CS:GO Astralis Defeat Tl Berlin Major Semifinals 800x450ls 800x450

Astralis secure their fourth CS:GO major championship in convincing fashion

Air guitars and cringey production aside, the StarLadder Berlin Major has been thrilling. The rise of young superstars Zywoo and Jame contrasted starkly with the downfall of fan favorites Ence, NIP, and FaZe, all culminated in one of the most entertaining – and accessible – CS:GO events of all time. However, we can’t help but wonder what the major could have been with a few minor tweaks to it’s format.

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The Same format, the same results

Starladder stuck with the tried-and-true three stage major format: “The new challenger stage” and “The new legends stage” – both 16 Team Swiss format brackets where the Top 8 teams advance – all culminating in “The new champions stage” – a single elimination best of 3 bracket. While overall the system works, some fans were understandably disappointed by the seeding of the “champions” stage, which pit the highest-ranked teams against each other in the quarterfinals.

Berlin Major Bracket

While North American fans were hoping for a new NA team to prevail for the first time since Cloud 9’s legendary run in 2018, general fans of the game were hoping for a close match in the wake of two consecutive 2-0 victories by Astralis in the London and Katowice majors this past year. Both parties will leave unsatisfied, as the lopsided seeding saw the most even matches skewed to the left side of the bracket – the exact opposite of what you want in a major.

A “Grand” Final

The Grand Final saw a true David versus Goliath match up between Avangar and Astralis.

Avangar had limped their way through the Challenger and Legends stages en-route to favorable matchups against Vitality and Renegades on their path to the finals. Breakout performances from young stars Qikert and Jame provided Avangar with the spark they needed to keep opponents guessing, and the addition of former major MVP Adren provided some much-needed experience to the young core. Jame specifically deserves to be praised for his performance, as the 21 year old put together an impressive stat line including .52 deaths per round (2nd best in the tournament), and the 2nd highest entry percentage of the major.