The Champions stage of the Berlin Major kicks off with the quarter-finals on Thursday. We take a look at all four match-ups and which teams to back.
Ence Esports (1.31)
Not everything is right with Ence. They’ve signed Sunny, and Aleksib will be benched after the Berlin Major. Still, Ence are the world’s third-best CS:GO team, filled with players of quality through their roster. Allu is in terrific touch, averaging 0.80 kills per round.
In their last five matches, Ence have only been beaten by the might of Liquid. In their previous three meetings against Renegades, Ence have won all. On the big stage of a Major, Ence should show their superiority.
Team Vitality (1.28)
Apart from Jame, who has been in outstanding form in recent months, Avangar might struggle to stay in touch with Team Vitality, gamer for gamer. Zywoo is in sensational touch, accumulating 0.81 kills and 0.61 deaths per round. Vitality have owned Mirage and Overpass, with a win rate of 79 and 71% respectively over 14 maps each. Vitality lost to Ence, but have won four other games in their previous five. At the ESL One in Cologne earlier this year, Vitality beat Avangar in Cache (16-10) and Mirage (16-8).
Natus Vincere (2.02)
This is as close as it gets. Na Vi, world No. 6, face NRG, world No. 5, in the quarters of the Berlin Major. NRG are in better form, having won their previous five matches, whereas Na Vi have lost to Mousesports (19-17 in Nuke) and G2 (19-17 in Overpass). However, in seven maps against each other, Na Vi have won six of them, losing just 16-12 at the DreamHack Masters in Stockholm last year. S1mple is also part of this star-filled roster, which should fill you with confidence while backing Na Vi.
When two of the best CS:GO teams in the world face each other, pretty much anything can transpire. However, Liquid are still the best CS:GO team in the world. Astralis aren’t far behind, at No. 4. But when you look at the match-up, a bridge starts to form between these two teams. Liquid own Dust 2 (64% win rate over 11 maps), Mirage (92% over 12 maps), Inferno (91% over 11 maps), Nuke (80% over 10 maps), Overpass (81% over 16 maps) and Vertigo (100% over five maps). That leaves Astralis with an advantage in no map.