The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6

The sixth season of StarLadder i-League StarSeries will take place in Kiev on October 7-14. We will remind about the features of the championship and tell about the chances to win.

The general information

StarLadder will host a CS:GO tournament in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Kiev Cybersport Arena will be a venue for StarSeries #6 and the prize pool will remain the same and amount $300,000. In the third season of StarSeries, the organizers had decided to host the event by the Swiss system and haven’t changed the usual format since then. StarSeries #6 will not become an exception and the October tournament will be carried out by the same system.

The prize pool

The way the prize pool is distributed among participants is known at the moment. The winner will earn $125,000 and the second finalist, who will not become the champion, will grab the prize in the sum of $50,000. Teams that place 3rd-4th at the tournament will earn $25,000. Teams to hold the 5th-8th and 9th-11th places will earn $10,000 and $6,000, respectively. Participants that stop on the 12th-14th and 15th-16th places in the standings will earn $4,000 and $2,500, respectively.

The analysis of teams

The teams-favorites

mousesports (a place in the rate by HLTV — #4)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 1

mousesports showed a good performance at the last large LAN tournament and became the champions of ESL One New York 2018. The European team placed 15th-16th at FACEIT Major: London 2018, the previous tournament, having shown nothing worthy. However, this doesn’t matter as mousesports is in a good gaming shape and holds the 4th place in the world rate. Snax has finally managed to create a team play with the team and the roster has started playing as it had to play. If the Europeans don’t relax as the winners of the championships usually do, they will show good results at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. mousesports is the main favorite to prevail at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6 at the moment.

The roster of mousesports and the players’ rate:

Chris “chrisJ” de Jong — 1.01
Tomas “oskar” Stastny — 1.10
Robin “ropz” Kool — 1.05
Miikka “suNny” Kemppi — 1.13
Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski — 0.98
Sergey “lmbt” Bezhanov — a coach

BIG (a place in the rate by HLTV — #7)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 2

BIG surprised the public this summer when they made it to the final of ESL One Cologne 2018. They managed to overcome the expectations of many viewers again later at FACEIT Major: London 2018. There, they managed to fight their way through the first stage of the tournament and get to the top eight, having advanced to the playoffs. As a result, BIG lost the quarterfinal match against Natus Vincere, who became finalists. We think that BIG will reach the top eight without a problem. There will be a lot of weak teams and if BIG had managed to become the top 8 of the Major tournament, when there were 24 participants and many strong opponents, the Germans will be able to get to the semi-final at SL StarSeries if they try hard.

The roster of BIG and the players’ rate:

Fatih “gob b” Dayik — 0.96
Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz — 1.16
Johannes “nex” Maget — 1.08
Tizian “tiziaN” Feldbusch — 0.99
Owen “smooya” Butterfield — 1.10
Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninic — a coach

NRG eSports (a place in the rate by HLTV — #10)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 3

At the end of August, NRG eSports took part in DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 with $250,000 of the prize pool. They placed 13th-16th there, having finished the participation in the tournament the very first. Later, they held the second place in the qualifiers to the Wild Card tournament, which was dedicated to EPICENTER 2018. NRG eSports placed 3rd-4th at the last LAN tournament, ESL One New York 2018, having lost the semi-final to the future champion, mousesports. To advance to the playoffs, to stop in the semi-final and to earn the money prize in the sum of $25,000 is a very good achievement for NRG. Due to the fact that many not very strong teams will participate in StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6, we think that NRG eSports will have to advance to the playoffs. We can’t call them the main favorites to win but it’s an obvious fact that the Americans have good chances to achieve good results. It’s worth to remind that NRG hasn’t made replacements in the team since the beginning of the year, which reinforces confidence in their success one more time.

The roster of NRG eSports and the players’ rate:

Jacob “FugLy” Medina — 1.02
Damian “daps” Steele — 0.90
Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte — 1.14
Cvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov — 1.20
Ethan “nahtE” Arnold — 1.17
Chet “ImAPet” Singh — a coach

TyLoo (a place in the rate by HLTV — #14)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 4

TyLoo enters the top 15 of the best teams in the world by HLTV. The Chinese showed a good performance at the last Major tournament but, unfortunately, didn’t manage to advance further than 12th-14th place and finished their participation in the second stage of the championship. TyLoo is the best team of the Chinese division and the ambitious xccurate has helped the team to reinforce this after his joining to the team. TyLoo’s recent results disappointed fans of the Chinese CS:GO and fans of Tyloo a bit, however, enough time passed for them to have a rest and prepare for such tournament as SL i-League StarSeries Season 6. It’s difficult enough to call TyLoo a favorite to win but the majority of viewers thinks that the Chinese will have to enter the top 8 of the championship.

The roster of TyLoo and the players’ rate:

Ke “captainMo” Liu — 0.93
Hui “DD” Wu — 1.08
Haowen “somebody” Xu — 1.11
Hansei “BnTeT” Ferdinand — 1.13
Kevin “xccurate” Susanto — 1.13

The teams that have a chance to win

HellRaisers (a place in the rate by HLTV — #11)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 5

The European team that plays under the tag HellRaisers has recently shown not very good results. The 5th-8th place at the Major tournament became HellRaisers’ biggest achievement over the last half a year. HellRaisers have an invite to the next Major championship due to this and the team’s money prize amounted $35,000. The 5th-8th place can’t be clearly called a good result but the Europeans have managed to overcome all expectations of the public and advanced to the playoffs of the event. Later, the team competed in ECS Season 6 - European Challenger Cup, where placed 7th-8th, having lost the match against Gambit eSports. HellRaisers haven’t made changes to their CS:GO roster for almost a year. It’s not a secret that the players’ morale is high enough just like the team spirit. Considering all this, we think that HR should not be called an outsider of the tournament. mousesports will be the most dangerous opponent for HellRaisers. It will be easier for the Europeans to fight with other participants. We think that ANGE1 and the team will have to reach the top eight without a problem. If they try hard, they will be able to advance to the semi-final, where their path in the championship will be probably finished.

The roster of HellRaisers and the players’ rate:

Kirill “ANGE1” Karasov — 0.93
Vlаdуslаv "bondik" Nеchуроrchuk — 0.99
Bence “DeadFox” Borocz — 0.87
Ozgur “woxic” Eker — 1.21
Issa “ISSAA” Murad — 1.16
Ivan "Johnta" Shevtsov — a coach

Gambit eSports (a place in the rate by HLTV — #15)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 6

Gambit eSports will be able to beat many opponents at this championship as their current gaming shape is good enough. At ESL One New York 2018, Gambit exceeded the expectations of viewers and, having beaten Natus Vincere twice, advanced to the semi-final but lost to Team Liquid there. Many people expected to see Na’Vi in the final stage of ESL One New York but Gambit nullified the chances to see “the yellow-black” in the playoff stage.

Despite the fact that Hobbit has left the main roster and waits for the moment when he will be bought by another organization, the esportsman will play for the CIS team as a stand-in. If Gambit plays on the same level as at the previous LAN tournament, they will make it to the next stage of StarSeries Season 6 without an effort.

The roster of Gambit eSports and the players’ rate:

Mikhail “Dosia” Stolyarov — 0.88
Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev — 1.02
Rustem “mou” Telepov — 1.02
Nikolay “mir” Bityukov — 0.97
Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov (a stand-in) — 1.03

ENCE eSports (a place in the rate by HLTV — #20)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 7

ENCE eSports is not one of the strongest teams in the world but dominates in Finland, suppressing all opponents, who strive to have a title of the best CS:GO roster in their country. DreamHack Open Montreal 2018 was the last LAN tournament, in which the Finns took part. There, allu together with his teammates placed second, having lost to Team Kinguin in the final match. Compared to how ENCE eSports have played previously, this result can be called good and this means that there is a progress in the team. ENCE will have a lot of decent competitors at the championship and the Finns will have to work hard to advance to the playoffs. However, if we have to choose how to call ENCE eSports a favorite or an outsider, we will probably choose the first option.

The roster of ENCE eSports and the players’ rate:

Aleksi “allu” Jalli — 1.13
Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen — 1.01
Jere “sergej” Salo — 1.17
Jani “Aerial” Jussila — 1.16
Sami “xseveN” Laasanen — 1.01
Slaava “Twista” Rasanen — a coach

North (a place in the rate by HLTV — #9)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 8

North became the champion of DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 a month ago and earned a money prize in the sum of $100,000. Many people expected the Danish team to have more good results after that, however, the team performed very bad at the following Major tournament, having placed 17th-19th. North made a replacement on the roster on September 27: they removed MSL and mertz from the main roster, having replaced them on cadiaN and gade. The renewed roster held the first place in the closed qualification to ECS Europe Season 6 a week later, having beaten their countrymen from OpTic Gaming. North has a good chance to beat Tier-3 teams but the Danish mix is unlikely to become the champion as it might have not enough synergy.

The roster of North and the players’ rate:

Philip “aizy” Aistrup — 1.12
Valdemar “valde” Bjorn — 1.17
Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjaerbye — 1.15
Casper “cadiaN” Moller — 1.10
Nicklas “gade” Gade — 0.99
Alexander “ave” Holdt — a coach

compLexity Gaming (a place in the rate by HLTV — #12)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 9

In our view, compLexity Gaming is one of the favorites to advance to the next stage and to win the championship. The players have recently been in a great shape and shove it with their results. CompLexity Gaming was an obvious outsider at FACEIT Major: London 2018 and held the 5th-8th place as a result, having beaten many world-level teams. After that, compLexity competed in MSI Gaming Arena 2018, where became the vice-champion, and they placed first in the closed qualification to the North American division of ECS Season 6, having shown a good performance. We see no reasons why the Americans might give an advantage to their opponents. Many teams will take part in StarSeries, for which the participation in a big LAN tournament is not a usual thing. With regard to compLexity, these guys have recently entered the world arena and made it to the top 8 of the Major tournament.

The roster of compLexity Gaming and the players’ rate:

Rory “dephh” Jackson — 1.07
Brad “ANDROID” Fodor — 1.08
Jacob “yay” Whiteaker — 1.15
Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz — 1.07
Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan — 1.08
Ronald “Rambo” Kim — a coach

Vega Squadron (a place in the rate by HLTV — #19)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 10

Vega Squadron is not the strongest opponent of the tournament but it’s difficult to call it an outsider. The reason for this is the participation of “the Blue Sharks” at the Major tournament. Vega came to the tournament as the most obvious outsider but instead of becoming the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, Vega Squadron played very good and managed to compete with the world-class teams, having placed 12-14 as a result. If the story of FACEIT Major repeats at this championship, jR with his team will be able to make it to the top eight. The possibility of the event is not so high but it’s not worth to exclude the chance.

The roster of Vega Squadron and the players’ rate:

Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov — 1.06
Dmitriy “jR” Chervak — 1.04
Pavel “hutji” Lashkov — 0.92
Igor “crush” Shevchenko — 1.02
Anton “tonyblack” Kolesnikov — 0.95
Artem “Fierce” Ivanov — a coach

OpTic Gaming (a place in the rate by HLTV — #24)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 11

OpTic Gaming’s results have recently doubted their success at StarSeries #6. It’s worth to add that the roster of the team OpTic was changed one more time on September 28. Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen, the ex-player of North and Heroic, joined the team. The Danish squad has already managed to place second at ECS Season 6 — European Challenger Cup together with him. The player might help the team to achieve the success they haven’t managed to achieve earlier. StarSeries Season 6 will show what to expect from OpTic in the nearest future. Regarding the other participants of the tournament, the Danes have good enough chances to advance to the playoffs but not more than that.

The roster of OpTic Gaming and the players’ rate:

Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke — 1.11
Rene “cajunb” Borg — 1.06
Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer — 0.93
Jakob “JUGi” Hansen — 1.09
Nikolaj “niko” Kristensen — 1.05
Casper “ruggah” Due — a coach

The underdogs of the tournament

The Imperial (a place in the rate by HLTV — #29)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 12

The Imperial has relaxed after the victory at DreamHack Open Summer 2018, which had been over on June 18, and can’t show good results at a single tournament now. DreamHack Open Montreal was the last LAN championship, in which The Imperial competed, where the Europeans placed 3rd-4th. They lost to the team ENCE eSports with a score 1-2 in the semi-final and received a money prize in the sum of $10,000. The last reshuffle on the roster of Imperial was made two months ago and bad results can’t be justified with a not enough amount of time to practice. We think that The Imperial will finish their participation in the group stage.

The roster of The Imperial and the players’ rate:

Nemanja “nexa” Isakovic — 1.13
Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas — 1.29
Zygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas — 1.02
Eimantas “pounh” Lazickas — 1.07
Ali “hAdji” Hainouss — 1.04
Neil “NeiL_M” Murphy — a coach

Renegades (a place in the rate by HLTV — #30)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 13

The activity of Renegades has been low enough recently. Before the Major tournament, Asia Championship — London 2018 had become the last championship, in which the Australians played. They placed first there and earned a money prize in the sum of $30,000. It’s worth to notice that TyLoo was the only strong opponent to compete in the tournament. Renegades didn’t meet the expectations at the Major event and disappointed their fans a lot, having held the 20th-22nd place out of 24 possible. Renegades earned nothing for the participation in the championship and were one of the first to be eliminated from the tournament. The Australians didn’t take part in the rest of LAN tournaments, which were hosted not so long time ago, so it’s difficult to say in which shape they are. Let’s also remind that changes were made to the team on September 30. Noah “nifty” Francis, an in-game leader, and Karlo “USTILO” Pivac were removed from the main roster. Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai, who is famous for his performance in Grayhound Gaming, and Jay “liazz” Tregillgas, who used to play for ORDER, joined the team instead of them. We doubt that Renegades created a competitive shape with their new players in one week, in connection with which we consider them to be an underdog of the tournament.

The roster of Renegades and the players’ rate:

Aaron “AZR” Ward — 1.05
Justin “jks” Savage — 1.22
Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad (a stand-in) — 1.23
Jay “liazz” Tregillgas — 1.37
Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai — 1.22


Fragsters (a place in the rate by HLTV — #31)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 14

Fragsters have an experience of participation in championships with big prize pools. The Danes have recently played at DreamHack Open Austin 2018 and DreamHack Open Valencia 2018, where placed 3rd-4th twice and earned $10,000 for their efforts. The scale of StarSeries will be even bigger than DreamHack Open and this might be a problem for Fragsters. If the team worries, it will perform very bad. We think that this tournament is a great opportunity for Fragsters to have a new experience and take part in the tournament with the Swiss system and we don’t think that the Danes will manage to pass the group stage and advance to the playoffs.

The roster of Fragsters and the players’ rate:

Martin “stavn” Lund — 1.02
Jacob “dragoNfly” Lund —1.08
Nicolai “torben” Amorim — 0.89
Lucas “Bubski” Andersen — 1.09
Ismail “refrezh” Ali — 1.13

Sprout (a place in the rate by HLTV — #58)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 15

The main problem of Sprout is that the European team has never competed in LAN tournaments of such a scale. If the players can’t overcome a psychological and emotional barrier, they will struggle a lot. In any case, they will probably finish their participation in the group stage because many teams, which are better than Sprout in terms of the gaming level and other criteria, will participate in StarSeries Season 6.

The roster of Sprout and the players’ rate:

Denis “denis” Howell — 1.10
Timo “Spiidi” Richter — 1.04
Niels Christian “NaToSaphiX” Sillassen — 1.10
Martin “percy” Wessel — 0.97
Josef “faveN” Baumann — 1.15
Tobias “tow b” Herberhold — a coach

CyberZen (a place in the rate by HLTV — #66)

The preview of StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 6. Photo 16

In our view, CyberZen is the most obvious underdog of the competition. A few factors are a reason for this. The Chinese team was assembled not so long time ago, on June 16 and over the time of its existence, its total income can’t be called massive (~$22,000). It’s not worth to forget that the place in the world rate that is held by CyberZen is #66. However, the players prevailed in WESG 2018 China Finals a couple of days ago, having been ahead of such opponents as TyLoo, Vici Gaming, and others. This result can be called very good but CyberZen will have to show more than just a good game to advance to the next stage. We think that the Chinese team will finish its participation in the Swiss system but we will not be surprised a lot if the team gets further than the group stage.

The roster of CyberZen and the players’ rate:

Bin “Savage” Liu — 1.12
BingYuan “tb” Li — 1.01
Zhen “HZ” Huang — 1.25
QingYu “Monster” Deng — 1.23
Lifan “Viva” Ran — 1.07