The road to Diamond: The essential PGL Antwerp Major Pick ‘Em Challenge guide

The key is confidence. Plus a bit of luck.

Photo via PGL

The CS:GO equivalent of Christmas morning is waking up to the release of the upcoming Major’s viewer pass. With PGL Antwerp 2022 just days away, Valve has released the corresponding viewer pass, which is now available for purchase through the CS:GO client.

Alongside the player autograph and team sticker capsules, an always highly anticipated aspect of the Major viewer pass is its Pick ‘Em Challenge. CS:GO fans are tested by guessing which competing teams will advance through the stages of PGL Antwerp, while also choosing specific teams to go 3-0 and 0-3 in each stage.

Completing challenges by nailing your picks is what allows you to upgrade your event coin to Silver, Gold, and potentially Diamond. Here are some tips and tricks to consider when making your picks.

How to play the Pick ‘Em Challenge

After purchasing the PGL Antwerp 2022 viewer pass, you will be able to access the Pick ‘Em Challenge. For both the Challengers Stage and Legends Stage, you will need to guess one team that will advance with an undefeated 3-0 record, one team to be eliminated with a 0-3 record, and seven teams that will advance to the next stage. Of these nine guesses per stage, you will need to get at least five right to get credit toward upgrading your event coin.

Image via Valve

For the Champions Stage, also known as the playoffs, you’ll need to fill out the entire playoff bracket, including who wins the grand finals. You can complete up to three coin challenges by doing any of the following:

  • Correctly guess two teams to reach the semifinals
  • Correctly guess one team to reach the grand finals
  • Correctly guess the team that wins the grand finals

Additionally, you can complete three challenges just by placing your predictions before each stage begins. At the very least, you can ensure a coin upgrade to Silver even if you completely fail your predictions.

The 3-0 pick dilemma

Making your 3-0 pick for both the Challengers and Legends Stage can be an especially tricky challenge. Some say that you want to avoid one of the top teams in the stage, because if they don’t go 3-0, then you miss out on your 3-0 selection and lose out on an advancing team selection.

The suggestion then is to pick a team with a wide gap between its floor and ceiling, meaning you select a team that could easily go 3-0 or not make past the stage at all. G2, for example, were a popular 3-0 pick for the PGL Stockholm 2021 Legends Stage because they had the talent to go undefeated but also struggled with consistency, and they ended up going 3-0.

Photo via PGL

But this strategy can also lead you to overthink things. Many doing so strayed away from picking Na’Vi in the same stage because they were essentially a guaranteed playoff team, but they ended up going 3-0 because they were the best team at the event as indicated by their eventual championship.

There’s unfortunately no clear-cut answer or perfect solution to this dilemma. You’ll just have to take it stage-by-stage.

PGL Antwerp 2022 – Challengers Stage Pick ‘Em suggestions

For the Challengers Stage 3-0 selection, it’s best to look at teams that are in good recent form, have a favorable round one matchup, and have some of the best players. For that reason, a group like ENCE stands out since they’ve been in great form recently and have a round one matchup against an internationally inexperienced team in 9z. If you want to pick a team that has 3-0 potential but could also maybe fail to make it past the stage entirely, perhaps you should look at Astralis.

Photo via PGL

For the 0-3 selection, a safe bet would be against one of the Asia-Pacific teams in Renegades or IHC Esports. Their region just doesn’t have the experience against international teams needed to survive and could get picked on.

Some teams you should consider for your seven advance picks include G2, Vitality, and Outsiders. The experience on rosters like Liquid and Imperial Esports is also something to consider.

Suggestions for the Legends and Champions Stages will be added here once the prior stages are complete.