The Legends Stage – Paris Major 2023
The official Paris Major RMR (Regional Major Ranking) tournaments are done, and we now have a clear image of which teams are proceeding forward to the main event. It was an eventful qualifying phase with plenty of drama and unexpected twists and turns. Teams fight through ruthless open qualifiers, and the winners then proceed to these regional RMR’s where they must secure 3 match-up victories to solidify their spot on the Paris roster.
Teams with perfect or near-perfect runs proceed straight to the Legends stage, while the rest are down in the Challenger stage. From there 16 teams battle it out and only half join up with the other teams in the Legends stage. Today we’ll be having a look at teams that managed to secure their spot in the Legends stage straight away. Let’s see how the competition stacks up.
The Cream of the Crop
The usual assumption would be that the Legends phase consists of only the best teams, but this statement would be slightly false, as there are a bunch of other factors to consider when talking about stage placements. Of course, teams that were the most prepared for the RMR phase are having a shortcut to the Legends stage and in this mix, there are teams which have the highest chance to lift the trophy when all is said and done.
Sole French team in a French Major, it would be a fairy tale finish if Vitality could take it the whole way and quite frankly, they have a really good shot at it. Currently, Vitality hold the #2 ranking in the world, coming after their win at IEM Rio 2023. Although not all top teams competed in this event, the majority of them did, yet Vitality still managed to show a dominant form, which, perhaps, even surprised a few of their fans. Vitality have a really good chance to win the Paris Major, which would delight the local supporters or as they like to call themselves – the Golden Hornets.
Even though Vitality is a French organization, its roster hasn’t been French-dominant for a while now. After a shocker move roughly one year ago, Vitality signed 2 former Astralis Danes and their legendary coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen. Then, about 8 months ago, Vitality picked up the promising Israeli player Lotan “Spinx” Giladi, so now the team fields only two Frenchmen, but their impact is so large, that two are all you need.
Both of these players are legendary in the name and game. The captain of the team is Dan “apEX” Madeclaire, whose passion for the game has taken Vitality to new heights, but all eyes will be on the young prodigy Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. Multiple MVP award winner and the best player in the world in 2019 and 2020, you do not want to be on the wrong side of the scope when facing this guy.
NAVI is the only organization that will be participating in all CS:GO Majors. That’s 10 years of consistently qualifying and participating in the highest level of CS. One word – impressive. Throughout these years, the Ukrainian organization has gone through many lineup iterations. Eastern Europe is full of young, promising talent, who jump at a chance to play under the NAVI banner, so acquiring fresh players hasn’t been a massive problem for the squad, although they have experienced some turbulence in the last year or so.
We won’t get into too much detail, but basically, for a whole year, NAVI have had trouble in finding a permanent 5th player on their roster, but it seems like finally they have settled down with the 17 year old Andrii “npl” Kukharsky. Although not a star caliber player yet, absorbing the experience of the other four players, npl could be moulded into a valuable team asset, which seems like the main idea for the squad.
The head of the snake naturally is the GOAT Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev. The only player in CS history that has claimed the #1 ranking position for 3 years, s1mple is always a problem for the opposing team. After many trials and errors, s1mple finally managed to win his first Major in 2021, while also being the MVP of that event. That removed some pressure from his shoulders as he is now unleashed to claim his second trophy. NAVI are currently #2 in the world, so if the preparation is right, then this legendary organization could end the last CS:GO Major with a bang.
Without a doubt, the current Danish flagship team is Heroic. In each tournament, Heroic is a force to be reckoned with. They provide star-like consistency, and it’s no surprise that currently they are holding the #1 position in the world. In their last four tournaments, Heroic have come in 2nd for 3 times, while managing to close out a win in BLAST Premier Fall Final 2022. One of these events was the previous Major, so can Heroic finally overcome those Final woes and claim the top step in Paris? It could very well happen, as the captain of the team Casper “cadiaN” Møller relentlessly continues to lead his troops towards fantastic results.
As we said, Heroic is one of the most consistent teams in the top tier competition. They do not require massive changes in their system for results to improve, instead, they just need to fine tune their existing formula, so it will all come down to the preparation of the squad before the Paris Major begins. Currently the only player with a Major win on the Heroic roster is their coach Richard “Xizt” Landström, who managed to win it as a player under Ninjas in Pyjamas banner back in 2014, but we’re sure that players themselves are also eager to claim this prestigious winners title.
Big Stories and Names
If you’ve managed to get to a Legends stage, then it hasn’t been by a sheer chance of luck. No, teams in this stage are of the highest calibre, so let’s have a look, at which other notable teams are in this mix.
Brazilian fans go absolutely bonkers when it comes to supporting their team. Brazil loves Counter Strike, and there are many teams from the region, but currently, the throne is occupied by Furia. Even Neymar Jr. is a huge fan of the team and that says something. Furia had a flawless run in their RMR challenge winning 4 out of 4 games. Sure, you can argue that American RMR is easier, but their 2:0 win over FaZe in IEM Rio should serve as an example that this team can play.
What kind of dent can they leave in the Paris Major? So far for Furia, their best result has been semi-finals, while in two majors before that they dropped out in quarter-finals. It’s a skilful team, that is led by the burning Brazilian passion, but competition with Top European teams never is easy. We expect Furia to have another deep run, but it’s hard to imagine them improving their previous results.
Bad News Eagles
Speaking of passion for the game, you simply can’t ignore Bad News Eagles. This Balkan team has been grinding relentlessly for this dream and the moment they claimed their spot in the Legends stage was unforgettable. Pure joy and emotions reminded us why we love this game so much. They managed to beat the juggernaut FaZe and claim their 3rd Major entry.
Even though they have a couple of sponsors to keep their head above the water, BNE for a good while now, have been competing without an organization that represents them, which makes this even more impressive. Being in the Legends stage already puts them in a favorable position, but if we are being realistic, in their 2 previous Major attempts, this team hasn’t got further than the group stage. They have the potential to upset the favorites, we’ve seen that, but to go deep in Paris might be too hard.
Major and Fnatic are like peanut butter and jelly, as this Swedish organization has competed in 14 Majors before this one. Of course, the lineup was completely different, aside from Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson, who has been with the team since pretty much the very start. This new Fnatic line-up is full of skill, but in this competitive era, it will be extremely hard for them to bring orange and black the glory of the old days. Fnatic have won 3 Major titles and numerous times have been in the quarter-finals.
Truth be told, their current form is shaky. In the RMR they did win all 3 of their games, but matchups were close and against lower-tier teams. In IEM Rio they got smashed by OG, so before Paris begins, a lot of preparation is necessary. We wouldn’t be overly surprised if this team can make a run to the quarter-finals again, but anything beyond that seems a bit out of reach.
Other Glory Seekers
The other two teams in the current Legends roster are 9INE and Into the Breach. The Polish side of 9INE had, perhaps, the most impressive RMR run out of all teams. They managed to beat G2, Vitality and BIG. This team is only 8 months old, yet they bested some of the biggest names in Esports. 9INE are upset maestros and we think this team can show something special in Paris as well, but we’re sure that top teams will be wary of their tricks now.
If we dare to say, Into the Breach is, perhaps, the most random team in the Legends stage. This UK-core roster established themselves 3 months ago and the results they showed were mediocre at first. A couple of lower tier wins here and there but nothing noteworthy, but when RMR’s came, they made it count and rightfully secured their place among the stars. Can Into the Breach go deep? Highly doubtful, but we’re ready to be proven wrong.
Be sure to check out other OlyBetTV Paris Major articles, to fully prepare yourself for the last CS: GO Major tournament!