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Preview of StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7

Lord Matus
Preview of StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7

The StarLadder championship will start on 30 March and will get over on 7 April in Shanghai. Sixteen participants will divide a big prize pool of $500,000. The winner will gain the main prize of $250,000. In this material we will find out what chances any of the collectives has.

Favorites of the tournament

ENCE eSports (place in the HLTV rating — #3)
Win coefficient: 4.0

The Finnish team is one of the main favorites at this championship. allu has been playing with his teammates for almost a year and during this period the collective managed to achieve teamwork at a rather good level. Despite recent rumors about changes in their roster, the team continues playing with the same players as before. After ENCE eSports made it to the final of the Major tournament, many people started thinking whether they were a team only for one tournament or the Finnish would continue their way to the top of esports. The last tournament in São Paulo answered some of the questions of the CS:GO audience. There ENCE eSports played with the same result as Team Liquid, but they didn’t get to the grand final because of too many lost rounds during the championship. After ENCE won over all the representatives of MIBR in duels by the score of 5-0, the Finnish proved one more time that apart from their high level of cooperation, the collective is represented by players with high individual skills, ENCE deserve the third place in the world rating. We expect only good things from ENCE eSports at the current StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Invitational Season 7. The minimum for allu and his teammates is getting to the playoff. The Finnish team is able to win the tournament. We think the Finnish will get to the final.

Roster of ENCE eSports and rating of the players:

Aleksi ‘allu’ Jalli — 1.14
Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen — 1.05
Jere ‘sergej’ Salo — 1.15
Jani ‘Aerial’ Jussila — 1.12
Sami ‘xseveN’ Laasanen — 1.02
Slaava ‘Twista’ Rasanen — coach

Natus Vincere (place in the HLTV rating — #4)
Win coefficient: 4.0

After “Born to Win” lost the semifinal of the Major tournament at the battle with ENCE eSports, the audience could not see them at any tournament. The CIS team had rest but the collective is going to the StarSeries with the prize pool of $500,000 only to win. Everything looks rather good, but we have a “but” that is their Finnish opponents from ENCE eSports. This team can become a big obstacle for the yellow-black and not give them any chance to win the championship. We are likely to see Na’Vi and ENCE eSports at the final and in this case the grand final will be very interesting. Everything depends on the level of Natus Vincere preparation and their attitude to the upcoming tournament.

Roster of Natus Vincere and rating of the players:

Ioann ‘Edward’ Sukhariev — 1.03
Egor ‘flamie’ Vasilyev — 1.12
Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev — 1.32
Daniil ‘Zeus’ Teslenko — 0.86
Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov — 1.11
Mikhail ‘kane’ Blagin — coach

Team Vitality (place in the HLTV rating — #10)
Win coefficient: 6.0

At the moment Team Vitality is the strongest team of France. The collective with NBK- has a good chance at this championship and according to many spectators and also bookmakers the players are one of the favourites. Their potential seems to be not so big as in case with Natus Vincere or ENCE eSports, but the team can surprise for sure. On March 18, Vitality ended up their participation in ESEA Season 30 Premier Division — Europe on the 1 place. This fact proves one more time that Vitality is a rather strong collective that can perform well. You shouldn’t forget about the prize pool of $500,000. Many players want to get a win to get the main prize of $250,000 and apEX with his teammates is not an exception.

Roster of Team Vitality and rating of the players:

Nathan ‘NBK-’ Schmitt — 1.07
Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire — 1.09
Cedric ‘RpK’ Guipouy — 1.00
Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut — 1.36
Alex ‘ALEX’ McMeekin — 0.97
Remy ‘XTQZZZ’ Quoniam — coach

Teams that have a good chance

Ninjas in Pyjamas (place in the HLTV rating — #6)
Win coefficient: 8.0

NiP has had not very good results recently even though we cannot name them bad. At Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major 2019 that has ended up recently, the collective got the 5-8 place and gained a status Legend providing themselves with an invitation to the next Major tournament that will be held in Berlin. At BLAST Pro Series São Paulo 2019, the team took the fourth place. It is also worth noting that there were strong opponents in good shape such as Astralis, Team Liquid and ENCE this championship. FaZe Clan and MIBR didn’t show anything interesting and NiP managed to win only over these opponents. As a reminder, playing with CS:GO titans, Astralis, the Swedish managed to give a fight to their opponents. In total, Ninjas in Pyjamas have a good chance to make it to the playoff and to try to get to the semifinal, but that is likely to be the end for their way at the tournament. We shouldn't forget that on March 11 William ‘draken’ Sundin joined NiP as a substitute player. He took the slot of dennis who had left to inactive so it is likely to impact the team badly. According to the bookmakers, Ninãjas in Pyjamas is one of the favorites to the victory. But we think that their chance is not as big as the bookmakers think. They think that their chance aren’t as big as the bookmakers think.

Roster Ninjas in Pyjamas and rating of the players:

Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg — 1.08
Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund — 0.94
Fredrik ‘REZ’ Sterner — 1.10
Jonas ‘Lekr0’ Olofsson — 0.99
William ‘draken’ Sundin (substitute) — 1.11
Faruk ‘pita’ Pita — coach

FaZe Clan (place in the HLTV rating — #5)
Win coefficient:12.0

The European collective started to play together with AdreN in January. Initially, they were going to play with him till the Major tournament and after that to end up their participation, but at the last BLAST Pro Series FaZe performed together with the Kazakh and they are going to participate in StarSeries with the same roster. It can mean two things: 1) The team gets along well with AdreN and is still looking for an opportunity to create their game in a way that FaZe has good results. 2) The European collective doesn’t have any other option who could play with them.
It’s worth noting that at the last BLAST Pro Series São Paulo 2019 the esports,am became the worst player of the championship, however he still plays for FaZe. Due to this we think that he can show better results in the European team even though it is unlikely to happen. Dauren Kystaubayev is an experienced player and FaZe understand it. It is possible that after StarSeries FaZe will plan to change their roster, so AdreN в is especially interested to show his best result. The prize pool of the tournament is also significant for the team. Half of a million dollars is not played every day and at this championship there will be no such strong opponents as Astralis and Team Liquid, so this tournament is a good chance to make money.

Roster of FaZe Clan and rating of the players:

Havard ‘rain’ Nygaard — 1.02
Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovac — 1.20
Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovacs — 1.00
Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer — 0.95
Dauren ‘AdreN’ Kystaubayev — 0.96
Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic — coach

MIBR (place in the HLTV rating — #7)
Win coefficient: 15.0

It is absolutely unclear what we should be expecting from MIBR. This team was one of the main favorites for the victory of BLAST Pro Series São Paulo 2019. The championship was going on in Brazil and MIBR had incredible support from the audience, but it didn’t work for them. At all. MIBR lost everything that was possible to lose. They lost all the matches of the group stage and after that they were sent by the organizers of BLAST Pro Standoff, they weren’t able to win any duel. So, MIBR lost 10 battles that is a very bad result. The Brazilians may have correction of their mistakes and get prepared for the championship in Shanghai as good as possible to fight for the impressive main prize of $250,000. If MIBR perform at the same level they can, they will get to the playoff and have an opportunity to provide themselves with a trip to the final. We should also say that several really weak team will be participating in the Shanghai tournament. It will make the fight for getting to Eight Best easier, and Bo3 matches at the group stage will eliminate a random of everything that would be going on at the event.

Roster of MIBR and rating of the players:

Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo — 1.06
Fernando ‘fer’ Alvarenga — 1.15
Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David — 1.17
Apitacio ‘TACO’ de Melo — 0.95
Joao ‘felps’ Vasconcellos — 1.06
Wilton ‘zews’ Prado — coach

Renegades (place in the HLTV rating — #8)
Win coefficient: 15.0

It is rather difficult to have any opinion about Renegades due to the same reason as with Natus Vincere. The collective haven’t shown their level anywhere after the Major tournament. We should remind that the AUstralians made it to the playoff of IEM Katowice Major 2019 and after that they lost a battle with MIBR and ended up their participation in the major at the 5-8 place. The coach of the team told that before this event the team had gone to the bootcamp that had been going on for a month and the efforts were fruitful as it had been expected. We are sure about one thing. If Renegades are getting ready for StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Invitational Season 7 the same way as for the Major tournament, we will have a lot of surprises. In total, Renegades are likely to make it to the playoff, as they are able to defeat many opponents. But it is early to think about the way how they can move further. We should see their first matches of the group stage.

Roster of Renegades and rating of the players:

Aaron ‘AZR’ Ward — 1.04
Justin ‘jks’ Savage — 1.18
Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad — 1.11
Jay ‘liazz’ Tregillgas — 0.96
Sean ‘Gratisfaction’ Kaiwai — 1.03
Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunovic — coach

North (place in the HLTV rating — #9)
WIn coefficient: 21.0

Recently the Danish have become winners of the second series of Esports Championship Series Season 7 - Europe. There they won over such opponents as, AVANGAR and Team Vitality by the score of 2-1, 2-0 and 2-1, correspondingly . If their gaming shape is the same as at ECS #7 - Europe and Kjaerbye with his teammates will get prepared better for the tournament, North will have a good chance to make it to Eight Best, but it is likely to end up there. We shouldn’t forget that North is the second strong team in Dania after Astralis.

Roster of North and rating of the players:

Philip ‘aizy’ Aistrup — 1.04
Valdemar ‘valde’ Bjorn — 1.23
Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjaerbye — 1.03
Casper ‘cadiaN’ Moller — 0.94
Nicklas ‘gade’ Gade — 1.05
Torbjorn ‘mithR’ Nyborg — coach

NRG Esports (place in the HLTV rating — #11)
Win coefficient: 21.0

NRG Esports has the same story as North in this case. The collective is one of the strongest in the division which is North America and the second series ECS Season 7 - North America ended up with a win for NRG Esports. There daps with his teammates managed to win over such opponents as Spacestation, INTZ eSports and FURIA Esports by the score of 2-0, 2-0 and 2-1, correspondingly. NRG Esports have a rather low chance to win but if the team tries hard, the players will be able to make it to the playoff. But we should mark that there are a lot of strong collectives at StarSeries and all of them want to get to the final stage of the championship.

Roster of NRG Esports and rating of the players:

Damian ‘daps’ Steele — 0.91
Vincent ‘Brehze’ Cayonte — 1.33
Cvetelin ‘CeRq’ Dimitrov — 1.19
Ethan ‘Ethan’ Arnold — 1.21
Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik — 1.29
Chet ‘ImAPet’ Singh — coach

Fnatic (place in the HLTV rating — #15)
Win coefficient: 25.0

After the win at PGL Grand Slam 2018 the Swedish haven’t been able to show good results for a long time. At iBUYPOWER Masters IV they got the 3-4 place and at the Major tournament, being the main favorite at the group stage, they lost by the score of 0-3. At WESG 2018 Global Finals they managed to take the 3-4 place and at the recently held second series of ECS Season - Europe, the team wasn’t able to win over mousesports at the very first match. We should mark that the collective haven’t had any change for a long time and it means that the reason of the failure of their performances is that the players have low level of individual skills and their team cooperation in creating a game have a lot of things to change. In our opinion, if Fnatic gets to the playoff, it will become a good result for the Swedish but we shouldn’t expect at their getting to the semifinal.

Roster of Fnatic and rating of the players:

Freddy ‘KRIMZ’ Johansson — 1.08
Jesper ‘JW’ Wecksell — 0.96
Richard ‘Xizt’ Landstrom — 0.89
Simon ‘twist’ Eliasson — 0.98
Ludvig ‘Brollan’ Brolin — 1.04
Jimmy ‘Jumpy’ Berndtsson — coach

BIG (place in the HLTV rating — #18)
Win coefficient: 25.0

The German team is in a very bad gaming shape that is proven by their last results. At the Major tournament BIG became one of those who left the competition showing nothing interesting. At the recently finished European closed qualifier for DreamHack Masters Dallas 2019 tabseN and his teammates took the 5-6 place out of eight possible ones losing an opportunity to visit this championship. We should mark that at the last battle with Valiance, they lost by the score of 0-2, and at the second map they managed to take one 5 rounds from their opponents. All the mentioned information proves that BIG is unlikely to get to the final stage saying nothing about their trip to the final. If we take into account that such collectives as Natus Vincere, ENCE eSports and others will be participating in the competition, BIG can seem rather weak. Transfer of the Turkish talebt roster to the German roster wasn't really fruitful for the team. At least at this moment.

Roster of BIG and rating of the players:

Fatih ‘gob b’ Dayik — 0.95
Johannes ‘tabseN’ Wodarz — 1.14
Johannes ‘nex’ Maget — 0.99
Tizian ‘tiziaN’ Feldbusch — 0.96
Can ‘XANTARES’ Dortkardes — 1.16
Alexander ‘kakafu’ Szymanczyk — coach

TYLOO (place in the HLTV rating — #24)
Win coefficient: 31.0

TYLOO is considered to be the strongest team in China but the last results say that TYLOO have a little chance at this championship. At the recently finished Major tournament the Chinese took the 17-19 place at the tournament bracket and left the event winning nothing. As a reminder, at the Chinese qualifier for IEM Sydney 2019 TYLOO lost against Vici Gaming at the final. Soon they can pass the title of the best team in China to their opponents from ViCi. As for TYLOO and the upcoming StarSeries, the only thing that can this roster is home walls. Playing at home, xccurate with his team is able to win only with their moral and to defeat the opponents thanks to that. By the way, the roster of TYLOO is represented by AttackeR and Summer that were leased from Flash Gaming. These players may be named good individuals but it is unlikely to help TYLOO. Are we wrong or right? Soon BnTeT and his teammates will answer this question.

Roster TYLOO and rating of the players:

HaoWen ‘somebody’ Xu — 0.95
Hansel ‘BnTeT’ Ferdinand — 1.08
Kevin ‘xccurate’ Susanto — 1.04
YuLun ‘Summer’ Cai — 0.98
YuanZhang ‘AttackeR’ Sheng — 1.01
Иван ‘Johnta’ Шевцов — coach

Dark horses

Vici Gaming (place in the HLTV rating — #28)
Win coefficient: 51.0

Even though the chance of Vici Gaming is not significant, we think that zhokiNg with his teammates will be able to surprise as they did at the Chinese elimination round at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney XIV. As a reminder, having made to the lower bracket there, Vici Gaming made to the final where they opposed the players from TYLOO. this fact meant that TYLOO had an advantage of one map and the meeting started by the score of 1-0 for them. Nevertheless, Vici Gaming managed to lead the game to the win completing the meeting by the score of 3-2, giving one map to the opponents and providing themselves with an invitation to the championship in Sydney. Once ViCi surprised making it to the Major tournament through the 3rd Place Play-In, and at the very championship they took the 17-19 place, winning over such opponents as Fnatic and Cloud9, being clear outsider at the matches with the mentioned collectives. This way they can surprise at StarSeries and they are used to the format, the Swiss system, but instead of Bo1 there will be meetings up to two wins that mill make the task for the Chinese more difficult. As in case with TYLOO, we think that home walls in collaboration with the audience supporting Vici Gaming can become helpful for zhokiNg and his teammates.

Roster of Vici Gaming and rating of the players:

Zhong ‘zhokiNg’ Weijie — 1.03
Cheung ‘Freeman’ Wing Hei — 1.12
Liu ‘aumaN’ Zhihong — 1.03
Liang ‘advent’ Zhuo — 0.87
Andrew ‘kaze’ Khong — 1.24

Team Spirit (place in the HLTV rating — #41)
Win coefficient: 51.0

At the beginning of March, chopper left Vega Squadron and became a part of Team Spirit. Also iDISBALANCE that had played for Syman Gaming before joined the collective. The team together with Leonid and Artem is likely to achieve a new level. According to the results of the finished ESEA league, the players from Team Spirit took the 7 place and made it to the playoff of the championship. If we pay attention to the chances to get to the final stage of StarSeries of Spirit in general, it's low, but the collective can surprise for sure. The bookmakers also don't place this team in one row with outsiders as paiN Gaming and Panda Gaming, setting the coefficient of their victory equal to 51. We agree with this opinion.

Roster of Team Spirit and rating of the players:

Pavel ‘COLDYY1’ Veklenko — 1.09
Dmitrii ‘S0tF1k’ Forostyanko — 0.93
Viktor ‘somedieyoung’ Orudzhev — 1.20
Leonid ‘chopper’ Vishnyakov — 0.88
Artem ‘iDISBALANCE’ Egorov — 1.05
Nikolai ‘Certus’ Poluyanov — coach


Panda Gaming (place in the HLTV rating — #69)
Win coefficient: 101.0

Panda Gaming are players from CyberZen that have been playing together for ten months without any organization, excepting ayaya who became a part of the collective after Panda signed the roster which happened on March 9. What chance can be for a team where one player joined the roster three weeks ago? Bookmakers set the coefficient for Panda Gaming as 101 and think that their chance is tiny and we agree with it. Panda Gaming is one of the main outsiders and if they can make it to the playoff, that can be the biggest surprise of the tournament.

Roster of Panda Gaming and rating of the players:

Bin ‘Savage’ Liu — 1.03
BingYuan ‘tb’ Li — 1.05
Zhen ‘HZ’ Huang — 1.20
Lei ‘bottle’ Mao — 1.11
Yangyang ‘ayaya’ Zheng — 1.03
Jia ‘span’ Liu — coach

paiN Gaming (place in the HLTV rating — #155)
Win coefficient: 201.0

Players from paiN Gaming had been playing together for a long time. They gathered under the tag Team Wild, and after they left the mentioned organization they continued their performance under the tag ex-Team Wild. Now paiN Gaming have decide to sign the Brazilian collective. An interesting fact is that one of the players, Maxcel ‘maxcel’ Rocha officially left for Turma do Pagode, but would participate in the Chinese tournament together with the Brazilians. At this championship the players of paiN will visit only to get experience as it's early for them to compete with the teams of the world level. Every CS:GO viewer is sure about it, so the Brazilians can be named as outsiders. The same opinion is give by bookmakers setting the coefficient of their win equal to 201.

Roster paiN Gaming and rating of the players:

Vinicios ‘PKL’ Coelho — 1.11
Paulo ‘land1n’ Felipe — 1.08
Alef ‘tatazin’ Pereira — 1.12
Rodrigo ‘biguzera’ Bittencourt — 1.19
Maxcel ‘maxcel’ Rocha — 1.06
Bruno ‘bruno’ Ono — coach