How has the CS:GO stage changed from the previous Major tournament to the upcoming one?

Almost five months have passed since the moment of the end of the last Major competition and now almost twenty days are ahead before the start of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. During this time the situation on the professional CS:GO stage has changed drastically. In this material we will tell you about the main distinctions of the international CS:GO arena in March 2019 and the one in August 2019.

King changes

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One of the main changes of the period must be the change of the king of the shooting discipline. Apart from participation in BLAST Pro Series, Astralis played only at ECS #7 Finals, EPL #9 Finals and ESL One Cologne 2019 having unsatisfactory results. At LAN finals of ECS and EPL leagues, they took the 5-6 places and at the championship in Cologne the got to the 3-4 position. It was not enough for the Danish to keep the first place in the world rating. As a reminder, Astralis had held the top position for more than a year.

New CS:GO kings are Team Liquid. The American team have won six LAN finals for the last half a year and also won Intel Grand Slam Season 2 gaining a money bonus of $1,000,000, and after that the organizers of IGS decided to apply stricter rules. At the moment Liquid have a series of five won LAN finals: DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019, ESL Pro League Season 9 - Finals, ESL One: Cologne 2019, BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles 2019 and Intel Extreme Masters XIV - Chicago. Six months resulted in $1,825,000 for Twistzz and his teammates, so the team broke last year’s record of Astralis. Now Team Liquid deserved the title of the most successful CS:GO team in the esports history, and their first place will not be taken away so soon.

Changes on the Brazilian stage

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MIBR have not been able to find an optimal solution for improving their results for a long time. Before the start of the first Major tournament in 2019, the Brazilian roster held the 4 place in the world rating, which made their fans hope for the best. At the moment the Brazilian team have climbed down to the 14 place and now the roster changes from time to time which influences their performance not in the best way. A month ago MIBR and Luminosity Gaming had an exchange. Felps moved to LG being leased while his place was taken by LUCAS1 on the same terms. After the long-term period of unsuccessful results, coldzera lost a desire to play with his teammates and for some time he asked to get him benched. At the end, MIBR agreed to meet him halfway and sent the Brazilian to transfer. Now his position in the roster is given to the coach of the team, Wilton ‘zews’ Prado, who is going to play at the Major tournament. MIBR had an idea to take someone from FURIA Esports, however their representatives refused to negotiate due to the desire of the players to continue playing together.

Meanwhile, FURIA Esports became a new Top-1 team in Brazil. Lately the circumstances have been favourable for them. At DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 the team won the 3-4 place, winning over Team Vitality representatives at the quarterfinal. There Team Liquid became an insuperable obstacle for them. At the next championship they performed even better. The players became silver finalists of ECS Season 7 - Finals. The most remarkable fact is that being the clearest outsider at the matches against Astralis, the Brazilians won over the at the group stage twice. By the way, they defeated the Danish on their favorite Nuke. In July, FURIA won ESEA Season 31: Global Challenge and a showmatch of EMF CS:GO World Invitational 2019, earning almost $100,000 at the events. Taking these results and the situation of MIBR into account, FURIA Esports became the best team in the Brazilian division. It was rather difficult to predict this and their success inspired the Brazilian poker player Andre Akkari and the manager of the esports club to get a tattoo of FURIA's logo.

Team Vitality's boost. ZywOo becomes a new discovery of the CS:GO stage

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On 8 October last year, the roster of Team Vitality got assembled. It was represented by five French players. 10 days later the team won DreamHack Open Atlanta 2018 and got the main money prize $50,000. This scenario surprised many fans and some of them even thought that soon they would see how Vitality cemented their position among ten best teams, however it didn't happen until recently. Two months after their win the players decided that the French should keep on playing without Happy. He was sent to Team LDLC, and Alex ‘ALEX’ McMeekin, the British esportsman, left this team to take Happy's position. Huge success with the new captain began only in April 2019. Then they won Charleroi Esports 2019, and in May the players became champions of cs_summit 4. On 9 July, the esportsmen from Team Vitality earned one of the biggest trophies in their career, which was the biggest for ALEX и ZywOo. Having won ECS Season 7 - Finals, they became owners of the main money prize of $225,000, and ZywOo gained his second MVP title there.

Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut is the main discovery of the current season and according to many spectators, he is ready to fight with s1mple for the title of the best player. Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostylev admitted that ZywOo is the closest to him player indeed, if we consider the level of individual skills. The French player has won those rounds which seemed to be impossible to win and even in the most difficult cases he helped the team to make things better for them and win a match. Before playing for Vitality, ZywOo had represented against All authority, and also other unpopular teams and used to be a nondescript esportsman. Since he got to Vitality, everything has changed. If the 18-year-old player keeps on performing on the same level, Mathieu Herbaut may be expected to be seen among three best players in 2019. Together with him Vitality made it to three best CS:GO rosters according to HLTV, and since 8 July the team holds the second position in the world rating.

Changes in Natus Vincere

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Natus Vincere were known for the fact that their roster had not been changed for more than two and a half of a year. At the end of May they decided to get changed. The reason of this decision was unsatisfactory results and especially their failure at the performance at EPL #9 - Europe. Let’s remember that at the decisive match for getting to the LAN final. NaVi lost their battle with Heroic. Taking into account the fact that the roster of “Born to Win” is represented by the best player of the world, this result was rather disappointing for them. Before that the atmosphere in the team had been tense, but after that it got even more charged. Rumor has it that after their unsatisfactory match with Heroic, s1mple claimed that he would not play with Edward anymore, and the decision to replace Ioann Sukhariev resulted from this. It will be fair to mark the fact that he has been playing worse than his teammates for several months. He was replaced by Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov, and the vacant position after Kirill’s leaving Winstrike was taken by Ioann ‘Edward’ Sukhariev who still has the current contract with Na’Vi — he moved to Winstrike as a leased player.

After the changes which happened in the roster, the team started to train hard and their debut performance is successful for sure. At ESL One Cologne 2019 the team took the 3-4 place, losing against Liquid. The team with the new NA’VI player Kirill won over several strong opponents and made it to the semifinal of the playoff stage.

Fans of Natus Vincere believe in their success at the upcoming Major tournament and there are all the necessary factors for this positive mood. As it was stated before, Na’Vi’s roster is represented by the strongest individual player in the world, s1mple. If the team has been training for a long time, they are likely to achieve good teamwork with Boombl4 and perform well at StarLadder Major 2019. Na’Vi are to get his place at eight best players and if they really want it, they can make it to the grand final.

Ninjas in Pyjamas have problems

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Recently NiP’s roster have got into an interesting situation. Dennis ‘dennis’ Edman, who is currently inactive, told that he would come back to the professional stage and join the active roster of the Swedish team. After two months of playing with Ninjas in Pyjamas, the management decided to get dennis benched and take a newer and more promising Plopski. The 17-year-old player made it to the European minor with Team Ancient, and NiP now have a chance to play with them Major tournament. Due to this reason Ninjas in Pyjamas will participate in the second biggest CS:GO competition in 2019 together with Golden who has recently left Cloud9. By the way, Team Ancient performed at Europe Minor Championship in the worst and ended up their way at StarLadder Major 2019.

The esports club had difficulties not only with the CS:GO roster and their performance, but also with the reputation of the organization. The former player of NiP, Fifflaren, nailed Ninjas in Pyjamas for theft, money machinations and, consequently, everlasting delays of salaries of players and withdrawal of the won prize money. The manager of the esports club tried to confute Fifflaren’s words, however he demanded the facts from his opponents aggressively, to prove that he was not involved in the situation. Two other former players of Ninjas in Pyjamas, Maikelele and Friberg proved that Robin ‘Fifflaren’ Johansson was right, and the manager of NiP, who was blamed for his misdeeds, could not present any weighty arguments. Since that day, there are a lot of discussions about NiP’s position in the community and the reputation of the Swedish esports organization is completely spoiled now. The players are quiet about the way they are treated in the organization. Some people from the community suppose that this happens because of nondisclosure of information.

What has remained the same in the world rating since the first Major tournament?

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ENCE, FaZe Clan and North remain the same. After the end of IEM Katowice Major 2019, these are the only three teams who hold the 4, 6 and 12 places correspondingly in the world top. The only thing that has changed in the teams is FaZe’s and North’s rosters.

Dauren ‘AdreN’ Kystaubayev’s place in FaZe Clan was taken by the Polish legionary Filip ‘NEO’ Kubski. The results haven’t improved and we cannot call this situation stably awful. For example, at DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 they took the 3-4 position, and at BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles 2019 the Europeans became silver finalists.

As for North, JUGi replaced cadiaN. He is known for his performances for OpTic Gaming. The results haven’t boosted, however the Danish managed to perform well at ECS #7 - Finals, taking there 3-4 place and, what is more important, they made it to the Major tournament through 3rd Place Play-In. At StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 we could expect an interesting performance, but they are unlikely to get to Eight Best.