The CIS region may be small but the teams in the region are some of the biggest powerhouses in all of Counter-Strike. Natus Vincere and Gambit Esports have dominated Tier 1 Counter-Strike throughout the year and will look to continue to do so. Without further ado, here are the PGL Major Stockholm 2021 rosters.
Natus Vincere – Legend status
“Natus Vincere” is Latin for born to win, and the team — the obvious favorites for the tournament — is planning to do just that. Everyone knows that Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev is one of the best players in the world, but he hasn’t yet won a major. The team is in peak form right now, after winning IEM Cologne, ESL Pro League and taking home the Grand Slam for Season 3, so there is no argument that they have firepower. Previously, they relied on s1mple and Denis “electronic” Sharipov for firepower, but the addition of Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi has made the team even better than before.
If Natus Vincere continue their dominance on LAN, there is no team that can prevent them from taking home the win at PGL Stockholm.
Natus Vincere’s PGL Stockholm Major roster:
- Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
- Denis “electronic” Sharipov
- Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov
- Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy
- Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi
- Andrii “B1ad3” Gorodenskyi (Coach)
Gambit Esports – Legend status
In 2017, Gambit won PGL Major Kraków. The entire team moved on except for Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov, who stayed on the team to grow the future talent. Although Gambit have been together since October of 2020, it wasn’t until early 2021 that the team started performing at a high level. First, they won the World Championship of Intel Extreme Masters Season XV. However, due to the teams they played there, many believed this result to be a fluke. Gambit, however, proved otherwise.
They went 5-0 in group stages, which was surprising because a dominant-looking Na’Vi was in the same group. Then, they beat Astralis and Ninjas in Pyjamas to make it into the grand final. Although they lost to at the hands of Casper “cadiaN” Møller and his infamous 1v4, Gambit proved themselves as permanent top contenders, which they’ve continued to prove at every event they attend.
While the team has experienced success online, they have little experience on LAN. But, if they can overcome the LAN jitters, Gambit have the potential to make a deep run in the event and possibly even take it home.
Gambit’s PGL Stockholm Major roster:
- Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov
- Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov
- Timofey “interz” Yakushin
- Sergey “Ax1Le” Rykhtorov
- Konstantin “groove” Pikiner (Coach)
Team Spirit – Challenger status
Team Spirit are a team with a high skill ceiling but they aren’t consistent enough to stay on top. They became known as a team with upset potential during ESL Pro League S12 when they went 4-3 in their group. To do so, they beat top teams Team Vitality, Atlanta Faze and MOUZ. Since then, Spirit have gotten better but remain inconsistent, especially in a LAN setting. At IEM Cologne, the last LAN they attended, Spirit won against MiBR and Sprout but failed to advance in the tournament. If they can settle and get over the LAN jitters, they have a chance to make an okay run in the tournament.
Team Spirit’s PGL Stockholm Major roster:
- Victor “somedieyoung” Orudzhev
- Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov
- Nikolay “mir” Bityukov
- Boris “magixx” Vorobiev
- Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov
- Robert “Patsi” Isyanov (Substitute)
- Nikolay “Certus” Poluyanov (Coach)
Virtus.pro – Contender status
Virtus.pro are definitely a team to watch for at the tournament. They placed second in Star Ladder Berlin, but their roster has changed dramatically since then. Four days before PGL Stockholm, the organization also announced that Evgeny “FL1T” Lebedev will be taking the place of Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev, despite not having played with the team throughout their qualifying matches. With only four days to practice together before their opening match, the question will be whether FL1T can learn the way of the team. Although the team is only at contender status, their seeding was affected by the addition of FL1T.
Analyst Janko “YNk” Paunović took to Twitter to say that “FL1T is a clear upgrade in the long run.” However, he wondered whether FL1T would be able to integrate into the team enough “to not hurt their overall game.”
The SANJI situation must've been really dire for VP to pull the plug right before the Major, sure, FL1T is a clear upgrade in the long run but can he get integrated fast enough to not hurt their overall game? #PGLMAJOR
— Janko Paunovic (@YNk) October 22, 2021
If FL1T can become integrated, Virtus.pro are a team to look out for. Bringing him in will be an X factor for the team and their opponents will be unsure of their new style, making it harder to anti-strat the team.
Virtus.pro’s PGL Stockholm Major roster:
- Tımýr “buster” Tólepov
- Alekseı “qikert” Golýbev
- Dzhami “Jame” Ali
- Evgeny “FL1T” Lebedev
- Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis
- Dastan “dastan” Akbayev (Coach)
Entropiq – Contender status
Entropiq has been through quite a lot. The team first formed together under the banner of Winstrike. But, after the organization failed to fulfill its contractual obligations, the team left and went to EPG Family before landing at Entropiq. The team features some of the best Russian talents that have Tier 1 potential but are still relatively unproven. But, they proved they can beat top teams at IEM Fall where they took down VP and Spirit.
Entropiq has the potential to perform at a Tier 1 level. But, due to teams playing only in their regions, they have yet to play many Tier 1 Europeans.
Entropiq’s PGL Stockholm Major roster:
- Aleksey “El1an” Gusev
- Viktor “Lack1” Boldyrev
- Alexey “NickelBack” Trofimov
- Vladislav “Krad” Kravchenko
- Igor “Forester” Bezotecheskiy
- Egor “flamie” Vasilev (Substitute)
- Dmitry “hooch” Bogdanov (Coach)
Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.