Astralis and AVANGAR are the last two teams left at the Starladder Berlin Major 2019. Astralis defeated Team Liquid in the quarterfinals which made them a favorite to win the rest of the tournament. Meanwhile Avangar overcame odds with their wins over teams such as Vitality and Team Liquid in various stages of the event.
The Starladder Berlin Major features a prize pool of $1 million and is underway at the Mercedes Benz Arena.
The Danish team dominated the 2018 CS:GO circuit with precision-level strategies and executions. However, Astralis’ form dropped off in 2019 after a string of absences and Team Liquid’s rise. Team Liquid secured the Intel Grand Slam Season 2 in just five tournaments, eclipsing Astralis, year-long journey for the inaugural season.
Despite the Danish team’s inability to win matches against Team Liquid, Astralis remained one of the strongest teams in the CS:GO circuit. Team liquid stealing all the headlines drew attention away from Astralis’ preparation for the Berlin Major.
So far at the Berlin Major, Astralis has only lost one series to NRG in the New Legends stage. They secured their revenge in the semifinals after they defeated the North American team 2-0 to move to the Grand Finals. The Danish team is now the favorites to win the Berlin Major as Team Liquid and Vitality are out of the equation.
The Astralis team’s strength outweighs their weaknesses, and that is why they have been the best team in CS:GO for most of the past year. Their shortcomings are subjective to their opponent’s read on their play style. A confident Astralis is always a threat, and they seem to perform to their best at the Majors.
AVANGAR’s storyline differs from Astralis. Astralis is one of the best CSGO teams and AVANGAR is a no-name for the best teams in CS:GO. The CIS team added Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev to their team in June 2019. The CIS roster has a high skill-ceiling with the average player age making them one of the younger teams at the Major.
AVANGAR does not have a past of good results; they were an average team. None of the analysts gave them a chance against Team Vitality. However, the team play ensured that they could defeat Vitality.
Jame is the star player on AVANGAR and his consistency throughout the tournament is nauseating. AVANGAR’s gameplay relies on allowing Jame to buy the AWP and moving on from there. The CIS team realizes that their best chance for victory in any match relies on Jame getting an AWP and feeling confident with it.
However, while Jame has always been consistent for the team, it is the rest of the players who have stepped upon an individual level at the Major. Players such as Buster and Qikert have consistently pushed through smokes, showing little respect for much better-ranked teams.
The Berlin Major will see a struggle between an established team and a relatively new but high skill team. Astralis has been the same roster and has a similar play-style since early 2018. AVANGAR’s roster does not extend beyond this Major as they came into existence (in their current form in June 2019).
However, within the short period, AVANGAR’s chemistry and their team synergy has reached new heights. The players have developed a perfect synergy with each other, often flashing from across bomb-sites for each other. The team still has a long way to go before being favorites in this match-up.
The Starladder Berlin Major 2019 Grand finals start at 1730 CEST and all matches are available on Starladder’s Twitch channel.