The fifteenth CS:GO major is right around the corner as Berlin is all set to host the most prestigious event of Counter-Strike. Earlier today, Valve also unveiled viewer’s pass, stickers and graffiti which can be bought from the in-game store. The major comprises of three sets of eight teams – The Minor Challengers, The Returning Challengers and The Current Legends.
Quality eight teams from Minor Challengers and Returning Challengers will battle out to advance to the top 16 and compete against the Current Legends. 9th-14th placed teams from ESL One: Katowice 2019 (previous major), top two teams from each regional minor and three teams from minor play-in have advanced to the New Challengers Stage.
Let us take a look at the teams which can cause serious damage at the Berlin Major.
5. Team Vitality
Team Vitality poses a serious threat to the tournament favourites – Team Liquid. But, at first, they have to get past the New Challengers Stage to dethrone the favourites. After the addition of Alex “ALEX” McMeekin, French men have produced commendable results. Vitality star-AWPer Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut has the sheer ability to destroy any player on a given day. 18-year-old boasts 1.30 HLTV rating and he has the capability to make big plays and get early picks for his side.
During the past one year, Team Vitality has won DreamHack Open Atlanta 2018, Charleroi Esports 2019, cs_summit 4 and ECS Season 7 Finale while losing twice to Team Liquid in the playoffs of ESL One: Cologne 2019 and IEM Chicago 2019. Team Vitality is a force to be reckoned with.
4. NRG Esports
NRG Esports have always had noteworthy outings at almost all the events in 2019, but, their play-off finishes are eventually overshadowed. NRG has not won many events but they have displayed incredible consistency all throughout the year. NRG have advanced to the New Challengers Stage without dropping a map at Europe Minor. They recently went through a roster move and acquired the service of Peter “Stanislaw” Jarguz.
After winning IEM Shanghai 2018 and cs_summit 3, the North-Americans have lost quarce in playoffs against four different opponents in the last one year. NRG on the back of new IGL is expected to land up to the New Legends Stage and they are second-most fan favourite team in North-America after Team Liquid.
Soon after the unsatisfactory result at ESL One Major: Cologne 2019 – Europe Minor, mousesports went through a radical overhaul as the management earlier benched every player except Robin “ropz” Kool, however, Chris “chrisJ” de Jong was later called back alongside two young faces and Finn “karrigan” Anderson. Finn is a reckoned IGL and 29-year-old has created an excellent structure in this new lineup of mousesports.
Although mousesports were not seen at several LAN events, their breathtaking matchup against Team Liquid in the semi-finale of ESL Pro League Season 9, win at DreamHack Open Tours 2019 and their performance in Europe Minor suggests that they will certainly create havoc in Berlin. 17-year-old David “frozen” Čerňanský will be attending his first CS:GO major.
2. FURIA Esports
FURIA took the whole community by shock when the Brazilian roster displayed tremendous potential at recently held DreamHack Open Rio, DreamHack Masters Dallas, ECS Season 7 Finals and later qualified for ESL Pro League Season 10. The team’s growth is no less than a fairy tale on the outside but their sheer dedication and unconventional playstyle has taken a lot of top tier teams off-guard.
FURIA’s star player Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato boasts 1.22 HLTV rating and his side relies heavily on his ability to demolish opponents through his raw aim and skills. FURIA can make wonders happen and the Brazilian side could do serious damage at the Berlin major.
CIS teams are the trump card of every major. Each year, a CIS lineup will get through the Challengers Stage and give neck-to-neck competition to the contenders. AVANGAR had quite a struggle this year, however, they still stand a chance to surprise any team in the New Challengers Stage. AVANGAR does not always receive invites to tier-one events, but they won DreamHack Open Rio 2019. Although they had a pretty rough season overall.