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CS:GO • Aug 10, 2019

Thorin's Top 10 Biggest Favourites to Win a CS:GO Major

Thorin's Top 10 Biggest Favourites to Win a CS:GO Major
ESL

With Starladder Berlin coming up, I take a look at all of the teams in CS:GO history that were favourites to win their respective major.

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Team Liquid will arrive at the Starladder Berlin Major as a heavy favourite, riding five straight tournament titles and an Intel Grand Slam into the player break and hoping to exit it into our world championship and a sure-fire era of their own. Plenty of great teams and champions have headed to a major big favourites, though, and plenty have been sent home upset and underwhelmed.

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Here are my top 10 biggest favourites to win a major:

10. Shuffling towards more major success - EnVyUS at Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015

Sebastian Ekman - Dreamhack

Team: EnVyUs
Lineup: kennyS, Happy, apEX, NBK and kioShiMa
Period: Autumn 2015

Form over previous three months:

  • IEM X Gamescom (1st)
  • ESL One Cologne (2nd) - Major
  • ESL ESEA Pro League Invitional (5th-6th)
  • Dreamhack Open London (1st)
  • Gfinity Champion of Champions (1st)

Result at the major: 1st

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Their core were champions of the major two prior (Dreamhack Winter 2014) and had been an excellent squad most of the year, but hitting a summer slump saw the French side implode internally and the result was another "French shuffle", which this time brought kennyS and apEX over from Titan and sent shox and SmithZz in the opposite direction. This new look nV put together an impressive run of form, but with caveats to be added to some of those results.

At IEM X Gamescom they won the event in dominant fashion, but it was an event where teams picked who other teams would play and there was fan voting on the maps to be played. There was also not a lot of top teams in attendance, notably lacking the likes of FNATIC and Virtus.pro. At ESL One Cologne 2015 the French side came close to winning another major immediately, but were upset by an epic comeback from FNATIC in the final. That big time result was followed up by the only disasterous result of this period, failing to crack top four at the ESL ESEA Pro League Invitational.

Dreamhack Open London came with a very legit final win over TSM, but they were the only two elite teams in attendance in a pretty depleted field. Winning the Gfinity Champion of Champions event established nV's claim to being favourites for the major, as they defeated Virtus.pro and FNATIC in Bo5 series play. With those wins nV had scored significant offline series play wins over TSM, FNATIC and Virtus.pro - the three other teams considered elite tier and contenders for the major. Having a strong match-up against TSM, the on form second favourites for the event, put nV in a powerful position. nV entered Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca, CS:GO's seventh major, as the on paper favourites.

Little did the public know, but behind the scenes nV was falling apart. Practice for the major went so poorly that at one point their solution to losing too many scrims was to stop scrimming and the atmosphere was such that a poor run at the tournament itself may well have fractured the line-up. nV overcame such ominous issues and went on to win the title. Sure, they were a round from being eliminated by rain and Maikelele's G2 in the semi-finals, but they prevailed to reach the final and there beat an underdog Na`Vi in a sweep. En route to the title, they had firmly closed the FNATIC era by taking down the Swedes in a three map quarter-final, the last offline game pronax played for FNATIC.

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9. Securing an era in style - SK Gaming at ESL One Cologne 2016

ESL

Team: SK Gaming

Lineup: coldzera, FalleN, fer, fnx and TACO

Period: Summer 2016

Form over previous three months:

  • Dreamhack Masters Malmo (9th-12th)
  • Dreamhack Open Austin (1st)
  • ESL ProLeague S3 Finals (1st)
  • ELEAGUE S1 (DQ - won group)
  • ECS S1 Finals (2nd)

Result at the major: 1st

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SK were the reigning major champions, winning MLG Columbus as Luminosity Gaming, and had routinely been placing top four or making the final of events prior to that. After getting into the winner's circle in Columbus, FalleN and company initially flopped, failing to make the play-offs at the first Dreamhack Masters event, held in Malmo. Back in North America they cemented their dominant status over the region, beating out a field of teams from the Americas. G2 took them to an epic fifth map in the EPL S3 Finals, but the Brazilians emerged victors for a second big international title.

At ELEAGUE they faced a group of teams from the NA region and continued to dominate, winninng all five series there and earning a spot in the play-offs. They would never get to play the bracket out, due to being disqualified as a result of leaving for the SK Gaming organisation - ELEAGUE being a tournament with spots allocated to orgs and not players directly.

The first ever ECS Finals were the last tournament prior to the major and LG found themselves upset by G2, who again rode blazing hot form from shox and ScreaM to match-up surprisingly well with the world's best team. That victory no doubt gave some pause in predicting SK to win in Cologne, but there were no other obvious candidates for the crown. G2 themselves were very streaky, clearly riding individual form; FNATIC had not had olofmeister back and he was not the monster individual performer he had previous been; VP were still working themselves back into shape and Astralis would not be able to field their full five man line-up for the major.

Even with the ECS loss, SK came in as the clear favourites and proceeded to escape the group of death in first place. They then beat surprise play-off squad FlipSid3 in the quarter-finals; overcame an epic series with VP in the semi-finals and then cleanly swept flavour-of-the-week Team Liquid, who shockingly arrived at the final from the other side of the bracket.

8. A Very good chance to win - VeryGames at Dreamhack Winter 2013

ESL

Team: VeryGames

Lineup: shox, ScreaM, NBK, Ex6TenZ and SmithZz

Period: Autumn 2013

Form over previous three months:

  • Starladder VII (1st)
  • EMS One Fall (1st)
  • ESWC (2nd)
  • MSI Beat IT (1st)

Result at the major: 3rd-4th

NiP had been the best team in CS:GO from day one but their reign had been brought to an end prior to the first major held in the game. Ex6TenZ's VeryGames, so often second best and unable to beat NiP offline, would finally best their white whales, defeating NiP in three straight Bo3 series meetings offline, firmly supplanting the Ninjas as the world's best. That yielded titles at Starladder VII and EMS One Fall, but VG fell in a bizarre domestic upset to Clan-Mystik at ESWC. At MSI Beat IT, a tournament they had prevented NiP from qualifying for online, they thrashed the newly pronax-led FNATIC to take a third title in four offline events, with finals appearances in all four.

Not only did shox and the gang have a strong winning record against NiP, but Astana Dragons, then ranked as the third best team in the game, had lost to them on a number of occasions also. With those teams the big names heading into the first major there was little reason to think anyone but the French would be leaving with the trophy. Clan-Mystik, the team who had slain them at ESWC, were expected to be a one event wonder and indeed failed to progress from the group stage at the major. Even the FNATIC team who went on to win the event and had some dark horse potential were poorly matched against the world's best team.

Even in the Summer, prior to over-taking NiP, this team had found championship form. They had beaten Virtus.pro to win EMS One Summer, after the CIS squad had helped take down NiP for them. After that they had won the Mad Catz Invitational Cologne, taking down the MODDII-era FNATIC line-up. VeryGames also had shox in their ranks, whose superlative all-around individual game had caused many to declare him the best player in the world now, replacing GeT_RiGhT in similar fashion to VG replacing NiP.

At the major VG immediately slipped up, falling in a close bo1 inferno game to compLexity and a now infamous bomb site fake late. Reaching the play-offs they were drawn into the same side of the bracket as NiP, putting the two biggest favourites for the title on a crash course in the semi-finals. VG defeated the core of what is now Astralis in a three map quarter-final and headed into their ultimate grudge match against the Ninjas. Despite a rousing speech from Ex6TenZ, VG would fall on a deciding third map nuke. NiP themselves did not go on to win the title, leaving shox and NBK to wonder how they would have fared against the same FNATIC line-up they had tooled in the Beat IT final only weeks prior.

7. Clear path to a coronation - FaZe Clan at ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018

FaZe Clan

Team: FaZe Clan

Lineup: NiKo, GuardiaN, rain, olof and karrigan

Period: Winter 2017

Form over previous three months:

  • ELEAGUE Premier (1st)
  • EPICENTER (5th-6th)
  • IEM XII Oakland (2nd)
  • Blast Copenhagen (3rd)
  • ESL ProLeague S6 Finals (2nd)
  • ECS S4 Finals (1st)

Result at the major: 2nd

FaZe Clan had overall been the best team in Counter-Strike since the previous major. Bringing in GuardiaN and olofmeister was not just an on paper upgrade, as it would spawn one of the most powerful fragging teams history had seen. After an initial slip-up at Dreamhack Masters Malmo, karrigan's team smashed everyone they faced to win ESL One York and ELEAGUE premier not just back-to-back but without even losing a map. Another poor event at EPICENTER, losing to the eventual finalists VP and SK, was put to one side as FaZe romped to the IEM Oakland final. Despite being heavily favoured to win the tournament, with rivals SK eliminated in the semi-final by an NiP team riding form they had not shown prior nor would after, FaZe managed to lose the Bo5 final in the fifth and deciding map, seeing NiP magic deny them a big title.

A bunch of Best-of-1s at Blast Copenhagen saw them just miss out on the final, but the event was not of the same scale and prestige as others in the calender anyway. At EPL S6 Finals they again reached the final, this time finally facing SK again and falling to them in the Bo5 final in four maps. SK failed to qualify for ECS S4 Finals and FaZe took the crown, narrowly edging out mouz in a very close final.

Going into the major, FaZe were the clear favourites in the field. SK, the only team who had shown anything approaching consistency in beating them, were unable to field Boltz, as he was ineligible for the tournament, and went with previous member felps, who had not been playing with the team for months. G2 were still ranked highly, but had not won a play-off series in months. Astralis had been without device for a couple of events and he was returning to active duty but as a rifler, with dupreeh taking over his AWPing duties. Finally, VP had fallen off hard and C9 had not beaten FaZe in series play.

Lacking the real SK line-up, the field looked wide open for karrigan and company to waltz into the final and then lift the major trophy four of the five members still lacked on their career resumes. Three titles and a total of five finals was a very strong record to bring into the biggest tournament of the year.

FaZe suffered only a single loss over the two swiss system phases, being taken down by CIS surprise package Vega Squadron in a loss they would later avenge. In the play-offs they drew the easier side and overcame a repeat match-up with mouz, the squad they'd beaten at ECS, to reach top four. There they met a s1mple-powere Na'Vi who were months from figuring out electronic's role and thus rolled over nice and quick for NiKo and company.

In the grand final of the major FaZe would meet Cloud9, a squad they'd won the last three series over in sweeps, and a map pool draw of mirage, overpass and inferno seemed to have all but written FaZe's names onto the trophy. Cloud9 summoned a level of form not seen before or since and broke FaZe's hearts, denying them a number of championship point conversions, to steal away the accomplishment four of them still seek to this day.

6. Strong but stung - Astralis at FACEIT Major London 2018

ELEAGUE

Team: Astralis

Lineup: device, dupreeh, magisk, Xyp9x and gla1ve

Period: Autumn 2018

Form over previous three months:

  • ECS S5 Finals (1st)
  • ESL One Cologne (3rd-4th)
  • Dreamhack Masters Stockholm (2nd)

Result at the major: 1st

After winning Dreamhack Masters Marseille, their third event with this line-up, Astralis had hit the top spot and never looked back. Despite falling in an epic IEM Sydney fashion to FaZe with a stand-in, the Danes came back to win EPL S7 and ECS S5 - the two offline finals of the online leagues - as well as the ELEAGUE Premier. Those wins all came in spectacular fashion, rarely ever losing maps and most times not even giving up double digits to their opponents and practically never being denied the kind of score themselves.

What muddied their strength prior to their first major with this line-up was their key losses, though. Losing at ESL One Cologne had allowed Na'Vi to grab a big title and suggest the CIS side as potential Kryptonite for Astralis, with s1mple's team having also beaten them at StarSeries S4, the first offline event of this magisk-era line-up.

After the player break in the summer came Dreamhack Masters Stockholm, the warm-up event prior to the major. Astralis not only failed to win the title, but lost two full Bo3 series to MSL's North, a side not even considered elite tier and who shocked everyone throughout the event en route to miraculously winning it and seeing MSL named MVP. That the Danes had also almost lost a series to TyLoo, unthinkable months prior, had many wondering if Astralis had blown their load over the summer and would not be replaced as the top dog in the post-player-break period or simply find the top a lot more crowded for contenders.

Word behind the scenes was that Team Liquid, a side who had lost a number of finals to Astralis but had elected to skip Stockholm and continue bootcamping, were in fearsome form, with a number of analysts picking them to win the major. Astralis lost two maps over the swiss phases, falling in a close game against NiP on mirage and later to Team Liquid on inferno. In the play-offs they drew a hard bracket, but could not be denied. Sweeping FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and Na'Vi, Astralis were unaffected by any of the disturbing omens prior to the tournament and put an exclamation point on what was now at the very least becoming an era, if not one already.

5. Six in a row but not all the same - FNATIC at MLG Columbus 2016

Helena Kristiansson

Team: FNATIC

Lineup: olof, flusha, KRiMZ, dennis and JW

Period: Spring 2016

Form over previous three months:

  • ESL Expo Barcelona (1st)
  • IEM X World Championship (1st)

Result at the major: 5th-8th

Winning all six offline events you attend with your line-up might seem difficult to down-play, but FNATIC's run badly needs context to be understood. After pronax had exited the team, following their failure to win a third straight back-to-back-to-back major, dennis, former LGB team-mate of olof and KRiMZ, joined as the team's fifth player. They would embark upon a streak of championships of differing qualities and prestige. Dreamhack Winter 2015 was a stacked event and FNATIC downing Virtus.pro and upstarts Luminosity to take the title was impressive. Fragbite Masters S5 Finals was a much less stacked field and saw FNATIC lose a series to NiP and get pushed to three maps by the Danish SK Gaming line-up - a side who were relative nobodies in comparison to FNATIC. Meeting NiP in the final they got their revenge and took a second title, but not without significant casualties along the way.

At ESL ESEA ProLeague S2 Finals, FNATIC managed to lose a Bo3 series to nV - reigning major champions - but defeated ex-TSM and Na'Vi to win the event anyway, the CIS squad having eliminated nV for the Swedes. Another big event title to add to their Dreamhack winter. StarSeries XIV was another meaningful event, with FNATIC again performing their feat of losing a series to nV only to again see Na'Vi oust nV and then beat Na'Vi in the final for another big title.

ESL Expo Barcelona was an exhibition tournament, similarly in format and nature to the IEM Gamescom event won by nV the previous year, though with a better standard of teams. Winning here is not to be considered close to the level of tournaments like Dreamhack Winter, ProLeague or StarSeries. At IEM Katowice, FNATIC defeated VP and Astralis to reach the final. Facing Luminosity, they maintained their unbeaten streak against the team they'd beat at Dreamhack and StarSeries previously to take their sixth straight offline title in a row.

As well as losing a number of Bo3s in amongst those victorious runs, FNATIC had been played close many times, even winning some games with "just FNATIC things" moves which seemed counter-intuitive and yet came off seemingly as a result of FNATIC's intimidating aura and high average skill level. Going into MLG Columbus, there was no reason to suggest FNATIC would be denied the major title. Their only true rivals were nV, who came into the event in such poor form they would not even progress from the group stage. Na'Vi and Luminosity were the next best teams in the world after FNATIC and neither had ever won an offline series against them.

What's more, olofmeister was considered by many the best player in the world or at worst battling GuardiaN for that title. As it would happen, he would arrive at the major injured and has arguably never fully regained his form since.

FNATIC fell to Team Liquid in a shocking Bo1 result, but made the play-offs anyway. Facing Astralis in the quarter-finals, they were matched with a squad they'd beaten in series at ProLeague and in Katowice. On this day, though, Astralis called back to their TSM days, smashing the Swedes and ending their tournament hopes early, with karrigan famously calling a time-out at series point to needle his Nordic rivals. Astralis themselves were eliminated in the next round of the tournament and thus ended an underwhelming event for FNATIC.

4. Smoking summer - SK Gaming at PGL Krakow 2017

ESL

Team: SK Gaming

Lineup: coldzera, fer, FalleN, felps and TACO

Period: Summer 2017

Form over previous three months:

  • cs_summit 1 (1st)
  • IEM XII Sydney (1st)
  • ESL ProLeague S5 Finals (3rd-4th)
  • Dreamhack Open Summer (1st)
  • ECS S3 Finals (1st)
  • ESL One Cologne (1st)

Result at the major: 5th-8th

Bringing in felps to replace fnx had yielded mix results initially. SK had finished second at Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas, but then failed to make the play-offs at IEM Katowice or StarSeries S3, with new man felps playing well early. Astralis were the dominant team at the time and FaZe had risen up to best them narrowly in the StarSeries final. SK began cooking with a win at cs_summit, where none of the other elite teams were in attendance. After that they took down IEM Sydney, beating FaZe in the Bo5 final emphatically and placing ahead of Astralis.

Their lone loss of that summer came at the EPL S5 Finals, where inspired play from kennyS and G2 halted them in the semis, the French super-team going on to win the title. At Dreamhack Open Summer, the other elite teams were again nowhere to be found and SK pushed through to take a third title. At ECS S3 Finals, the field was stacked at SK would defeat Astralis and FaZe in back-to-back close three map series to take the title, fer getting a rare chance to win an MVP award. ESL One Cologne saw SK pushed to three maps only once, surprisingly by the stanislaw-less-OpTic, prior to lifting the trophy. FaZe were swept in the semi and then C9 in a Bo5 final.

SK Gaming entered PGL Krakow as a monster. coldzera was the best player in the world and cranking out MVP awards every few weeks. fer was in career best form and legitimately made for the scariest duo in the game, competing with each other for the MVP awards. FalleN had recovered some of his form and looked clutch once more. Youngster felps could at times look disconnected, but his skill level added fragging to put SK over-the-top against each the world's best sides. Key edges over FaZe meant SK were even getting wins on maps outside of their best win-rates and thus seemed insurmountable.

A long loss to BIG on inferno, following a big lead, could not prevent SK from crusing into the play-offs with a 3:1 record. There, they would be unlucky enough to draw Astralis, another 3:1 team and a strong dark horse for the title itself. One of the best performances of device's career prevented the same result as ECS, this time Astralis took the series and in a sweep. Astralis would themselves be eliminated in the next round of the tournament and thus SK could not even boast of having at least lost to the champions, as they could after ProLeague.

3. Two majors; one era - Astralis at IEM XIII Katowice 2019

ASTRALIS

Team: Astralis

Lineup: device, dupreeh, magisk, Xyp9x and gla1ve

Period: Spring 2019

Form over previous three months:

  • ECS S6 Finals (1st)
  • ESL ProLeague S8 Finals (1st)
  • Blast Lisbon (1st)
  • iBUYPOWER Masters (2nd)

Result at the major: 1st

After winning the FACEIT Major London, Astralis had seen some down moments, but only at Blast tournaments or en route to more success. Winning Blast Istanbul, a pretty weak field, and losing Blast Copenhagen did little for a team who were in the midst of an era - critics be damned! Winning four straight tournaments quickly silenced doubters, as IEM Chicago, ECS S6 Finals, EPL S8 Finals and Blast Lisbon all fell into the greedy mitts of gla1ve's gang. At the seeming peak of the most dominant era in history, having just won the Intel Grand Slam S1 and a free additional $1,000,000, little seemed capable of derailing Astralis.

Attending the ill-fated iBUYPOWER Masters event, which saw many complaints about playing and crowd conditions, Astralis would lose their unbeatable aura at the worst moment, the event right before the major. The team defeating them was the Team Liquid core they had beaten in every big series the previous year, but who had now added Stewie2k from MiBR and levelled up on overpass, previously their permanent ban map. The state of the event led most to still consider Astralis massive favourites for the title, but some analysts still favoured Liquid.

Astralis won their second major with this line-up losing only a single map. That loss came in the play-off decider of the second swiss phase against Renegades, who barely snuck past them in overtime on mirage. In the bracket phase, Astralis swept all three opponents 2:0, repeating their epic feat from the previous major, to take another major title. NiP, MiBR and ENCE were all unable to land a significant blow against perhaps history's best ever team.

2. Welcome to the FNATIC era, almost - FNATIC at Dreamhack Winter 2014

Fragbite

Team: FNATIC

Lineup: KRiMZ, JW, olof, flusha and pronax

Period: Autumn 2014

Form over previous three months:

  • StarSeries X (1st)
  • Dreamhack Invitational II (3rd-4th)
  • FACEIT S2 (1st)
  • ESWC (1st)
  • Fragbite Masters S3 (1st)

Result at the major: 5th-8th

Before FNATIC were able to establish their era in 2015, they had a legitimate crack at it to close out 2014. Since adding olof and KRiMZ to the line-up, the team had reached at least top four of all seven offline events they'd attended. Gfinity G3 was the first and they'd fallen only to kennyS's Titan in the semi-finals. At ESL One Cologne 2014, a major, they'd reached the final and there been in good shape to take down NiP, only to become famed victims of NiP magic in the Ninjas' lone victorious major campaign.

Winning StarSeries X was mainly about beating Na'Vi, with other elite teams not attending. At the Dreamhack Invitational in Stockholm not all of their players arrived on time and they were shunted out of the event by a shut-down dual AWP stomp from kennyS and the now infamous KQLY. The next run of events would leave no question FNATIC were the best, though.

Winning FACEIT S2, showcasing monster CT sides against seemingly everyone and on every map, they took the title over iBUYPOWER in the final. At ESWC they crushed LDLC, France's new super-team, in front of the French side's home crowd. At Frabite Masters S3 Finals it was more of the same, overcoming top teams to reach the final and there handling LDLC again. Going into Dreamhack Winter 2014, the fourth CS:GO major, FNATIC had won their last three offline events in a row. Added to that, the clear second best team in the world was the very LDLC who were losing so badly in their direct match-up with FNATIC, and indeed would never actually defeat FNATIC in an offline Bo3/Bo5 series with those exact line-ups.

At the event itself, and surrounded by an unfortunate climate of cheating accusations, FNATIC showed weakness uncharacteristic of their pre-major form. In the group stage they were shockingly beaten on mirage in close fashion by s1mple's HellRaisers squad. Pushed onto the same side of the bracket as LDLC they would be drawn against them. LDLC managed to win the series on the back of a forfeit, with FNATIC winning the deciding third map of the series from down 3:13, but thanks to olof's cheeky boost usage seeing controversy overtake the result and public opinion skew hard against them. The Swedes decided to give LDLC the win rather than face fan hatred for moving on off questionable play.

1. Golden age keeps going - Team Liquid at Starladder Berlin Major 2019

ESL

Team: Team Liquid

Lineup: EliGE, Twistzz, NAF, nitr0 and Stewie

Period: Summer 2019

Form over previous three months:

  • cs_summit 4 (2nd)
  • Dreamhack Masters Dallas (1st)
  • ESL ProLeague S9 Finals (1st)
  • ESL One Cologne (1st)
  • Blast Los Angeles (1st)
  • IEM XIV Chicago (1st)

Result at the major: TBD

Astralis were still the dominant force up to Blast Sao Paulo, the last event they have won as a line-up. Since then, Team Liquid have taken over the throne as the game's best side. Losing the next Blast to FaZe didn't immediately let on TL would be the side to take the lead, but since then they have lost only a single Bo3 series. Winning IEM XIV Sydney was not so special, in the context of no other elite teams being in attendance, but counted as a win in the Intel Grand Slam S2. Losing cs_summit 4 to Vitality seemed worrying at the time, but the French side has since gone on to win more and establish themselves as strong world number twos.

After that, nobody could stop Team Liquid. They won Dreamhack Masters Dallas to add another Grand Slam win. At EPL S9 Finals, they at last faced Astralis in offline play again, and bested device and the boys en route to a third straight Grand Slam title. At ESL One Cologne, the most stacked event of the year, TL were undefeated in series play and completed S2 of the Intel Grand Slam in record time, winning four events in a row. After that, they won Blast LA and most recently IEM Chicago, a fifth straight Grand Slam event and this time counting towards S3.

Team Liquid have won their last five offline events in a row and played in the finals of their last nine events, winning six titles over that time span. Their last Bo3 loss offline was on the 26th of April, when Vitality beat them at cs_summit 4. Since then they have won 20 Bo3/Bo5 series in a row. Team Liquid comes into the major with no true rivals. The Astralis team who used to torture this core has a losing record in series play against this TL line-up (2:1 in series for TL) and is far from the winning team they were a year ago. Vitality looked dangerous for nitr0's men at cs_summit, but have since convincingly lost a Bo5 finals and a Bo3 semi-final to show they are far from the answer.

ENCE were the squad who handed TL their one finish outside of the finals this year, upsetting them in the quarter-final of the major, but since then have lost to them at Dreamhack Masters Dallas in close fashion and then later, following the Aug nerf, were utterly crushed flat in the first two maps of a three map sweep Bo5 final at IEM Chicago. The only potential contender that leaves is the new Na`Vi squad, who came close to beating TL in the group stage in Cologne only to blow it and lose in three maps. When they rematched in the semi-final TL swept them 2:0. Team Liquid have no rivals.

As of this moment, there is no reason to predict anyone but Team Liquid will win the Starladder Berlin Major. They enter the event as the largest favourite for a major in CS:GO history.

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