Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019

About the tournament

StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 is an event expected by many fans of high-quality CS:GO and other representatives of the esports community. At this championship a huge prize pool of $1,000,000 is to be played for. The winner will get half of the prize money.

Among the participants in the tournaments, we can see both strongest teams in the world and those teams whose presence at the event became a surprise for viewers and a result of events which turned out to be successful for them. But nothing is so simple. Every year there appear participants who show outstanding results and get to Top-8 when nobody expects.


Team Liquid (place in the HLTV rating — #1)
Win odds: 2.75

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 1

Team Liquid are the most likely to win the upcoming championship. The reason is their perfect gaming shape. Liquid became the most successful CS:GO team in the esports history. They dethroned Astralis from the world top when the latter kept the first position there more than a year ago. Along with it, Team Liquid broke the records of the Danish roster which were set last year. The Americans got victorious at eight major LAN tournaments, seven of them were won in a row. Along with it Liquid became champions at the second Intel Grand Slam season. It is ironic, that last year Team Liquid showed themselves to be silver fans: they often made it to the grand final and took second places. This year they have arisen fear in hearts of their enemies just being present at the tournament and if they pass to the final, they usually win there. Liquid have made it to the grand final for eleven times and eight of them are victorious.

Having the current shape, the American team are to make it to the playoff and they are very likely to pass to the final. There they will fight for the title of the best team in the world not only according to HLTV, but also due to the results of the CS:GO Major tournament.

Vitality (place in the HLTV rating — #2)
Win odds: 7.50

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 2

Now Team Vitality hold the second position in the HLTV world rating. The French have got into a great shape this year. The team show perfect synergy: great teamwork, thorough preparation for tournaments and individual skills of each player, especially ZywOo. We should tell about him separately.

Recently Mathieu Herbaut has got the title of the main discovery of the CS:GO stage in 2019. After the transfer to Vitality, the 18-year-old esportsman brought potential of a great shooter and great clutcher to light. During all this time when he was playing for Vitality, he showed a great performance and won rounds which seemed to be hopeless. That is why in month and half the French got three MVP medals at such tournaments like cs_summit 4, ECS Season 7 - Finals and ESL One Cologne 2019. It is remarkable, that Vitality did not win at the tournament in Cologne, but it was not a problem for the star representative on his way to the title of the most valuable player.

In general, Vitality are in a great shape and as well as for other rosters, Team Liquid are their kryptonite. But probably the French are preparing for the championship in the way that they can win over Twistzz and his teammates. In our opinion, Vitality are one of the main favorites to make it to the Champions Stage, and maybe even to the quarterfinal. If they win the second Major tournament, we will not be surprised as NBK- and his teammates deserve to raise the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 cup over their heads.

Natus Vincere (place in the HLTV rating — #7)
Win odds: 7.00

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 3

This season is to be described one-sided for Na’Vi. If we consider results from the period starting with March 2019, it was not either successful or failing for the team. After the first Major tournaments where “Born to Win” took the 3-4 place, the team performed at StarLadder & i-League CS:GO Season 7 and got a win. After Natus Vincere finished participation in BLAST Pro Series Miami and Madrid on the 5 and 4 places, correspondingly, “Born to Win” got failing performance in the European division of ESL Pro League Season 9. There they lost the battle with Heroic and didn’t make it to the LAN final where almost all viewers had expected to see them. As a result of such a failing performance, they decided to have a replacement in the team and to refresh the roster. Edward was replaced by Boombl4 from Winstrike. This turn of event was beneficial for everybody. Na’Vi got a young promising Kirill Mikhailov whose motivation must be enough to improve the team while Winstrike got the experienced Edward. Meanwhile, he will do his best to improve the results of the team. ESL One Cologne 2019 showed that the replacements in the teams were not in vain and Boombl4 helped the team to make it to the 3-4 place at the championship in Cologne. All the representatives of Na’Vi report upon the new player rather positively and they say that he must help them to achieve new tops. Natus Vincere have the best player in the world s1mple as one of most experienced captains at the shooting discipline, Zeus. Together with it, the team got a new promising player who is to help Na’Vi to get into a great gaming shape. All this makes “Born to Win” one of the favorites to win the upcoming Major tournament. The likelihood to win is not as high as for Liquid or Vitality, for example, but in our opinion Natus Vincere have to make it to the playoff and putting a lot of efforts, they will be able to pass to the grand final.

Astralis (place in the HLTV rating — #3)
Win odds: 4.50

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 4

The Danish team has been creating a real boom around themselves for a long time. Astralis held the top position of the world rating and looted money from all tournaments for a year. After a long era of the Danish roster, many viewers started to call the CS:GO stage rather boring, many teams had a goal to dethrone this team from the top of the world rating. Part of the spectators started to prefer the event with participation of gla1ve and his teammates as there was more intrigue. At the previous Major tournament, by the way, Astralis became the winners. After that the results of the team worsened. At the last LAN tournament, where the Danish performed, ESL One Cologne 2019, the team took the 3-4 place, losing against Team Vitality. They haven’t been able to return to their ancient gaming shape for a long time.

Recently RFRSH Entertainment have claimed that they will sell Astralis. It means that the Danish team will not have to take part in every tournament of the BLAST Pro Series series. At the previous and current seasons they pulled themselves out of two important champions because of their schedule which could have been avoided if they had not participate in BLAST Pro Series. Nevertheless, the change in the management of Astralis is being discussed now. More details will be revealed later.

In our opinion Astralis have a good chance to make it to the Champions Stage, but it is likely to be the end for them as such teams as Liquid, ENCE, Vitality and Natus Vincere will do their best to oppose dev1ce and his teammates.

ENCE (place in the HLTV rating — #4)
Win odds: 9.00

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 5

Over the last month and half, ENCE passed to four best major LAN tournament and they made it to the second place twice. Having made it to the final, they were stopped by Liquid, as both for the Finnish and other teams, Team Liquid is an obstacle to overcome. In total, apart from ESL One Cologne 2019, the Finnish roster has been performing rather stably lately. We should not forget that ENCE took the second place at the previous Major tournament when nobody expected that. All these circumstances make allu and his teammates strong and very depreciated participants.


Syman Gaming (place in the HLTV rating — #42)
Win odds: 301.00

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 6

Appearance of Syman Gaming at the Major tournaments is questionable for many viewers. Apart from such classical options as “How did they manage to do it?” there are such statements as “What are they going to do at the major?”. The team made it to StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 through the CIS minor, where the participants were weak for sure. Let’s mark that they made it to the Major tournament not at the upper bracket, but through the lower one. This cements our thought that it is not about Syman, but lucky circumstances for this team. We should pay special attention to the roster of Syman Gaming. At first, it is multinational. And, even if the majority of viewers speak Russian there, it can create additional difficulties for Nicolas ‘Keoz’ Dguz. He joined the team on 18 March and this is the second reason why we doubt about Syman’s success. The team haven’t got enough experience to compete with Tier-3 roster, not to mention the other participants.

In case of Syman Gaming, we do not believe in miracles and think that they are to get to the last places.

TYLOO (place in the HLTV rating — #34)
Win odds: 301.00

Preview of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo 7

TYLOO are having not the best situation for the Chinese. The team haven’t been able to find the necessary synergy to succeed in the shooting discipline for a long time. The meta in CS:GO is changing, and it is not on the same place as well as the level of teams which increases all the time. In addition to all their failures, TYLOO change their roster before the start of the Minor and Major tournaments. At first they got their sniper xccurate benched, taking Freeman instead of him, and after that they released him from his duties as a player. The former AWP player Kevin ‘xccurate’ Susanto made huge impact on the game, but later the team decided that he doesn’t do enough for the team. Together with the ex-player of Vici Gaming, who joined TYLOO, the team managed to take the second place at the Asian Minor tournament. However, the same as in case of the CIS region, the participants in Asia Minor Championship could have been better. Only Grayhound Gaming and MVP PK could be considered as strong teams.

Due to all the mentioned reasons, we think that TYLOO are outsiders of the championship who are unlikely to surprise the audience with their performance. The team are more likely to make it to the 15-16 place where the first money prizes are given.

All the others

All the other participants can surprise the audience either in a good way or a bad one. Many teams who passed to the Major tournament lost their gaming shape when the others — viceversa: after assembling the roster, the players started to get good conditions and passed minors. Therefore, this championship has several interesting intriguing moments that do not deprive of the pleasure from watching.

Are mousesports going to come back to the Tier-1 level? forZe — Top-1 among the Russian teams? Are FURIA going to cement their advantage in the Brazilian CS:GO? Do G2 deserve the right to fight with Vitality for the title of the best team in France? We are going to get answers to these questions and many others pretty soon, which is on 23 August. This is the day when the first matches of StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 start.