Kazakhstan’s e-sports AVANGAR Counter-Strike team advances to Berlin Major’s semifinals

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s AVANGAR Counter-Strike team advanced Sept. 5 to the semi-final stage of the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, taking down France’s Team Vitality 2-1 in the opening match of the playoffs.

AVANGAR at the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Photo credit: hltv.org.

“The Kazakh team got off to a good start by winning the enemy’s pick Mirage 16-9, but (Team) Vitality managed to tie the score as they prevailed 16-11 on Inferno, where Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut delivered an MVP performance with 1.63 KDR (kill to death ratio) (28-12 K-D). It all came down to Dust II, where AVANGAR outclassed their opposition 16-10 after scoring 12 rounds on the T side,” Starladder.com described the match.

AVANGAR will face Australia’s Renegades at the semi-finals Sept. 7.

The StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, the 15th Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship and this year’s second major, features 24 teams and a $1,000,000 prize pool. First, second and third place winners will receive $500,000, $150,000 and $70,000, respectively, as well as a direct invite to the New Legends Stage at the next major championship. Fifth to eighth place winners will also receive invites and $35,000 each.

Earlier, in the Aug. 23-26 New Challengers Stage, AVANGAR beat Complexity Gaming 16-13 in the first round, HellRaisers 16-8 in the third round and Syman Gaming 2-1 in the fifth round, losing to Mousesports 19-17 in the second round and NRG Esports 2-0 in the fourth round. Emerging as a top-eight team after five rounds, they proceeded to the Aug. 28-Sept. 1 New Legends Stage of the tournament.

“For us, it was a feeling like we had nothing to lose,” AVANGAR player Alexey “qikerty” Golubev told Hltv.org on facing long-time rival and fellow Kazakh team Syman Gaming in the New Challengers Stage’s fifth round. “Our team is already used to playing important games, and I think it is what brought us to victory. We never lose important games.”

AVANGAR lost to ENCE 16-5 in the first round and beat Renegades 16-13 in the second round, Team Liquid 22-18 in the third round and G2 Esports 2-1 in the fourth round of the New Legends Stage, where they proceeded to the Sept. 5-8 New Champions Stage as a top-eight team once more.

AVANGAR’s young line-up of 19-29-year-olds features Dzhami “Jame” Ali, Golubev, Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliyev, Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev and Timur “buster” Tulepov. The team ranks 15th in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive world ranking.

AVANGAR earned a spot at this year’s Berlin Major when it advanced to the Feb. 13-17 New Challengers Stage at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII – Katowice Major 2019, the first major of the year. There, the skilled team entertained online and offline audiences at the New Challengers Stage by beating FURIA 16-14 in the second round and TYLOO 2-0 in the fourth round, losing to Renegades 16-8 in the first round and G2 Esports 16-10 in the third round.