Naysayers are sure to point that out as a blemish on this Major win, but we’re sure dupreeh will sleep soundly knowing he’s a five-time Major champion. ZywOo, who has an argument for being the best CS:GO player ever, got his first Major title, and even naysayers must admit that ZywOo transitioning into CS2 without winning at least one Major in CS:GO would have been a travesty.

Photo by Stephanie Lindgren via BLAST

Loser: Heroic

There was another team besides Vitality that was hoping to make the most out of upsets elsewhere, and that was Heroic. Following their quarterfinal victory over FaZe Clan, Heroic’s captain cadiaN was confident that they would “play and win” the Paris CS:GO Major. We can’t really blame the Dane for his confidence.

Heroic had a golden opportunity to play in back-to-back Major finals but squandered it in a semifinal clash they were heavily favored to win. We could argue Heroic’s prior experience from the final in Rio could have made them much tougher opposition for Vitality in the Paris grand final, but that’s all speculation now.

ZywOo got his CS:GO Major trophy, cadiaN didn’t. Unlike the Frenchman, though, cadiaN does not have time on his side. This semifinal blunder might end up being the closest cadiaN gets to winning a Major until his retirement. Fingers crossed we’re wrong.

Winner: GamerLegion

One team’s letdown is another’s crown achievement. We doubt the GamerLegion players themselves would have bet on reaching the final in Paris before the start of the tournament, but they ended up as the spearhead of an upset-heavy bracket.

By defeating Heroic in the semifinals, GamerLegion became the most surprising Major finalist since, well, arguably Heroic at the last Major. CadiaN’s team was able to build on that success and become a perennial contender for top-tier titles. We’re content in saying GamerLegion would be happy to replicate that upward spiral.

In any case, reaching the final of the BLAST Paris CS:GO Major is a fantastic accomplishment that no one can take away from GamerLegion. With a bit more luck on Nuke, the underdogs could have even pushed Vitality to a third map. But regardless, the GL boys should be proud of their performance.

Loser: Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere as an organization has gone through so much heartbreak at CS:GO Majors that when they finally broke through and won the PGL Major Stockholm in 2021, we all let out a collective sigh of relief. Then, they immediately followed that with a loss in the PGL Major Antwerp grand final, their fourth loss in five Major finals played.

Losing in the final for the fifth time would have been another page in a book full of NAVI pain, but it would have at least kept the CIS team out of our BLAST Paris Major losers list. NAVI participated in the best match in the tournament against FaZe, but that’s hardly consolation after losing it and going out in the group stage.

You’re always a favorite when you have s1mple in your lineup. This was no different in Paris, and there’s no world where NAVI aren’t massively disappointed to go out as they did. The worst part is that it can’t be pinned down as a one-off bad event. When your own coach says one of your players is “not on the same level” as the others, there’s much more to it than a single bad week. Many fans will be curious to see if the last CS:GO Major will be the beginning of the end for NAVI, at least in their current iteration.

Photo by Michal Konkol via BLAST

Winner: Apeks

Apeks reaching the semifinals at the BLAST Paris Major warmed the hearts of a lot of longtime CS:GO esports fans. A lineup filled to the brim with what we’d respectfully classify as rejects is not meant to reach such heights, but here we are, with Apeks as our third big winners of the Paris CS:GO Major.

Four of the five members of Apeks have a chip on their shoulder the size of a boulder. STYKO has been undervalued as far back as his mousesports days. Jkaem has been hopping from team to team his whole career, with his only long-term home being the Australian lineup of Renegades/100 Thieves years back. Nawwk was supposed to headline a new era for Ninjas in Pyjamas. JL was in and out of the MAD Lions lineup before their breakup. The only player who’s been on an upward swing in his career prior to Apeks was kyxsan.

This bunch showed just how resilient they are in the 2–2 decider group matchup with nawwk’s former organization, Ninjas in Pyjamas: Two maps, two overtimes, two clutch victories, and a place in the knockout stage where they showed none of this was a fluke by sending Liquid home as well.

Vitality’s determination and pure skill pushed them toward a hard-fought victory over Apeks in the semifinals, but the Paris CS:GO Major put those forgotten Apeks players back on everyone’s radar—and we’re loving it.

Loser: FURIA

Words can’t express how atrocious FURIA’s last CS:GO Major went. But believe us, we will try.

The Brazilian squad, a beacon of consistency for the past three years, did not reach double-digit rounds in any of the four maps they played in the Legends group. FURIA won a total of 30 rounds at the BLAST Paris Major. That’s enough to win one map. They achieved this round tally in four matches. Do we need to say more?

We can at least find a silver lining. Unlike NAVI’s situation, FURIA don’t appear to have a deep-rooted issue. The Paris CS:GO Major could be marked as a one-off, horrendous tournament that just happened to be the biggest event of the year. It was very, very, very bad, but at the very least, FURIA can comfort themselves with that theory.

Photo by Michał Konkol via BLAST

Honorable mentions

Our honorable mentions go to Into the Breach and FaZe Clan. ITB almost convinced us that British Counter-Strike isn’t forever doomed to be stuck in tier three by reaching the quarterfinals of a Major. More of that and we might actually begin to believe it’s coming home someday.

FaZe were eliminated in the same stage as Into the Breach, but the expectations for the two teams couldn’t have been further apart. No one expected anything from ITB, while FaZe are a contender now and always. Karrigan’s squad could have made it into our main list of the Paris CS:GO Major’s losers had they not lost to the second-best team left in the tournament at that point, Heroic. Without the luck of the draw on their side, FaZe only get to be an honorable, or rather dishonorable, mention.

About the author

Kiril Stoilov

Dot Esports general gaming writer. Loves writing, games, and writing about games. Began working in the industry in 2018 with, before moving to, and later joining the Dot Esports staff. Though a single player gamer at heart, he can be seen noobing around CS:GO lobbies.

More Stories by Kiril Stoilov