CSGO's EU Minor Closed Qualifier for Starladder’s Berlin Major is live and it’s more about broken dreams than realising your heart’s true desire, if we’re being honest.
At this early stage it’s not possible to guarantee you are going to win anything or be a hero, but you can definitely throw away your chance at greatness through complacency, as Mousesports and others have found out in the past.
The top eight of the EU Closed Qualifiers will go into the Minor proper, where they get a chance to make it to Challengers Stage of Berlin Major in August, but it’s more interesting to look at the names that might not take part.
Some of the most storied organisations in Counter-Strike have fallen to some seriously low lows in the past year or so, and the Minor is now an ambition for teams that used to think about winning the biggest prizes of all.
VP were that team every pundit loved for years, with players that were synonymous with CS, if not CSGO. The likes of Neo and TaZ performed in previous games, and won a lot in Global Offensive with their supporting cast of byali, Snax and PashaBiceps, but all that is in the past. Neo is currently drowning in FaZe, while the other four are in various states of slump and slumber, slumming it in the lower echelons where they now belong.
Virtus.pro are already in losers' bracket, and face a knock-out match against the mixed EU team known as GamerLegion, which features ScreaM and Ex6TenZ among others. If the new VP can overcome such luminaries as nawwk and HS, they will still have some work to do before they even get to plough the minor, but like many an older man their ploughing days seem to be over, and not set to return.
When the project was announced, Sprout sounded interesting, especially as it came at a time when German CSGO was generally looking a bit more competitive with BIG doing, well, things. Sprout had a funny name, and a marketing plan that seemed way too complex and convoluted for esports, and a number of their players had reputations for failing at the highest level on more than one occasion, mainly due to not being very good at the game.
Now they find themselves in loser’s bracket of the Closed Qualifier, having already lost to their German friends over at BIG, and the project may not be long for this world either. From Seed they went to Sprout, but rather than turning into a might oak the team has basically just decomposed, and if they don’t get into the Minor it might be time to call them Compost.
The all-Bulgarian team is actually pretty talented, but they’ve played so much t3 CSGO and lower that it’s hard to see them make the same jump the likes of ENCE or Furia have at this point. After a tough first day saw them lose to the Ancient team featuring draken, disco doplan and freddieb, they have an all-or-nothing game against NoChance for their spot at the Minor.
NoChance is another mix of guys who can’t get on a team properly, with the most recognisable names being STYKO, kRYSTAL and Maikelele, and you can also see rising UK talent Thomas if you have time to catch their game with Windigo. Like the previous two, Windigo won’t have wanted, or even expected to find themselves in this situation, and not making the Minor would be a failure for them, but that’s how cut-throat CSGO can be in 2019, and this Closed Qualifier is a brutal affair.
EU Closed Qualifier schedule and streams
Find the EU Minor Closed Qualifier schedule, live streams and betting odds on our CSGO matches page.