Who Are The Dark Horses Of StarLadder Berlin Major?

Who Are The Dark Horses Of StarLadder Berlin Major?


These teams have no pressure of winning the Major as no one expects them to do so; even though they have the quality to achieve such accomplishment. Here are the teams that are considered the dark horses of the Starladder Berlin Major, and here is why we think they can upset anyone.

Silent hunters, G2 Esports

We are going to start off with a glorious squad led by shox. The French squad had some serious roster changes at the end of the last year when they replaced SmithZz and Ex6TenZ with Lucky and JaCkz. Also, the famous French player, shox took over the role of In-Game Leader. Later on, at the beginning of 2019, G2 decided to bench body and sign AmaNEk in his place.

After this change, G2 finally started recording some good results. They have already done more in 2019 so far than the whole of last year. G2 finished IEM Katowice Major as a 12th-14th team which secured them a seeding spot in Challengers Stage.

Afterward, G2 attended WESG 2018 and managed to win third place. Although this event is not seen as competitive enough because it lacks the best teams in the world, it still meant a lot to G2.

In next month and a half, G2 had some decent success at smaller events. The Frenchmen played Semis of Charleroi Esports and DH Open Tours 2019, and they qualified for ESL Pro League Finals as they topped their group in Leicester.

Finally, G2 took part in some big events and had solid results. In DH Masters Dallas and IEM Chicago, G2 ended up as a 5th-6th team, but in ESL Pro League Finals, they performed so well in front of a domestic crowd and went all the way to the Grand Final, where Liquid was just a stronger team. However, even though G2 lost 3-1, the match could easily go to the map of decision, Vertigo. On top of all said, G2 lifted a Good Game League trophy in Poznan.

Why do we think G2 can shine again and clinch the title in Berlin?

First of all, G2 has a perfectly balanced team made of experienced champions strengthen by fresh blood of players who are hungry for success. Both shox and kennyS won a Major and had a lot of success at the biggest events. KennyS clinched Major trophy with Team Envy in 2015, whereas shox did it one year earlier with Team LDLC. So, they both know how it feels to be victorious at the biggest stage.

Also, these two players bring a lot of individual quality to G2’s game. When kennyS is in form, he is unbeatable with AWP. On the other side, shox is able to clutch in almost any situation. On top of that, AmaNEk has been playing so well in recent past, so G2 doesn’t lack great individuals.

Additionally, G2 knows how to beat big names as they did it several times this year. They defeated teams such as Fnatic, Renegades, NaVi, NRG, FaZe, and MiBR, so they proved they can do it. There is no reason to not do it again. Of course, many parts of G2’s puzzle need to click together in order to win the Major. Their results will depend a lot on kennyS’ form as well as shox’ calling skills.

One thing is sure, G2 likes a big stage, and they will have a lot of support in Berlin. Many French fans, fired up by the new rise of the French scene, will arrive in the neighbor country to support their compatriots. This can make a huge difference, and that’s why we consider G2 a dark horses of StarLadder Berlin Major.

A constant threat, NRG Esports

When NRG replaced daps with stanislaw, nothing particularly changed in terms of results for NRG. The second best NA team kept going deep at tournaments but still didn’t manage to make a couple of ending steps towards the title.

A constant threat, NRG Esports
source: HLTV

Since the middle of 2018, they have been so consistent as they rarely had bad runs. However, this year is a story for itself as NRG made it to Top 5 on HLTV rankings. They kicked off the year with a title at Americas Minor. They were so close at Major to secure the seeding place for Berlin, but they failed to win a single game in Legends Stage. Nevertheless, it didn’t mess them up, as they played Semis of big events four times.

The only time NRG didn’t reach Play-offs was at DH Masters Dallas where they dropped out in Group Stage. They have been so consistent, and that’s one big reason to consider them dark horses of StarLadder Berlin Major. On top of all said, they came to Americas Minor and crushed the field for the second time in a row, proving they are a very serious team.

Can stanislaw lead his team to the biggest title?

Just like G2, NRG also has Major champions within the team. As part of Cloud9, tarik won ELEAGUE Major in Boston last year, which has remained one of the greatest stories in CS:GO history.

Also, we need to keep in mind that NRG’s appearance at Major in Katowice was their debut at biggest CS:GO events. Hence, they definitely felt kind of extra pressure which affected their performance without a doubt. So, we can expect a much better and more solid game from NRG which possibly can lead them to the very end.

Additionally, the weakest player in their previous squad, daps, is not there anymore as stanislaw replaced him. Although stanislaw played only four events with his new team, we must notice he had better event ratings than daps. All said makes NRG dark horses at following StarLadder Berlin Major, and they can easily upset everyone and become the second NA team to win the Major.

Moreover, this is a great chance for young talents, CeRq and Ethan to step up and show their full potential.

Is NiP magic going to happen again?

Although there is no single hint that NiP could possibly win the Major, we just had to include them as dark horses of StarLadder Berlin Major for a couple of reasons.

First of all, this is going to be GeT_RiGhT’s last Major in the jersey of NiP. So, that’s a huge motivation for him to give his very best. No doubt he has been working on his game so much in the last couple of weeks, and that surely motivates other players as well, especially his best friend among players, f0rest. The departure of big Swedish legend can sparkle NiP magic.

Apart from huge motivation, there is no other evidence that NiP could perform at the highest level. Their results this year were relatively poor. They played Quarter-final of Katowice Major, StarSeries, IEM Sydney, and ESL One Cologne. So, it’s not like 2019 is disastrous for NiP, but they just lack great results. The last time they won an event was back in 2017 when they clinched IEM Oakland.

Nevertheless, we consider them dark horses of StarLadder Berlin Major. Who knows, maybe their new youngster, Plopski will step up and carry NiP together with REZ to the very end. Nothing is impossible, especially when the legendary team, such as NiP is on the server.

Will MiBR miraculously rise again and win Major with a coach?

The facts say we should put teams such as North, mousesports, and FURIA on this list before MiBR. But it doesn’t feel like any of these teams are capable of winning the Major. All three teams are in great shape, but neither has a needed mentality of champions. Moreover, they all have to go all the way from Challengers Stage, and it would be a real surprise to see them in the Champions Stage at all, regardless of their great results this season.

North and mousesports missed last Major, and FURIA won only one game. Hence, their results are not that promising.

On the other side, we have a team that played at least Semi-final of 6 out of last 7 Majors. Plus, they won two of them. However, there is a big catch here. MiBR will play without their best player, coldzera. Instead of him, MiBR’s coach, zews will be the fifth player for the Brazilian team.

At any other event, despite all circumstances, MiBR would have some chance. However, the Major is at another level.

Nevertheless, we still feel like MiBR are potential dark horses of StarLadder Berlin Major. Although zews wasn’t the greatest player while he was playing CS:GO professionally, he had a lot of time to prepare himself for the following Major. Moreover, MiBR played Semi-final of IEM Chicago with zews, which tells us that the Brazilians can be dangerous even though weakened.

Maybe the departure of coldzera is going to be a huge motivation for two-time Major champions to prove him they can play better without him. One thing that MiBR missed in the last couple of years was a hunger for titles. Maybe their hunger will increase and perhaps it’s going to be sufficient compensation for their quality loss.

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