The line-up of teams for the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 is confirmed after the third-place play-ins completed the line-up of New Challengers.
The CIS region continues to throw a wrench into the logic of how we think things should work, and DreamEaters, a team that is not even in EU ESEA Advanced has made the CS:GO major - what a story.
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The stage is set, the combatants are locked in, and the fans are chomping at the bit for the next CS:GO major. Now we know who the teams are, with players from 33 different countries, so let's take a look at how the major will shape up. Both the New Challengers and New Legends stages will use the 16 team Swiss System Format to determine who advances onward. The graphic below explains the format for those who are unfamiliar or have forgotten.
New Challengers (August 23rd to 26th)
Alright. So 16 New Challengers will be duking it out for a spot in the New Legends stage. If they make it that far, they can lock up a spot in the TBD Spring 2020 CSGO Major simply by winning one match to place 14th or higher. Here's how I think the teams will evaluate one another in rank order for the Swiss seeds (with some teams unjustifiably high in my personal opinion, but that I feel will get respect votes regardless).
- Team Vitality
- NRG Esports
- FURIA Esports
- G2 Esports
- Complexity Gaming
- Grayhound Gaming
- INTZ eSports
- Syman Gaming
My favorites to advance would be Vitality, NRG, FURIA, North, mousesports, CR4ZY, forZe, and Complexity. I'll make any real upset predictions once we know the official rank order and first round match-ups. But I could see G2 and NRG being on early upset alert in a BO1 series no matter who they draw. Especially with volatile maps like Vertigo and Dust II in the pool.
New Legends (August 28th to September 1st)
There are eight returning Legends from the top eight finishers in Katowice. They are:
- Natus Vincere
- FaZe Clan
- Team Liquid
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
Personally I think that three of these top eight spots are very realistically up for grabs, those belonging to MiBR, Renegades, and NiP being at the forefront of my mind. The vulnerability of these longtime powerhouse teams means that there's more incentive than ever to succeed in the New Challengers stage, as the standing Legends are more on par with some of the elite Challengers than they have been in the recent past. How awesome would it be to see a Furia vs. MiBR match for a Legends spot? Or a close North vs. Astralis match for Danish supremacy? So many amazing storylines can come out of this major, something that you can't help but be excited about.
New Champions (September 5th-8th)
All eyes are on Liquid to make their case for being the most dominant team in CS:GO history. I think if they get it done in Berlin their case is very very strong, especially as it is happening in the most competitive era of CS:GO ever. We will soon see if the NAvengers are able to conquer their demons. There will be no coldzera to stand in their way this time, so it's time to put Chokequid and LULquid to bed for good.
Pictures: StarLadder / Flickr