StarLadder is back again this year with the Berlin edition kicking off on August 23rd and running all the way to September 8th. The best twenty-four teams from around the world have gathered in Germany for one of the most testing majors in the entire Counter-Strike calendar, with a cool $1,000,000 USD prize pool now the reward for the winning roster.
With the Counter-Strike standings more stacked and competitive than ever, this year’s edition of StarLadder should be the most exciting one to date. Read on to explore our top five picks for teams to watch out for this year.
2019 has been one heck of a year for Twistzz, Stewie2k, nitr0, EliGE and NAF over at Team Liquid. Flying the flag proudly for North America in what was looking like an increasingly Europe-dominant game, Team Liquid have soared to the top of the world rankings and racked up wins at IEM Sydney, Dreamhack Dallas, ESL One Cologne, Blast Pro Series 2019 and IEM Chicago so far in 2019.
The acquisition of Stewie2k has proven to be a masterstroke for Liquid as the North American sides swept up a 16-0 win rate in July alone this year. It’ll take a brave person to bet against Liquid from claiming the StarLadder title come September 8th.
For so long, Astralis were the undisputed titans of Counter-Strike. Their reign at the top of the rankings was longer than any other side in the history of the game, they swept up every competition they entered, and there were some very legitimate fears for a time that their dominance might lead to the CS scene going a bit stale. However, their policy of only attending BLAST events drew plenty of criticism and they’ve returned to a game far more competitive than they left it.
For Astralis, whilst they might not be currently on top of the rankings, the pressure is immense. They have carved out such a fierce reputation for themselves within the game, and now represent an entire continent when they play. Will they be able to topple Liquid and reclaim their spot at the top?
FURIA have endured a slightly strange time of things since their explosive entrance to the world of competitive CS:GO. The Brazilian outfit soar to the attention of many when they ruthlessly dispatched Astralis earlier in the year, their frightening skill and fantastic communication winning them many fans even outside their homeland.
Since then they’ve struggled for the kind of form and consistency a true great of the game can brag about possessing. The all Brazilian team clearly have a whole heap of talent to show off on the big stage, so it’ll be interesting to see what side of their game will show up at Starladder.
French team Vitality come into StarLadder Berlin as one of the most in form sides anywhere in the world of Counter-Strike at the moment. Their performance at ESL One Cologne in particular drew a lot of praise from the community, a fine semi final win against Astralis being the cherry on top for the outfit.
The team currently boast one of the best players in the world in ZywhOo, whose form is going to be vital if the team is hoping to make waves deep in this competition. Betting sites such as Unikrn have increasingly put Vitality at the top of their favourites and there’s every chance Starladder Berlin could really be their chance to shine.
One of the first Kazakh Esports orgs established, Syman Gaming are the definitions of a true underdog. Founded in 2017 and based in Kaliningrad, Syman Gaming have had a meteoric rise through the CS:GO ranks, making their appearance at Starladder Berlin all the more impressive.
A rogue shout amongst the community, Syman Gaming bring a new level of excitement to the game purely because of how unpredictable they truly are. Syman Gaming promise to bring a whole new level of excitement with their unexpected calls, surprising map picks and unorthodox playstyles. Don’t bet against them causing some spills along the way.
Starladder Berlin promises to be one of the most intriguing CS:GO tournaments the community has seen in a long while. From the outsiders to those frontrunners at the top of the table, the stakes are high and the competition promises to be fiercer than ever. Catch all the action from Berlin on Youtube, Twitch and the Starladder website.