Everything worth to know
The last major in Berlin took place in the summer of 2019 and was the biggest event of the last year. A total prize money of 1.000.000 was distributed among the 16 participating teams. Eight of these teams qualified through the IEM Katowice 2019, while the other organisations went through the StarLadder Major Qualifier.
As the favorite to win the major, Astralis went into the tournament due to her experience in major tournaments and the success in the last CS:GO Majors. At that time, however, it was Liquid who dominated the scene and won almost every tournament in the first half of 2019. As #2 in the HLTV Ranking, Vitality was also ranked before Astralis.
Winner and tournament MVP
The winners were the favored Danes Astralis and they secured their fourth major success and third in a row. This means that they have been unbeaten in CS:GO major tournaments since mid-2018 and are still defending their title in the scheduled tournament in Brazil. After the current crisis situation, the Rio Major has been postponed for the time being and its occurrence remains uncertain.
Tournament MVP was dev1ce. The 25-year-old star player Nicolai Hvilshoj Reedtz has already collected 10 MVP awards in his career to date and has equaled the record holder coldzera with his second Major MVP in Berlin.
The group phase was played out in a Swiss system, which means that those teams with three wins advance to the playoffs, whereas the teams with three defeats are eliminated. ENCE and NRG surprisingly qualified with a 3:0 victory. While Vitality, Astralis and AVANGAR qualified for the playoffs with one defeat each, Liquid, Renegades and Natus Vincere only managed to qualify in the last possible game.
The big surprise of the group phase was CR4ZY, where huNter- and nexa, two current G2 players, got their first taste of major action. After fighting their way through the playoffs they showed some great performances and won a historic match against Astralis. With a 31:29 in the fifth overtime they defeated the Danish favorite. Most of the kills in this game were dupreeh and huNter. The number of kills on Dust2 per player was an incredible 49.
The playoffs were played in a single-elimination mode so every defeat resulted in elimination. After a sovereign group phase ENCE was defeated by the Australian Renegades. Astralis and NRG won their duels with Liquid and Natus Vincere, both teams won 2:0 against their rivals. The biggest surprise was AVANGAR's victory over Vitality. With a 2:1 and wins on Mirage and Dust2, they managed to surprise their opponents and reach the semi-finals.
All in all, with the exception of Astralis, all semi-final entries were rather surprising. With Renegades, AVANGER and NRG three outsiders were among the last four and were allowed to continue playing for the Major title. The current Virtus.Pro, named AVANGER, won the first semi-final in the duel with Renegades, who were later competed under 100Thieves and qualified as the first team for the grand final. Of course, Astralis did not let the chance of another major triumph in the second duel with NRG slip away and left the server victorious with 2:0. The final match between AVANGAR and Astralis was historic. Historically short. With 16:6 and 16:5 the Danes secured their third major title in a row and left no doubt.
Surprises and disappointments
The biggest surprises, in a positive sense, were certainly Renegades, AVANGAR and CR4ZY. While the Australian Renegades as #17 in the world rankings came in third last place in the pre-ranking, they made it into the semi-finals. With 2-0 against the Finnish ENCE, they showed a strong performance in the quarter finals, but had to admit defeat in the duel with AVANGAR. With the number 20 of the world we have the second big surprise of the tournament. The Kazakh organisation even managed to reach the major final and thus the big sensation. CR4ZY was the third and last one to earn a mention among the surprises of the event. With two victories in the group phase and the above mentioned encounter with Astralis, they wrote major history as a newcomer.
The main event of the year was disappointing, especially for G2, mousesports and FaZe. With these three teams, top 10 teams dropped out of the tournament early. While FaZe was sent home after only four games, Mousesports and G2 were eliminated in the final match of the group phase. Liquid and Renegades ensured the surprisingly early elimination of both teams.
Performance of the individual teams
- Liquid: Performed pretty okay in the group phase, no chance against Astralis in the playoffs
- Vitality: Disappointingly out against AVANGER, good group phase
- Astralis: Sovereign, solid and without major problems to the title
- ENCE: Good group phase, disappointing quarter final
- NRG: Advance to the semi-finals, no chance against Astralis, solid performance
- Natus Vincere: Minimum goal playoffs achieved, off against NRG disappointing
- FaZe: Big disappointment of the Starladder Berlin
- G2: Narrowly but disappointingly eliminated in the group phase
- mousesports: Also already out in the group, weak performance of the mice
- North: 1:3 in the group phase, weak - as expected
- NiP: With 0:3 very disappointing, weak performance of the Swedes
- MIBR: Below expectations, only one victory was not enough to get ahead
- CR4ZY: The big surprise, great performances and a great show
- Renegades: Made it through the group stage with 3:2 and even reached the semi-finals, great performance!
- DreamEaters: Not competitive
- AVANGER: Great performances were crowned by reaching the final, unfortunately without a chance in the final