The North American closed qualifier for the Americas Minor ahead of the Starladder CSGO Major in Berlin is about to go live and it’s a strange old affair. Alongside mix teams of unsigned players and young upcomers sit some of the richest teams in esports, chief among which are the Boston Major Champions, who brag about being worth in excess of $300m. Yep, this is NA CSGO, where everything's made up and the points don't matter.
There are 16 teams taking part, and eight will go into the Americas Minor, where two guaranteed spots at the Major are up for grabs. As you can tell, there is many a slip twixt dress and drawers for these groups, but the dream is real for CSGO players, and whoever comes through will have a decent shot at riding that momentum all the way to Berlin.
NA Closed qualifiers teams
- FURIA Esports
- Peeker's Advantage
- Team One
- Party Astronauts
- Team Envy
- Lazarus Esports
- New Identity
- The Quest
- Team Singularity
- Bad News Bears
- NRG Esports
Four with no excuse for failure
Of all the teams involved at this stage, the only two we feel confident backing to make it out are FURIA and NRG, even with the roster changes the latter made only on Tuesday. Replacing your in-game leader with, well, a slightly worse one is never a great look, but NRG have a lot of daps under their belts already, and that level of comfort should see them comfortably make it to the next stage of the Major cycle against such mixed opposition.
The same is far more true for FURIA, who come into this event on the back of making the finals at ECS Season 7, and looks a class apart. In theory Luminosity should also join their Brazilian brothers at the Minor, given the amount of talent and experience on that side, and even with the terrible management and apathetic care from their org Cloud9 have too much talent and backing to excuse failure here.
Not certain to succeed
We shouldn’t really be talking about an org as well-funded as Team Envy in these tones, but the fact is that team are only likely to make it out, and not certain. Replacing the perrenially overrated jdm64 with one of the ATK boys has the twin effect of making you stronger and your opposition weaker, and between Android, Nifty and Fugly they should have enough to get to the Minor at least.
The aforementioned ATK are also in with a shout, and have shown a good level at times in recent months, and the addition of Hiko as a stand in will give them experience which they might have lacked. It would be great to think that eUnited’s support for CSGO would also be paying off at this point, and some of their guys have definitely played well of late, but they’re going to be sweating until it’s all over, much like Lazarus and Team One. All three have the talent or time together to make this doable, but they need to prove they deserve a spot among the big boys.
Anything can happen with luck
With eight spots to play for there are a lot of teams that have a chance if they start well and don’t face any terrible luck, but picking between them is not going to be easy. Team Singularity seem to have a degree of structure, but have made multiple changes after failing repeatedly, while Bad News Bears and Mythic have a bit of name value, if you follow Twitch streamers.
Of the remaining four, it seems to us that New Identity, Party Astronauts, Peekers Advantage and The Quest are on a similar level, and it’s fair to say some are luckier than other with their draw. Peekers Advantage have to face Furia in round one, for example, a much sterner task than The Quest or Party Astronauts, who face eUnited and LG respectively. Every team has a couple of good players at least though, and with NA rapidly ascending through the regional ‘rankings’, there has never been a better time to familiarise yourself with America’s finest face clickers ahead of Berlin.