CS:GO Berlin Major has reached its final step
The New Legends Stage of Counter-Strike has concluded and the final eight competitors have been decided. So far, the tournament has been full of unexpected results, marathon matches and clutches galore. CS:GO Berlin Major Top 8 Teams has everyone hoping for an even better Champions Stage.
The Finish squad ended the New Legends Stage with a clean 3-0. They have three of the top six players on the HLTV rankings. They also never dropped a map and played the least rounds of any team. Their path to the top eight consisted of wins over Avangar and MIBR in BO1, and a 2-0 sweep of Vitality. The most points any team took off them in a map was 10. As for their chances in the bracket, their highest-seeded possible opponents until finals are Vitality. However, ENCE already took the French side to school in a BO3, so it’s safe to say that they are a likely candidate to go all the way to the finals.
In a surprising twist of events, NRG has overtaken Team Liquid as the North American favorite. Not only did they manage to 3-0 while not dropping a map, every single win was against a team that made it to top eight. However, they have played quite a bit more than ENCE, the 59-round map against Astralis being mostly to blame. CeRq and Stanislaw have been having the tournament of their lives. CeRq even leads the tournament in kills and AWP kills. While they have been looking like one of the strongest teams in the tournament, some site their lack of big game experience as a flaw going forward. Only time will tell if NRG can prove their doubters wrong.
A staple of Champions stages, Astralis comes in with a 3-1 record, their only loss being to NRG. An important note is that all of their wins came against teams who did not make it to the top eight. In addition, none of their players have been having a real pop-off tournament. Their highest ranked on HLTV is Device at 18th. The Astralis machine has been on the decline for a while, and an easy schedule might have done a good job disguising it. Another worry for them is their map pool; as their long-time favorite map of Nuke didn’t go well versus NRG. Regardless, they are still Astralis, so expect a masterful macro game and the regular carries to do work. As always, beware of the clutch minister.
Vitality advanced under many of the same circumstances as Astralis. A 3-1 in which their only loss was to a 3-0 team and every win was against a non-advancing team. The major difference between the two is that ZywOo has been performing as a main carry for the side of Vitality. This presence of a star player changes the way Vitality play, even going so far as to stack him with weapons as early as round 2. In addition, ZywOo and NBK are 2 of the top 4 rated round opening fraggers by HLTV. Vitality’s willingness to go aggressive shows that they know what their strengths are, and that they are prepared to live or die by them.
In a similar vein to NRG’s position over Team Liquid, Avangar has surpassed Na’Vi as the top-seeded CIS team going into top eight. While they have been around as a core since 2017, the recent additions of SANJI and AdreN have helped to push this team to the big leagues. The mostly Kazakhstani squad has rallied around their Russian AWPer Jame. SANJI even goes a step further than RPK from Vitality and frequently sacks his own economy to get that AWP to Jame. When he can hit shots like this, it’s no wonder why. While Avangar goes into bracket as underdogs, they definitely have the potential to pull some upsets.
The competition has certainly been fierce up considering the undisputed world number 1 team barely scraped by New Legends with a 3-2 record. Team Liquid has definitely been slow to get rolling and many of their wins didn’t inspire confidence in their form. In the end, a close 2-0 against mousesports where both maps went into overtime pushed them over the edge. That said, Liquid still has one of the highest ceilings in Counter-Strike. Like Astralis, they could turn it on at any point and start playing like the Liquid who just won the Intel Grand Slam. Their road to finals would be a tough one, as they face off against Astralis in round 1. If Liquid can find their mojo, there’s no question that they could style their way to finals.
While Na’Vi comes in ranked at 7th with a 3-2 record, a dive into their matches says the opposite of what record implies. Both of Na’Vi’s losses come in BO1’s by a combined 4 rounds. In fact, their round differential is +33, only 1 short of ENCE. A bit more luck and they could have been a 3-0 team. Electronic is ranked 3rd overall by HLTV and s1mple is no slouch either at 8th. While Na’Vi does have all this going for them, their matchups in New Legends were very fortunate. In 5 matches, they didn’t have to play versus a single team who made top eight. Na’Vi has to prove that they belong in the Champions Stage, and NRG followed by Liquid or Astralis will be a worthy test.
The Oceanic representative has regained their Legend status and advanced off a 3-2 record. Renegades have been a middling team drifting in and out of contention for a while, but their 2-1 upset win against G2 has brought them back for another chance. Jkaem and Liazz have found form and are ranked 11th and 12th by HLTV respectively. Liazz has even been affectionately dubbed “Carry Potter” for both his fragging and round glasses. Regardless, a first-round match-up against ENCE is no laughing matter. It would take everything this team has to even go to 3 maps against the Fins. It’s interesting to note that Renegades is the only team in the tournament to make Vertigo a staple of their map pool, so they might have a tool to work with.
While there are certainly clear favorites to win the CS:GO Berlin Major and the $500,000 that comes with it, a majority of the top 8 teams could take it on their day. On the top side, it’s hard to predict against ENCE because of their recent performance. However, the bottom side consists of four teams who can all play well enough to be the champion. Matches start on Sep. 5th, so clear your schedules because this CS:GO Berlin Major is about to get wild for the remaining top 8 teams, especially for ENCE and NRG.
Credit: Zakaria Almughrabi