May 9, 2022
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The first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major started this Monday, and the event taking place in Antwerp is already making the news. Not only fans had a great day of interesting matches and storyline developments, but this Major seems to be in its way to be one of the most viewed tournaments in the history of the first-person shooter.

The Antwerp Major easily broke the mark of half-million viewers on its very first day. With a peak of 698K viewers, this tournament also surpassed last year’s Major and has potential to continue breaking records. So, with day one over and the numbers in, let’s look at what happened today in CSGO. And of course, also discuss some of the key events that led to this viewership number.

THE OPENING ROUNDS OF THE MAJOR

This Monday, Counter-Strike fans watched sixteen matches being played by the sixteen teams taking part in this opening stage of the PGL Major Antwerp. These teams are fighting for eight spots in the next stage. There, fans will see these advancing rosters facing the likes of FaZe Clan and Natus Vincere, which are absent for now. Both stages are similar, though, featuring a total of five Swiss System rounds, with teams competing to get three wins before they are defeated thrice.

So, on the first day of the Major two rounds out of five were played, and no team was eliminated or qualified for the next stage. Despite the relatively low stakes, this opening stage still saw some high-level matches being played. G2 faced Team Liquid in one of the tournament’s first series, with the latter team also facing the amazingly popular Brazilians from Imperial in the following round. ENCE, currently the third best CSGO team in the world also played today, which certainly gathered some attention.

MOST POPULAR MATCH IN ANTWERP SO FAR

According to Esports Charts, G2 match against Team Spirit was the most popular match of the day with 698814 viewers. This was the second match of the day for these squads. It was also the only game of the opening day to go to overtime. Moreover, we’ve to consider both teams popularities. Team Spirit brings a considerable number of viewers from the CIS region after all. So, it’s not surprising to see this game being the most viewed one.

Alongside with that match, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that matches involving Imperial, MiBR and Outsiders are also among the most popular ones. These teams have massive fan followings with regional streams bringing plenty of non-English viewers for their matches. Case in point, Alexandre. “gAuLeS. Borba, one of the most popular Brazilian streams had his Major co-stream on Twitch peaking at 263K viewers this Monday.

COMPARED TO PREVIOUS MAJORS

The Antwerp Major continues the opening day viewership growth CSGO Majors have seen in its past three Majors. As reported by Esports Charts last year, the PGL Major Stockholm 2022 peaked at 667.501 viewers. Back in 2019, the final CSGO Major before the online era saw a peak of 429061 on its first day. You can look at the numbers below to check how each Major compared. Once again, thanks to Esports Charts.

MORE VIEWERS ARE EXPECTED

As the Major continues, higher viewership numbers are expected. It’s going to be interesting to see how this first stage of the Major will do viewership-wise, though. The event is set to see several high-profile matches starting from tomorrow. Team Liquid, one of the biggest esports brands in the world, is on the verge of elimination, for example.

Another factor that will play in for the remaining of this stage is that we’re going to see best-of-three series going forward. In the following three rounds of the Challengers Stage, BO3 series will become more common as all decider and elimination matches will use that format. On Monday only best-of-one series were played, which impacts the total time watched.

The PGL Major Antwerp will be resuming tomorrow, at 10:00 AM UTC. In day two, PGL will still be using a double-stream setup. Make sure to tune in GGScores to get all updates as the tournament goes.

@mjunior