Only eight teams remain at the StarSeries & i-League Season 8 as the tournament moves into Playoffs. The $500,000 event is one of the most prominent LAN events following the StarLadder Berlin Major.
Evil Geniuses were the last team to secure a playoff berth after a 2-0 revenge victory over the Ninjas in Pyjamas. StarLadder has revealed the matchups for the upcoming playoffs as follows:
Upper Bracket Semifinals:
Losers’ Round 1:
Teams like Natus Vincere, North and Heroic faced an early elimination from the tournament. With their elimination, StarSeries & i-League is wide open for the rest of the teams. Here are the top contenders for the tournament title.
The North American roster has had mixed results after the Berlin Major. Evil Geniuses won ESL One New York 2019 after an impressive run where they defeated teams such as FaZe Clan, G2 esports and Astralis. The team could not replicate its remarkable performance in New York and faced a rather dismal and early exit from DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019.
The EG roster has some of the best and most promising youngsters from North America. Players like Ethan, Tarik and Brehze are not only consistent, but they maintain a high skill-level irrespective of their opponents. When EG replaced Daps with Stanislaw, it raised quite a few eyebrows. However, Stanislaw has elevated EG to some of their best results with this squad.
EG has a very deep map pool that allows them to change their map veto, depending on their opponents. In their three matches so far at StarSeries & i-League Season 8, EG has had different bans and picks for every match.
The team reaches a new level when their X-factor, CerQ steps up in the server and can take aggressive peeks with the AWP. CerQ is crucial to EG’s success and a good performance by the youngster elevates EG’s performance.
Evil Geniuses has a realistic chance at StarSeries & i-League Season 8. They are already in the upper bracket and will face Renegades in their first playoffs match.
The French team is one of the most promising and the only hope for an all-French CS:GO roster. The World No. 5 ranked team continues to rely heavily on Zyw0o as their star performer. However, it is ALEX who provides much of the structure and stability of the team’s playstyle.
In an interview with Unikrn, ALEX shed some light on the team’s overall improvement after Shox’s addition. Shox allows the team to have a dedicated lurker, which was something missing from the previous lineup.
However, Shox has not always lived up to his expectations. The team has signficantly better structure right now; however, they lack enough firepower on the team.
Zyw0o has maintained his performance despite all the problems within the roster. Surprisingly, it is RPK who holds down the fort for Vitality in most of their matches. ‘Le Tank’ is the stabilizing factor on the roster and Vitality requires Rpk to step up regularly.
Already in the lower bracket, Vitality has a tough road ahead of them in Belek. Vitality face off against FURIA esports in their opening Loser’s Bracket match.
Fnatic’s rise to the Number 4 CS:GO rank is mostly off their victory at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019. The Swedish team defeated the likes of Astralis, FURIA and Vitality en route to the trophy.
The resurgence in form for the veteran player is one of the most significant factors for the team’s success of late. Players like JW and Flusha have repeatedly stepped up and used their experience to maximum effect. The Fnatic roster has excellent individual positioning, often countering the superior aim on other top tier teams.
Swedish Counter-Strike seems to be on the rise, especially with two Swedish teams in the StarSeries Playoffs.
Despite their recent success, the current Fnatic roster does not have enough experience and the lack of consistent results will affect the team’s chances at Belek. They are in the upper bracket of the tournament and have a decent chance of reaching the Grand Finals.
StarSeries & i-League Season 8 Playoffs continue with the first match between Vitality and FURIA esports at 9 AM CEST. You can catch all the action live on Twitch.