Two out of four StarLadder Minors has finished featuring one huge surprise. Here, you can read the full recap of StarLadder Europe and Americas Minor 2019.
StarLadder Europe Minor 2019
Although we saw two huge upsets in the Play-offs, the Group Stage of StarLadder Europe Minor 2019 went pretty much as expected. Indeed, NoChance managed to upset mousesports in the opening match on Inferno (16-14), but karrigan and co. eventually found their way to Play-offs, so the consequences of this upset weren’t significant. On the other side, CR4ZY bested Sprout on Train (16-13). Hence, NoChance and CR4ZY met each other in the Winners’ Match.
CR4ZY completely outplayed NoChance on Dust 2 (16-5) and then finished them off on Nuke (16-10). Therefore, CR4ZY secured a spot in Play-offs of StarLadder Europe Minor 2019, which was kind of small surprise.
Whereas CR4ZY advanced further, mousesports had to dig deeper to find their place in the Play-offs. They defeated Sprout after dropping the first map. Karrigan and his team lost on Train (16-13) but bounced back on Dust 2 (16-12), and Mirage (16-9). In Decider, they met NoChance once again, but this time it was a Best-of-3 match.
Mouz demolished NoChance on Mirage (16-2), but NoChance responded in the same fashion on Vertigo (16-6). Finally, mousesports secured Nuke (16-11), after comeback. So, karrigan and his teammates avoided early elimination as it happened at the last Europe Minor.
In Group B of the Europe Minor, we witnessed domination of two teams, North and Fnatic, which was expected prior to StarLadder Europe Minor 2019. Fnatic defeated countrymen Team Ancient (16-7), and North wiped out BIG (16-6). In Winners’ Match Fnatic annihilated North on Nuke (16-2) and convincingly bested them on Train (16-9). In Decider, North faced BIG again as Germans previously edged out Ancient. However, the outcome was the same given that North had a relatively easy job on Overpass (16-12) and Inferno (16-7).
Play-offs of StarLadder Europe Minor 2019 featured a dominance of mousesports, and two huge upsets by the Serbian team, CR4ZY. In Upper Bracket, mousesports confidently defeated Fnatic on Dust 2 (16-13), and Inferno (16-8). In the other Semi-final North expectedly overcame CR4ZY on Inferno (16-12), and Train (16-9). After the match, the captain of CR4ZY, nexa, said that his team underperformed against North, which turned out to be true later on.
In the Winner’s Final of Upper Bracket, mousesports cruised over North on Inferno (16-11) and Mirage (16-7), to qualify for Major in Berlin. After their failure at the previous Europe Minor, this win was extraordinarily important for mousesports. They secured first place and earned $30,000. But, much more important for them is secured spot at Major, which can potentially bring even more money to them.
— StarLadder CS:GO (@cssltv) July 18, 2019
Meanwhile, in Lower Bracket, the team mainly made of Serbian players, CR4ZY, had a crazy run. Firstly, they outlasted Fnatic on Train and Dust 2 with identical scoreline (16-13). CR4ZY was in control of wheel all the time, and the pressure was definitely on shoulders of three-time Major champions. However, this time, Fnatic failed to come out victorious which cost them a place at the Major. How huge this result was, tells us the fact that this is going to be the first Major ever that Fnatic is going to miss. In a post-match interview, nexa said he would like to face North, and his wish was fulfilled.
— StarLadder CS:GO (@cssltv) July 22, 2019
CR4ZY met North in Lower Bracket Final, where CR4ZY showed outrageous performance as they completely outplayed North individually. It was clear that nexa and friends got the number of Danes. They defeated them on Mirage (16-7), and Dust 2 (16-6) to secure the spot at StarLadder Major. Nexa led his team by an example as he was the best-rated player on both maps.
StarLadder Americas Minor 2019
Unlike StarLadder Europe Minor 2019, Americas Minor didn’t see any big upsets. In Group A, NRG managed to beat their opponents without problems. In the Initial Match, they dominated Team One on Inferno (16-5). Afterward, in Winners’ Match, they encountered Sharks who previously bested Singularity on Nuke (16-8). In Winners’ Match, it wasn’t the easiest win for stanislaw and his teammates, but they were in control throughout the entire match. Firstly, they defeated Sharks on Inferno in the tight game (16-14) and then bested them on Nuke (16-12).
As a result, NRG advanced further after just two games. On the other side, Sharks had to play one more game. They faced Team Singularity again in Decider and edged them out after three map series.
On the other side, in Group B, we saw one small surprise in the first round. In the match between FURIA and INTZ on Overpass, INTZ came out victorious with scoreline 16-13. This put FURIA in an uncomfortable position as they had to win the remaining two games, which they eventually did. They eliminated eUnited in Losers’ Match on Nuke (16-9) and Overpass (16-12) and then knocked out Luminosity Gaming on Vertigo (16-12) and Mirage (16-11).
Thus, FURIA joined INTZ, who previously outlasted Luminosity in an intense match (16-14, 3-16, 16-14), in StarLadder Americas Minor 2019 Play-offs.
Things were kind of unfortunate for FURIA as they had to face NRG already in Semi-final of StarLadder Americas Minor 2019, although this should’ve been the match in Upper Bracket Final. On the first map (Train), NRG won the game in a convincing style (16-7), led by Brehze who hit 30 kills mark in only 23 rounds. The second map (Nuke), however, was much more intense. NRG won the first half on CT side (9-6), but FURIA bounced back and took the game to Overtime.
Nevertheless, it turned out that the first Overtime wasn’t enough to decide the winner of the match, so the game went into the second Overtime, as well. Finally, NRG prevailed with the ending scoreline 22-19. They bested their biggest rival at StarLadder Americas Minor 2019 and booked a meeting with INTZ who beat Sharks (16-12, 16-13) in the other Semi-final.
Anyhow, the Upper Bracket final was an easy ride for the second-best NA team. Firstly, NRG secured Train (16-10). Later on, they totally destroyed INTZ on Mirage allowing them to barely win three rounds. So, NRG got their tickets for New Challengers Stage at StarLadder Major in Berlin. They repeated the success from the previous Americas Minor where they also crushed the field.
FURIA Esport stepped in Lower Bracket in the best possible fashion. They successfully edged out Sharks in the first match. They defeated them on Nuke (16-9), and Train and they were in driver’s seat all the time.
The last obstacle on their way to Major was INTZ who waited for them in Lower Bracket final. FURIA opened the match successfully, as they clinched the first map (Train) in quite dominant fashion, conceding only five rounds.
The following map (Nuke) saw all 30 rounds in regular time, where INTZ outlasted their countrymen from Brazil, FURIA Esports. Regardless, FURIA had enough fuel in their tank to finish INTZ off. They faced them on Mirage and managed to dominate them despite a slow start and losing opening three rounds. In the end, FURIA allowed INTZ only six rounds as they completely outplayed them on the map of decision.