Romanian CS2 Major champion receives warm reception after victorious PGL Copenhagen event

By Arjun Nair
Ivan "iM" Mihai competing at the PGL Copenhagen CS2 Major.

Celebrating a Romanian CS:GO Major Winner

When Ivan “iM” Mihai arrived home after lifting the first CS2 Major trophy today, he was greeted by a hero’s welcome as dozens of Romanian fans waited to cheer on the first Romanian player to win a Counter-Strike Major.

Emotional Homecoming and Triumph

After chanting his name, the 24-year-old player for NAVI emerged through the gate to a dazzling cheer and celebrated with the numerous CS2 fans who were waiting in the terminal. On Twitter/X, iM commented on the homecoming with just one word: “Speechless.” Less than 24 hours prior, iM was in Copenhagen celebrating NAVI’s second Major trophy, the first CS2 Major trophy ever, and the first Major trophy won by a Romanian player.

Romania isn’t the only country celebrating a first-time Major winner, though. Players from both Finland and Lithuania each won their first Counter-Strike Major trophy for their country in Copenhagen by way of in-game leader Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen and tournament MVP Justinas “jL” Lekavicius, respectively.

The NAVI victory at PGL Copenhagen was as unlikely as it was triumphant. The organization took a big gamble on two breakout players from the Paris Major in both jL and iM, as well as an IGL in Aleksib whose stock had dropped after uneventful stints with OG, G2, and NiP. Against the likes of Spirit, FaZe, and Vitality, very few players had NAVI going all the way in their Pick’ems.

Challenges and Resilience

To make the task at hand harder, NAVI’s CS2 run has also been without its iconic superstar s1mple, though former Spirit AWPer w0nderful has more than adequately filled the role. Of the CS:GO roster that won the PGL Stockholm Major two and a half years ago, only Valerij “b1t” Vakhovsjkyj remains, but now he enters elite company as a two-time winner.

What’s Next for iM and NAVI

After some well-earned time at home in Romania, iM and NAVI will return to action in three weeks at ESL Pro League season 19.

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