StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage Recap

StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage Recap
Source: HLTV
  • The StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage came to a conclusion as last three matches were played on Monday. Here is the recap of the first stage of StarLadder Berlin Major.

Round 1 – Two big upsets

Round 1 of StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage kicked off with two really big upsets. In the first round, Team Vitality met Syman Gaming and NRG Esports faced DreamEaters. These were supposed to be easy victories for Vitality and NRG as their opponents were underdogs and rookies, but the outcome turned out to be unexpected.

On Dust 2, Syman Gaming outplayed one of the favorites for winning this Major. The rookie team from the CIS region dominated Vitality, led by excellent t0rick who hit 30 frags mark. The final scoreline was 16-8 in favor of Syman.

On the other side, on Overpass, NRG almost pulled out an unbelievable comeback but failed in the end. DreamEaters dismantled NA team as they had 9 match points to conclude the game. However, NRG managed to save all 9 match points to force Overtime. However, they didn’t succeed in completing the comeback. In the end, DreamEaters booked a victory (19-17) to pull off the second huge upset. So already after the first hour of StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage, many Pick’Em predictions were messed up.

However, in the remaining matches, we didn’t see any surprises. G2 defeated TYLOO on Overpass (16-10), North demolished INTZ on Train (16-5), FURIA dominated HellRaisers on Inferno (16-5), and mousesports did the same thing against forZe on the same map (16-6).

In the remaining two matches, AVANGAR beat compLexity on Inferno after a big battle (16-13), and CR4ZY managed to come back after being 8 rounds down. The score was 12-4 for Grayhound when CR4ZY went on 11 rounds winning streak. Then teams split the last two rounds, so CR4ZY kicked off on Majors with a victory.

Round 2 – forZe won their first match at Majors

In Round 2 of StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage, matches got separated into High and Low matches in order to matchup winners and losers. Unlike Round 1, Round 2 didn’t feature any bigger upset. Favorites were mainly winning their games convincingly. North defeated Syman after 30 rounds on Train. Syman showed a good game once again, but this time it was insufficient to win against North.

G2 Esports, however, had a much easier job against DreamEaters. They convincingly bested the Russian team on Overpass (16-9) to secure their spot in Advancement match.

But things didn’t go smooth for mousesports who had to dig very deep to overcome their second opponent. The European team met AVANGAR on Inferno and they had to save two match points in order to force Overtime. There, karrigan and co. were stronger squad as they finished off AVANGAR (19-17).

In the last High Match, CR4ZY came up with a small upset. The Serbian team defeated FURIA on Train (16-11) to secure the second win.

On the other side, in Low Matches, Team Vitality and NRG easily beat their opponents. Vitality defeated INTZ on Mirage (16-9), and NRG wiped out TYLOO on Train (16-7). These two victories were imperative for NRG and Vitality as they were favorites for advancing further. In the case of another defeat, they would get into an uncomfortable situation.

In the remaining two matches, HellRaisers completely dominated compLexity on Inferno (16-5) and forZe booked their first Major win ever versus Grayhound (16-9) on Train.

Forze StarLadder

Therefore, after the first two rounds, G2, mousesports, North, and CR4ZY were just one win away from the Legends Stage. On the other side, compLexity, TYLOO, Grayhound, and INTZ were just one loss away from elimination. All remaining teams had one victory and one defeat.

Round 3 – North and mousesports on top

With Round 3, Best-of-3 matches were introduced to StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage. In High Matches, G2 was playing against mousesports and North encountered CR4ZY. The spot in Legends Stage was on the line.

The match between G2 and Mousesprorts kicked off on Train, where the Frenchmen completely outplayed karrigan and his team. The final scoreline was 16-5. After the first half of the second map (Dust 2), it looked like G2 was going to top the Challengers group. They had the 11-4 lead at half-time, but mouz pulled off an incredible comeback as they won 12 out of following 14 rounds to take the game to Vertigo.

There, mousesports showed everyone how to play on the CT side of Vertigo. They won CT half (8-7), which is really rare on Vertigo, and then concluded the game without conceding a single round in the second half (16-7). Hence, mousesports secured a spot in the Legends Stage, and G2 had to fight their way through in Round 4.

In the second match for Advancement, North encountered CR4ZY in an epic encounter. The first map (Mirage), ended in a smooth manner in favor of CR4ZY (16-8), but the next two maps were madness.

On the second map (Inferno), CR4ZY had five match points to defeat North for the second time in a row and advance further. However, North didn’t give up as they forced Overtime. In the first Overtime, North themselves had three match points to wrap up the second map, but this time CR4ZY came back. The game went to second Overtime, and CR4ZY had another chance to conclude things, and they had a much better position (3v2 post-plant game on T-side), but JUGi and Kjaerbye somehow won that round to force the third Overtime.

In the third Overtime, CR4ZY saved another map point to force the fourth Overtime, but finally North prevailed on Inferno with crazy scoreline (28-26).

The map of the decision wasn’t much calmer. In regular time, CR4ZY again had a good chance to book a victory as they had match point on Train. But, North saved the match point to take the game to Overtime where they didn’t concede a single round (19-15). So, North beat Serbs and proceeded further.

TYLOO and INTZ dropped out

The first two teams that had to say “goodbye” to Major were TYLOO and INTZ. They lost their games against compLexity (22-20, 16-2), and Grayhound (16-5, 14-16, 16-7).

In remaining matches, Vitality lost to another underdog team. This time it was DreamEaters who defeated the French team on Inferno after 30 rounds. So, Vitality found themselves in a really uncomfortable position as they were only one loss away from elimination and they were one of the favorites for winning the title.

However, the same thing didn’t happen to NRG. The North American squad completely destroyed Syman on Inferno (16-4). In the last two matches, forZe upset FURIA on Nuke (16-10), and AVANGAR beat HellRaisers on Dust 2 (16-8).

Round 4 – FURIA dropped out

In Round 4, two underdog teams were playing for Advancement out of nowhere. Although some experts expected forZe to perform well and perhaps fight for Legends Stage, no one though DreamEaters were going to book two wins. But, they somehow ended up in Round 4 High Matches.

Nevertheless, their opponents were too strong for them. ForZe lost to G2 after crazy first map. On Dust 2, G2 had a huge advantage (13-4) and they also had four map points. But, somehow their big lead melted down, and forZe took the game to Overtime. But one Overtime wasn’t enough for either team to wrap up the map, so the match went into fourth Overtime where G2 finally prevailed (28-25). Shox and co. then had a much easier job on Inferno (16-12) to secure a place in New Legends Stage.

On the other side, CR4ZY turned out to be too strong for DreamEaters (2-1).

In the last Round 4 High Match of StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage, NRG cruised over AVANGAR (16-8, 16-4) to advance.

In Elimination games, there wasn’t as much excitement and drama. Grayhound and Vitality calmly knocked out compLexity and HellRaisers. However, the biggest upset of this stage was FURIA dropping out versus Syman.

On one side, there was FURIA Esports, one of the dark horses of Berlin Major. On the other side, there was Syman, rookie team, and the big underdog. Nevertheless, Syman convincingly edged out FURIA not allowing Brazilians to make double digits on either map.

Round 5 – DreamEaters advanced to New Legends Stage

One of the biggest upsets of StarLadder Berlin Major Challengers Stage was definitely DreamEaters finishing in Top 8 and securing the place in Legends Stage. Although they met forZe whose advancement would also be kind of surprise, forZe was expected in Legends Stage to some degree. Moreover, DreamEaters didn’t have so hard job beating forZe. DreamEaters convincingly bested their Russian compatriots on Overpass (16-10), and Mirage (16-12).

So, they secured a spot in the New Legends Stage as a rookie team. This is definitely the biggest achievement in the history of DreamEaters. In the remaining two games, AVANGAR and Team Vitality stopped Syman and Grayhound from making a similar upset. Both AVANGAR and Vitality had to play all three maps, but in the end, they outlasted their opponents. These wins were very important for both teams, especially for Vitality whose early elimination would be the biggest upset of the event whatsoever.

*Featured Image Source: HLTV

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