Every day, the StarLadder Major in Berlin is getting closer to us and the hype keeps growing. Here, we are going to talk about top dogs and favorites at StarLadder Major in Berlin.
Can Liquid finally win the Major?
Of course, we are going to kick off with the best team in the world, Team Liquid. Nitr0 and his teammates have done so much for the North American CS:GO scene. Not only have they became the first NA team that claimed number one spot, but they also won the Intel Grand Slam in the span of only two months. Therefore, they have a huge impact on CS:GO history in general.
This year, after the Major in Katowice and blunder versus ENCE, Team Liquid played five big events and won all of them. Additionally, they played Grand Finals of BLAST Pro Series in Miami and Sao Paulo and won iBUYPOWER Masters IV beating Astralis in Grand Final, and BLAST Pro Series Los Angeles after getting revenge against FaZe Clan. They hold the number one spot and no one is even close to them. They have done everything that one team can do in CS:GO; everything except winning a Major.
As the most prestigious event, a Major is something that determines careers and success. It is the difference between great and greatest teams and players.
If Liquid fails in Berlin, there are always going to be discussions on whether Liquid had their era or not. But, if they succeed in clinching the title, no one can doubt Liquid’s era whatsoever.
The StarLadder Major in Berlin is the best chance so far for Team Liquid to finally lift the most valuable trophy in CS:GO. That’s why they are StarLadder Major favorites.
So close, yet so far
Overall, Liquid was relatively successful at Majors. This organization made their debut at biggest CS:GO event at DH Open Cluj-Napoca 2015 where they didn’t win a single map. However, the next year was much better for Team Liquid. With rising star s1mple and their current coach adreN on the team, Liquid played Semi-final at MLG Major in Columbus in 2016 where they lost to eventual champions, Luminosity Gaming.
At the following Major in Cologne, nitr0 and his team defeated Fnatic in Semis to book a meeting with the same team that knocked them out in the previous Major. This time, FalleN and his Brazilian compatriots were playing under SK Gaming’s logo, but the outcome was the same. The Brazilian team defeated Liquid in quite convincing fashion. At the next Major in Atlanta, Liquid didn’t even reach Play-offs as they lost in the decisive round against future champions, Astralis. Afterward, they failed to qualify for PGL Krakow Major 2017.
Liquid repeated the failure from ELEAGUE Major Atlanta at the following Major in Boston as they failed to make Play-offs.
In London last year, Liquid lost to Astralis in the Semis, which was the fourth time for Liquid to get knocked out by eventual champions. In Katowice this year, their run saw an early end against ENCE in Quarters.
Hence, Liquid was always very present at the Major but never managed to make a final step and secure the title. But, they never were as dominant as they are now, and that’s why this is their best chance by far to finally put hands-on sacred CS:GO trophy. We will see if Liquid can cope with the pressure that the clear title of StarLadder Berlin Major favorites brings.
Is Astralis able to rise from the ash like a phoenix?
Among many questions that the following Major is going to answer, there is also a question mark next to the name of Astralis that has to be removed. The Danish team is arguably the best CS:GO team ever that played this game. They won so many events in the past and, moreover, they won it with almost an identical squad. Hence, they definitely have a quality to challenge Liquid and they are definitely contenders for the title regardless of their poor form. But, many teams were in shoes of Astralis long before they became so dominant.
Fnatic won three Majors and then basically disappeared from the biggest events. FalleN and his team also had an incredible 12 months in 2016/2017, and now they struggle to win any significant event. The same thing happened to all teams that had their bright moments including NiP, the French teams, FaZe Clan and Cloud9. So, does this mean that Astralis is over and that they can’t win Majors anymore? Can they beat this kind of curse that follows the greatest teams?
Our opinion is that they can. The Danes have always been contenders for big titles, and that’s definitely the case in Berlin as well. Although not strong as Liquid, gla1ve and friends are surely one of the favorites at StarLadder Major in Berlin.
No weak results
Apart from Major in Boston last year, the core of current Astralis squad played Play-offs of each Major, and they didn’t miss a single one. They played Quarters and Semis five times each and won three biggest CS:GO titles. Their amazing history at Major makes them the most consistent team at Majors by far.
As champions of the last two Majors, and as the third team in the world at the moment, Astralis must be one of the StarLadder Berlin Major favorites.
Interestingly, everyone says that Astralis has a bad season so far, which is indeed true according to their standards. However, Astralis won Katowice Major and BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo. Also, they played Grand Final of iBUYPOWER Masters IV and BLAST Pro Series Madrid, as well as Quarters at ESL Pro League Finals and Semis of ESL One Cologne. So, even though Astralis haven’t won any big title apart Major, they were pretty consistent overall. Major in Berlin is a great chance for Astralis to bounce back and ruin Liquid’s perfect season.
Will Vitality remind us of glorious days of French scene?
Right now, alongside Team Liquid and Astralis, we can mention only Vitality as one of the favorites at StarLadder Major in Berlin. This tells us a lot about the current CS:GO scene and how it is structured.
As a team, Team Vitality exists as CS:GO team almost for 10 months, which is not so much for a CS:GO. But, nevertheless, they already managed to achieve many things in such a short time frame.
The Frenchmen took part in the previous Major in Katowice and almost reached Play-offs. They were just one win away from such achievement, but Renegades and NiP were stronger teams back then. Now, there is no doubt that Vitality would wipe out these two teams. Their form has been rising continually, and their game is scary. Led by young talent, ZywOo, Vitality is one of StarLadder Berlin Major favorites without a doubt.
When it comes to other events, Vitality won four titles, which of one was at ECS Finals. They also clinched DH Open Atlanta 2018, Charleroi Esports 2019 and cs_summit 4 where they defeated Team Liquid in Grand Final. Additionally, they played Grand Final of ESL One Cologne 2019, as well as Semi-final of IEM Chicago and Quarter-final of DH Masters Dallas and StarSeries Season 7.
NBK and co. beat both Team Liquid and Astralis so far this year, and they know how to play against the best teams in the world. Accordingly, they are contenders for the next big tournament.
Are ENCE, NaVi or FaZe going to step up?
Even though ENCE had better results this year than Vitality, and despite the fact NaVi and FaZe have been more successful historically, none of these teams seems to be as big threat for Liquid and Astralis as Vitality.
Indeed ENCE played Grand Finals of three big events including Katowice Major, DH Masters Dallas, and IEM Chicago. But AleksiB and friends didn’t prove they can triumph on the big stage. Yes, they defeated Astralis in Grand Final of BLAST Pro Series Madrid, but it can’t be compared to Major. So, if they want to be seen as champions they need to finally win an event on a big stage and Berlin is a perfect chance for such a feat.
On the other side, FaZe and NaVi have been struggling so hard this season and neither team has done anything notable.
On one side, NaVi played even fewer tournaments than Astralis and their best results are Semi-finals at Major and ESL Cologne as well as a title at StarSeries Season 7. But they basically missed all important tournaments.
On the other side, FaZe tried to help themselves by signing NEO instead of AdreN. But, this change hasn’t proved to be beneficial for them yet.
Surely, both have the potential to win a Major, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen at the moment. So, we can’t consider any of these three teams to be StarLadder Berlin Major favorites.