StarSeries i-League Season 7 Team Analysis and Predictions

By: Mikele Schembri
Feb 08, 2019

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StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 is an important large-scale event scheduled to take place this Spring, between March 30th and April 7th. The location will be Shanghai, China, a place where many esports events took place in recent years.

StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 features 16 teams and offers a prize pool of $500.000. The number of participants, the prize money and the duration make this tournament one of the most important ones in 2019.

Because it has such impressive characteristics, StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 is comparable to a Major and the betting opportunities it offers will be abundant.

Starseries i-League Participating Teams

StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 brings together most of the world’s best teams, 16 of them in total. Among these 16 teams, only 4 of them had to go through qualifiers. The other 12 received a direct invite.

The teams are the following:

  • TYLOO
  • Natus Vincere
  • BIG
  • MIBR
  • mousesports
  • NRG Esports
  • ENCE eSports
  • FaZe Clan
  • Fnatic
  • Team Spirit
  • CyberZen
  • ex-Team Wild
  • HellRaisers
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • North
  • Rogue

Apart from Team Liquid and Astralis, everyone is here. Everyone that counts, to be precise. And since they are not participating, the race for the title will be a lot more open than it usually is. Combined, Team Liquid, Astralis and Natus Vincere pretty much had a monopoly on the tier 1 Grand Finals last season. With 2 of these teams not competing, it will be up to the likes of Na’Vi, MIBR and NiP to battle each other for the title.

All of the 16 participants are solid tier 1 teams. They wouldn’t be here otherwise. But when compared to each other, multiple skill-tiers can be identified. These tiers show who the most likely Grand Finalists will be and what the pecking order is within this elite group of 16.

To get a more detailed picture of the levels of skill in which the 16 teams could be divided, here’s a list of how they stand relative to each other:

Tier 1

  • Natus Vincere
  • MIBR
  • mousesports

Tier 2

  • FaZe Clan
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Fnatic

Tier 3

  • NRG Esports
  • Rogue
  • HellRaisers
  • TYLOO
  • BIG
  • ENCE eSports
  • North
  • Team Spirit
  • CyberZen
  • ex-Team Wild

Competitive Format at the StarSeries i-League Season 7

StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 takes place in the usual two stages: Group Stage and Playoffs Stage.

For the first of these stages, the Swiss System Format will be employed. This means that every day, matches will be played between teams with an identical win-loss record. Every match will be a Bo3 series. When a team reaches 3 wins, it qualifies for the next stage. When it reaches 3 losses, it gets eliminated. Both qualified and eliminated teams stop playing once they’ve reached this point. Because of the Bo3 format, which is unusual for tournaments that use the Swiss System, we will likely have multiple matches played a once.

When the Group Stage ends, 8 of the 16 teams advance to the Playoffs Stage. Here, a single elimination bracket format is used. The Grand Final will be a Bo5 series.

StarSeries i-League Prizes

StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 has a substantial prize pool: $500.000. This prize pool will be divided among the participants in the following way:

• 1st place: $250.000

• 2nd place: $80.000

• 3rd – 4th place: $30.000

• 5th – 8th place: $15.000

• 9th – 11th place: $8.000

• 12th – 14th place: $5.500

• 15th – 16th place: $4.000

StarSeries i-League Season 7 Team Analysis

Here’s a brief analysis of 3 of the most interesting teams that will compete at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7.

mousesports

At the time of this writing, mousesports are down to 3 players, having lost STYKO, chrisJ and Imbt, the team’s coach. The announcement came as a shock and will likely to the temporary or permanent downfall of one of the best teams in CS:GO during the last 12-16 months.

Because of their internal problems, mousesports are likely to be a completely different team after they find a new coach and two additional players. So for quite some time, when you hear the name mousesports, try not to think of the team that won multiple titles in recent memory and was capable of going head to head with the best teams in the world. Because you’d be betting on a name and not on the new reality that lies behind it.

Going into StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, we expect mousesports to either fail during the Group Stage or be eliminated in the Quarterfinals. At this level of competition, showing up with a fresh roster is usually a recipe for disaster. Everyone has months or even years of training behind and you simply cannot make up for that with just raw skill. Maybe if you’re s1mple. Otherwise no chance.

Ninjas in Pyjamas

NiP are currently a top 10 team in the global rankings and they’ve been improving ever since their latest version of the roster has been created. NiP look to have what it takes to be one of the potential champions at an event like this, even though an encounter with Natus Vincere or MIBR would likely lead to disaster. Still, as long as they don’t have to face the strongest teams in elimination matches until the Semifinals, NiP will probably manage to get there with the kind of lineup that they have right now.

As part of NiP’s new era under pita, one of the major breakout moments happened at Europe Minor Championship London 2018, where NiP won the competition and qualified for the FACEIT Major: London 2018. Here, they ultimately finished 9th – 11th, which was a decent result for a team that was in full recovery mode.

During the rest of 2018, NiP scored a number of good results, including their 2nd place at BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018 and their 3rd – 4th place at Esports Championship Series Season 6 Finals.

NiP’s biggest strength at this point is their well-balanced roster made up of 3 veterans and 2 young stars. This combination, together with the fact that NiP has now been playing with this lineup for more than 6 months, creates a very powerful base. The Ninjas seem to have reached their full potential with their current roster and are expected to finish in the top 4 at an event like StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7.

FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan had an excellent season in 2018. They played in 5 Grand Finals and managed to win 3 titles in total. Apart from these results, they also placed 3rd – 4th at the majority of tournaments they attended and they did attend a lot of tier 1 events last season. But, either out of greed or a desire for better results, the management of the team decided to send karrigan to Team Envy and replace him with AdreN from Gambit Esports. They also replaced their coach with the famous CS:GO analyst and former MIBR coach, YNk.

Going into StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, we expect FaZe Clan to finish in the top 8. They’re also a potential candidate for the top 4, but we’ll have to see how well this lineup can play against the other big teams.