CS:GO is ramping up to its spectacle event. With the StarLadder Berlin Major set to start at the end of August, the only tournaments remaining to confirm the eleven remaining teams are the four Minor Championships.
What are the StarLadder Berlin Minor Championships?
The Minors are four offline events held before their respective CS:GO Major. The four represent one region each: the Americas, Europe, CIS and Asia, and all have $50,000 on offer. The top two teams from each will head to the Major, with the third seed teams heading to a final playoff to determine the last three spots for Berlin.
For the StarLadder Berlin Major, all four events will be held in Berlin. This follows the precedent set by FACEIT for the London Major, ensuring all teams attending the Minors will be able to attend the Major, assuming they qualify.
The format of all Minors will see the teams evenly split into two GSL-style groups, with the teams then moving to a double-elimination playoff. The opening group games are best-of-ones (Bo1), with the remaining matches all being best-of-threes (Bo3).
As with the Minor Championships for the IEM Katowice Major, there will be no Grand Final with the winning team from the upper bracket final claiming the prize. The four Minors will be played over two weeks, with two tournaments being played over the same dates. The first two will be the Americas and Europe Minors, played between July 17 – 21, with the CIS and Asia Minors played over July 24 – 28.
StarLadder Americas Minor Championship Berlin preview
The odds below represent the outright winner for the StarLadder Americas Minor Championship Berlin. For a complete list of odds for StarLadder Americas Minor Championship Berlin, head over to our dedicated section for StarLadder Americas Minor Championship Berlin.
NRG (2.35*) make their fifth appearance at an Americas Minor in a row, which considering they qualified for the Katowice Major in January they’d have hoped this run would’ve ended. Now with a roster featuring Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz and Tarik “tarik” Celik, they once again find themselves as the favourites for topping the championship. Their position in Group A, alongside fellow Americans Singularity (14.02*) and Brazilian teams Sharks (14.02*) and TeamOne (27.03*), is one that would make them the firm favourites as they rank 36 places ahead of their next competitor.
Group B is slightly tougher for those in it. eUnited (7.21*) are the only non-Brazilian team in the group, with headliners FURIA (3.75*) siding up alongside compatriots INTZ (17.02*) and late additions Luminosity (9.01*).
mousesports come into their second European Minor Championship in a row as favourites, albeit with a different roster from January.
The eUnited roster taking to the field in Berlin are substantially different to the one that finished 7-8th at Katowice, and has seen substantial improvement over the past month. Recently they secured qualification to ESL One New York in online matches, and come into the Minor as the third highest ranked team. FURIA on the other hand are enjoying their rollercoaster ride, and have picked up more LAN experience this year than the rest of their group. If they can pull off a performance like that at ECS or DreamHack Dallas, and less of their ESL One Cologne or Moche XL form, they could make a challenge for NRG’s title.
With NRG and FURIA sitting as expected favourites for the two automatic Major qualification spots to the StarLadder Berlin Major, the eyes lie on who’ll finish third and head to the multi-regional playoff. eUnited lead the line in this respect, however I’d be remiss to ignore Singularity or Luminosity.
Singularity’s place in Group A should see them reach the playoffs in a simple manner, and with full Bo3 in play they should have a chance through the lower bracket. Luminosity with recent addition of João "felps" Vasconcellos from MIBR, on the other hand, has to overcome either eUnited or FURIA to get into the playoffs, however if they manage to overcome one of those teams then they’d be in serious contention for a third place finish.
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StarLadder Europe Minor Championship Berlin preview
The odds below represent the outright winner for the StarLadder Europe Minor Championship Berlin. For a complete list of odds for StarLadder Europe Minor Championship Berlin, head over to our dedicated section for StarLadder Europe Minor Championship Berlin.
StarLadder Europe Minor Championship Berlin odds
The rise of mousesports and the battle in Group B
Welcome to Europe, the home of stacked Minor Championships. For the second Minor in a row, mousesports (3.20*) come in as favourites, albeit with the organisation having only retained two players from January. With their new IGL, Finn “karrigan” Andersen, mousesports have seen a resurgence that placed them in the top 10 of the HLTV.org rankings in a matter of months after formation. This is thanks to a number of top ten finishes in a row, starting with a 5-6th finish at IEM Sydney, a win at DreamHack Tours and a 3rd-4th finish at the ESL Pro League finals.
As with the IEM Katowice Minor Championships, there will be no Grand Final with the winning team from the upper bracket final claiming the prize.
Their group isn’t one to give them an easy run through, however, as they line up against strong teams in CR4ZY (7.28*), NoChance (27.08*) and Sprout (13.54*). mousesports only have a record against CR4ZY, with the team currently on an even 3-3 map record after a recent 2-1 defeat online to the majority-Serbian team.
The second place in Group A is expected to be a straight shoot-out between CR4ZY and Sprout. Unfortunately for the German team their opponents currently hold a perfect 6-0 map record over them, including two results from earlier this month. NoChance will be attending their first big LAN as a team, and with a mixed online record they’ll find it difficult to reach the playoffs.
Group B is as equally tough as Group A. Headlined by North (4.17*), it features two former Major teams, fnatic (4.63*) and BIG (17.71*) alongside Swedes Ancient (9.38*), made up of former and current players from Sweden’s top two teams.
fnatic make their first appearance at a Minor, having failed to reach the second stage of the Major in Katowice for the first time in their history. North find themselves as favourites for the group, having had a number of top-eight finishes at big LAN events this year. BIG and fnatic on the other hand have both struggled recently, with the Swedish team having failed to pass the group stage for two events in a row, and BIG having failed to do so since Katowice.
mousesports and North should be expected to be the top two teams at this Minor, with the third placing team being any number of three. The fan vote will definitively place fnatic as a favourite as third seed with the team who have yet to miss a Major in its history in CS:GO. However they’ll face a stiff challenge from CR4ZY and Sprout, both teams with upstart form. It’ll also depend on if they’ll be able to escape the group stage for this event.
The StarLadder Minor Championships Berlin will take place between July 17 – 28 as the final qualification step before the StarLadder Berlin Major. The action for each $50,000 tournament will be streamed through StarLadder’s Twitch channel.
*Odds subject to change