tEAM LIQUID HAUNTED BY AN OLD GHOST
The iconic StarLadder Berlin Major has finally tasted some CS:GO, instead of the usual Dota 2, giving the community its second Major of the year. Breaking the silence set by the August player break, the $1,000,000 Major settled the one question everyone had on their mind – is Team Liquid really untouchable? Seems like we’ve got an answer – it’s a fat ‘no’
Prior to the event, Team Liquid had been on a tear for the first half of this year – winning consecutive events, claiming 8 victories in 2019, in a dominant fashion. As I highlighted in my article regarding their last win, I did in fact off my doubts for the StarLadder Berlin Major – heading into the player break, teams would prepare themselves to beat Team Liquid heavily, while the reigning champions would have to fend off everyone coming out to get them. This sense of preparation shone through at the event.
Pitting teams in a ‘Legends and Challengers’ format, right off the bat, Team Liquid looked shakey. Placing 6th on the ‘New Legends’ Stage, the players of Team Liquid were forced to enter the ‘New Champions’ Stage seeded against Astralis. The danish team, sick of placing second this entire year after Team Liquid finally began to win, was out for blood at the event. Sweeping Team Liquid with a 2-0 victory, the supposed champions bowed out of the competition with a 5th to 8th placing. While their story ended there, more storyline exceeded them at the event.
One of which is the curious tale of AVANGAR; with lower placings in the earlier half of the competition, nobody expected much of the team. However, to everyone’s surprise, they made it to the ‘New Champions’ stage and managed to take out Team Vitality. After that, Renegades also fell to them – AVANGAR was suddenly in the grand final of a Major.
Sadly for AVANGAR, one of the most dominant teams at Majors, Astralis, was waiting for them: it wasn’t pretty. The map pick of Inferno was only ever going one way; Astralis picked apart AVANGAR to claim a 16-6 victory which set the tone for the remainder for the game. Indeed, on Dust II, all of AVANGAR’S efforts were pushed aside by the unforgiving maliciousness of Astralis, punching a 16-5 scoreline to secure themselves as the undisputed champions.
There’s a lot to take away from this event – Team Liquid has cracks, AVANGAR is a contender and Astralis is back on top. An exciting Major all-round.
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