NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s AVANGAR Counter-Strike team finished in second place at the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, having lost to Denmark’s Astralis 2-0 in the Sept. 8 grand final.
“One step from the main goal. This time we finish second, but we’re really proud of our boys and (the) performance they did during the whole #BerlinMajor. Thanks for cheering for us, we’ll come (out) stronger next time!” the Kazakh professional e-sports club tweeted.
“@astralisgg played super well, shoutout to them. Deserves (its) win! We’ll keep working and we will try (to) show our best for the next one. And big thanks to @StarLadderCSGO for this awesome event,” said AVANGAR player Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev in a Tweet.
The StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, the 15th Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship and this year’s second major, featured 24 teams and a $1,000,000 prize pool. AVANGAR won $150,000 for second place and an invite to the next major championship’s New Legends Stage.
Earlier, in the Aug. 23-26 New Challengers Stage, the team 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.”
The team lost to ENCE 16-5 in the first round of the New Legends Stage, beating Renegades 16-13 in the second round, Team Liquid 22-18 in the third round and G2 Esports 2-1 in the fourth round.
AVANGAR then proceeded to the Sept. 5-8 New Champions Stage as a top-eight team once more, where they took down Team Vitality 2-1 in the quarterfinals and Renegades 2-0 in the semifinals.
“RNG (Renegades) were very close to winning the first map, Mirage, but the Kazakh team managed to tie the game at 15-15 and won the second OT (overtime) 22-19. On the next map, Dust II, AVANGAR crushed Renegades 16-6 following their dominance on the T side, where they picked up 10 rounds. Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali was the most valuable player of this match as he had 1.41 KDR (kill to death ratio) (51-31 K-D),” Starladder.com described the semifinal match.
AVANGAR’s young line-up of 19-29-year-olds features Dzhami “Jame” Ali, Golubev, Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliyev, 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.
Next up for AVANGAR is the BLAST Pro Series Moscow 2019 CIS Play-In and European Champions Cup Sept. 13 and Sept. 16, respectively.