StarLadder Berlin Major 2019 Preview

By: EsportsOnly.Com
May 13, 2019

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StarLadder Berlin Major will be the second and final Major and one of the most important CS:GO events of the season. A total of 24 teams will compete over a period of almost three weeks for the chance to win the respect of the community, a direct invite to the next Major, as well as a share of the one million dollars prize pool.

StarLadder Berlin Major is scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany between August 20th – September 8th.

StarLadder Berlin Major Participants

StarLadder Berlin Major will have 24 participants and 14 of them are already known. That’s because they form the top 14 of the IEM Katowice Major. However, HellRaisers and Cloud9 have lost a lot of players since that event, so their spot is uncertain at this point. But the other 12 teams are guaranteed to be in Berlin for the event, unless something completely unexpected happens until then.

The 12 teams that are confirmed for the StarLadder Berlin Major are the following:

  • Astralis
  • ENCE
  • Natus Vincere
  • MIBR
  • FaZe Clan
  • Team Liquid
  • Renegades
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Team Vitality
  • G2 Esports
  • Complexity Gaming

With a few exceptions, all of these teams still are among the world’s best and are expected to do well at the tournament. The first eight that are mentioned on the list will join the battle starting with the second stage of StarLadder Berlin Major. That’s because they have inherited their Legend status from the previous Major and as a result, they are guaranteed a spot among the top 16.

StarLadder Berlin Major Format

Like every Major, the competitive format of StarLadder Berlin Major will consist of three stages.

For the New Challengers Stage, 16 teams will compete in the Swiss System and eight of them will advance to the New Legends Stage, which will be a repeat of the first stage but with the best 16 teams of the 24. In the end, the top eight teams advance to the New Champions Stage. At this point, the format changes and becomes the standard single-bracket with four Quarterfinals, two Semifinals and one Grand Final. Every match during the final stage is a Bo3 series.

StarLadder Berlin Major Prizes

Apart from the fact that the top 14 teams will get reinvited to the next Major and the New Champions Stage competitors will be rewarded with the Legend status for that tournament, StarLadder Berlin Major offers one million dollars in prizes. This money will be distributed among the top 16 teams in the following way:

  • 1st place: $500.000
  • 2nd place: $150.000
  • 3rd – 4th place: $70.000
  • 5th – 8th place: $35.000
  • 9th – 16th place: $8.750

StarLadder Berlin Major Team Analysis

Here’s a brief analysis of the most important teams that will compete at StarLadder Berlin Major.


For the time being, Astralis is still the best team in the world. But that has started to change and by the time StarLadder Berlin Major arrives, we expect them to be only the third best team in the world, after Team Liquid and ENCE.

The last two BLAST Pro Series events clearly proved that the era of Astralis is drawing to an end. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they’ll become just another tier one team. In fact, they are more than likely to retain a spot among the best lineups in the world. But their era of absolute dominance will not continue for long, now that several teams managed to beat them, even on their best maps.

Who would have thought that Astralis would lose a Bo3 match against ENCE without winning a single map while losing on Nuke? But that’s exactly what happened at BLAST Pro Series Madrid. Furthermore, Astralis lost on Inferno against BIG in a match from April, as well as on Train against ENCE in that spectacular 0 – 2 Grand Final from BPS Madrid.

Maybe it’s psychological or maybe the other competitors simply figured out their play style after a year of dominance. What’s certain is that no less than four of the world’s best teams managed to defeat Astralis over the last two months and this clearly indicates that change is inevitable and that it’s likely only a matter of time now. The several drops that we’ve experienced lately may turn into a downpour.

As we get closer and closer to StarLadder Berlin Major, you should keep an eye on Astralis and see how they perform. In principle, we anticipate that not only will they fail to win the title this time, but that they’ll miss the Grand Final as well.


ENCE is quickly turning into one of the greatest teams in CS:GO. And this is an exciting development for a lot of teams out there, who may have thought that it’s impossible to win a big event without having a roster full of superstars. Apart from allu, everyone who’s playing for ENCE used to be a provincial nobody until they started to win trophies under his leadership.

Just like Renegades, this team is nothing but hard work and dedication. And somehow, quite miraculously, the team went from being around 70th in the global rankings to playing in the Grand Final of a Major and then to winning a tournament against the likes of Astralis, Natus Vincere and NiP. Not only that, but at BLAST Pro Series Madrid they Astralis on three maps out of three.

Going into StarLadder Berlin Major, we expect ENCE to shine and to be a serious contender for the title. Apart from Astralis, Natus Vincere and Team Liquid, few teams can stop them at this point.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid has been one of the most consistent teams of the season. So far, they played in four Grand Finals in 2019 and won two of them. All things considered, this is a phenomenal team to watch and the one that’s most likely to win the title at StarLadder Berlin Major, if they can maintain their form over the next three months.

Natus Vincere

Even though they always get crushed by Astralis and Team Liquid, Na’Vi commands a lot of respect and is undoubtedly a top four team in terms of skill. Having an experienced IGL and two of the world’s best players (s1mple and electronic) makes them a formidable opponent to compete against.

In 2019, Na’Vi placed 3rd – 4th at IEM Katowice Major, 1st at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, and 4th at BLAST Pro Series Miami & Madrid. Overall, Na’Vi is expected to reach the Quarterfinals of StarLadder Berlin Major. They could climb higher of course, but there are several teams that would likely crush them in their current form. And the Quarterfinals of a Major is likely to force them to play against one of those teams.

FaZe Clan

In spite of the huge swings and inconsistencies, FaZe Clan is still one of the world’s most important CS:GO teams. In 2019 they won two tournaments and finished 5th – 8th at the IEM Katowice Major. They’ve also had a number of bad results but with additional practice, it likely that YNk and NiKo will find the winning formula in the end. We’ve seen FaZe defeat the likes of Astralis and Team Liquid in recent months, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the top eight or even top four at StarLadder Berlin Major.