It’s less than a month until the StarLadder Berlin Major kicks off in Germany. There is already a huge amount of hype surrounding what could be the most important Counter-Strike: Global Offensive contest of 2019. This year has already seen some seriously unpredictable CS:GO gameplay and we have witnessed no shortage of upsets.
Plenty of quality in the challenge
The competition takes place at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin from 23 August to 8 September. There will be 14,000 fans cheering on the action in the stadium and many millions more watching online as the biggest names in CSGO compete for a share of the $1 million prize pool.
Whilst many people would have been predicting Astralis to continue their run of dominance, the Danish team had a torrid year and will be fighting hard in the Legends Stage. Astralis ruled CSGO in 2018, but it seems as though they haven’t managed to create anything new, and we saw teams like Vitality pick apart the Danish side relatively easily at the recent ESL One Cologne contest.
Astralis will be going head-to-head with the likes of ENCE, Na’Vi, MIBR, FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, Renegades and Ninjas in Pyjamas in the Legends Stage at the Berlin Major. Whilst MIBR were once a force to be reckoned with, the loss of Coldzera will hurt this legendary team, and FaZe Clan are once against suffering from a lack of team-play despite the quality of their individual players.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have also had a very difficult year as a result of scandals regarding the lack of payment to players, and even Renegades have had a fairly barren few months after some decent performances in big tournaments.
— StarLadder CS:GO (@StarLadderCSGO) July 29, 2019
Berlin Major Predictions 2019
So who has the best chance of succeeding at the Berlin Major?
All eyes will certainly be on Team Liquid who were in remarkable form at the IEM Chicago event. Ever since Jake ‘Stewie2k’ Yip was added to the side, the North American team have looked virtually unstoppable, and the overall discipline within the ranks means that many gamers will be backing Team Liquid to triumph in Berlin.
However, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on Natus Vincere. This team have reshuffled their line-up recently, and whilst the decision to drop Edward caused plenty of concern, they have new players like BoombI4 who have already shown plenty of determination to make big results happen.
Of course, it’s important to remember that there’s plenty of quality in the Challengers Stage where the top eight-placed teams will get to take on the sides in the Legends Stage. With big names like Vitality, HellRaisers, G2 Esports, Complexity and Mousesports in the line-up, it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens.
This is especially so as relatively unknown sides like CR4ZY have been producing some truly remarkable results over the past few months. So whilst Team Liquid have been dominating CS:GO in 2019, it’s clear that truly anything could happen when the Berlin Major kicks off.