What is the StarLadder Berlin Major?
The Berlin Major is the 15th CS:GO Major Championship, and the second of 2019 after IEM Katowice in March. It is the first to be hosted by the Ukraine-based organiser StarLadder, and will see 24 teams compete for the greatest prize in CS:GO – the Major title. As with the previous few majors, the tournament is split into three stages.
As with the previous few majors, the tournament is split into three stages. The Champions stage will be the tournament’s finale, taking place over the weekend of September 5 – 8. It will see the final eight teams fighting for the main share of the $1,000,000 prize pool at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
StarLadder Berlin Major odds
The odds below represent the outright winner for the StarLadder Berlin Major. For a complete list of odds, head over to our dedicated section for StarLadder Berlin Major odds.
Who will win StarLadder Berlin 2019? The Favourites
With the Champion of the final Major of 2019 set to be crowned at the end of this week, it’s time to put thought to the potential champion. Of the eight teams that managed to secure a place in the playoffs, three can classed as potential favourites.
The Berlin Major is the first to be hosted by StarLadder, and will see 24 teams compete for the greatest prize in CS:GO.
Starting off this list is Team Liquid (3.28*) who had an unconvincing Legends stage run. Qualifying with a 3-2 scoreline, it took a 2-0 win over mousesports to continue their journey in Berlin. While a 2-0 win over a fellow top 10 team looks good on paper, both maps were overtime victories and the final map saw them a mere second away from having to face a third. However despite their troubles Liquid are still the best team in the world, and suffering a rough group stage isn’t new for the North American team.
They’re set to face Astralis (3.68*) in their quarter-final match. The Danes are familiar foes to Liquid, with the teams having faced each other 26 times in the past two years. In 2019, the two teams have so far faced each other five times, with Liquid coming out on top in three of these meetings. Their last meeting saw the North Americans run out as 2-1 winners. However, Astralis move into the Champions stage with a 3-1 record. This is despite losing to 3-0 team NRG and cutting it fine against CR4ZY in the fourth round, including a marathon-length game on Dust2. On paper they look to be on an even keel against their opponents. When the two teams take to the stage on Friday evening, expect fireworks.
Then there’s the French team Vitality (6.21*), who are HLTV.org’s second best team in the world. Their rocky Challenger stage was followed up by a rather strong Legends stage, qualifying with a 3-1 record having only lost once to 3-0 qualifiers ENCE. The French team have been offered a reprieve by being placed firmly on the opposite side of the bracket to both Liquid and Astralis, meaning a potential matchup won’t be until the grand final. That’s not to say their route is an easy one, with an opening game up against CIS-region danger men AVANGAR, and a potential semi-final facing either Renegades or a rematch against ENCE. They will need to help Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut stay on top form.
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StarLadder Berlin 2019's Dark Horses
After a whole host of upsets and big names being knocked out, there are a sizeable number of dark horse teams headed to the Mercedes-Benz Arena. So many, in fact, that I expected all bar one of the next five teams to have been knocked out earlier in the tournament.
Na`Vi (10.90*) are the strongest of these teams. The Russian team secured their way into the playoffs with a 3-2 record after beating CR4ZY 2-1 in the final game. The team, who after earlier losses to G2 and mousesports, looked shaky and uncertain managed to push through and effectively ignore the rust that can be gained from not playing at a competitive level for nearly three months pre-Berlin. With Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Denis “electronic” Sharipov reaching back to strong form, the latter player being the third-highest rated player at the Major so far, the team have a chance to push anyone they play.
Their first opponents to face this push will be NRG (5.99*). Having secured a 3-0 record, the North Americans are looking quite strong as they enter the playoff stage. Boasting wins over both Liquid and Astralis, the latter a strong 2-0 win, they are in for a serious shout at a playoffs run. If the team manage to pass Na`Vi in the quarterfinal, upsets could follow in the semi-final rematch.
ENCE (6.40*) and Renegades face each other in another quarter-final. The two teams faced very different routes to the playoffs, with ENCE proving that a “dead” team is a powerful one. The Finns are set to replace their IGL Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen come Major end, and it seems the player has firmly placed himself in the shop window being the sixth highest rated player at the Major so far. While their opponents in the Legends stage weren’t too testing for them, their 2-0 win over Vitality is an important caveat to the fact that the Finns are still a dangerous squad that are not to be ignored.
Liquid had an unconvincing Legends stage run, needing a close 2-0 victory over mousesports to qualify to the Champions stage with a 3-2 record.
Renegades (57.58*) on the other hand had to grind through three best-of-threes after a 0-2 start saw them on the edge of oblivion. Their best-of-three wins saw them eliminate DreamEaters relatively simply, before claiming two big scalps in the form of 2-1 wins over FaZe and G2. It’s safe to say the Australians have earned their place back to the playoffs. But how much further can they go? This is the team’s first appearance at the playoffs of a competition since the StarLadder i-League Season 7 Finals in April, so Renegades still have a lot to prove against a strong looking ENCE side.
AVANGAR (57.58*) are the final team in the playoffs, and it’s safe to say the CIS region’s favourite upset merchants have earned their place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. After opening with a loss to ENCE, they picked up wins against Renegades, Liquid and G2 in the Legends stage. Despite only appearing at two LAN events since the previous Major, both being second tier competition, they continue to impress and the potential for them to shock Vitality is there. It’s a slim chance, but it is there.
The StarLadder Berlin Major will conclude with the Champions Stage, beginning September 5, with the grand final held on September 8 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. All the action will be covered on the organiser’s Twitch channel.