PGL Antwerp Major line-up announcement spurs controversy in CS:GO community


PGL’s talent line-up announcement for the forthcoming Antwerp Major has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. While many mainstays of the scene are present, there are plenty of big names not included, some of which have spoken out on the hiring processes for this Major. 


While there are a few that were not approached, the most interesting and potentially controversial omission may end up being Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat, the long-time partner of Anders Blume. In the wake of the talent announcement, Semmler tweeted that he had been approached by PGL to work the event, but turned it down due to some "idiotic and immoral restrictions" in place at the event.


Semmler did not elaborate on which rules he had a problem with, but the two main issues affecting the event are sanctions of Russian players or teams amid the war in Ukraine; and the potential requirement for attendees to be vaccinated, something Semmler has been very vocal about in the past. PGL CEO Silviu Stroie also announced last September that all PGL 2022 events will require complete vaccination of "attending players, talent, spectators".


A third possibility could lie with the talent hiring process for the Major. Anders Blume tweeted Monday that "one day I'll probably talk about what happened in terms of the hiring process for this major, but not now," choosing instead to focus on the positives and praise the "incredible quality" of the people hired, urging fans to simply "enjoy the show". Blume also confirmed that he did have to get a vaccination in order to cast the event.


Sadokist to fully miss Antwerp Major

Other casters not invited include Matthew “Sadokist” Trivett, hailed by many in esports as the best in the business, who was forced out of the last Major (also run by PGL) by visa issues. Those issues went on to cause a reshuffle in the casting order for the top eight of the event, leading to some drama which Sadokist has speculated could be the reason for his being rejected for consideration for what would have been his 10th major.



Confirmed talent line-up for the Antwerp Major includes the likes of BLAST PRO stalwarts Mohan "launders" Govindasamy and Conner "Scrawny" Girvan, as well as ESL’s English duo Harry "JustHarry" Russell and Hugo Byron. There is also a place for beloved commentator Vince Hill, who has been on the cusp of consideration for many events and has been casting esports since as far back as 2008.


PGL have attempted to address community concerns from the previous Major talent line-up, with Eefje “sjokz” Depoortere and Freya Spiers sharing the desk host role and Frankie Ward coming in the interviewer role in her second CS:GO Major since Katowice 2019. PGL faced criticism over a perceived lack of diversity in the talent lineup for their previous Major, which was held in Stockholm last year.

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