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SL i-League Starseries Season 4 Tournament Preview

The Starladder I League Season 4 tournament will be the first big international event after the Eleague Boston Major. Featuring a prize pool of $300,000 and sixteen teams in attendance, this event promises to almost be a repeat of the Major.

Starladder I league Season 4 has ten invited teams while the remaining six have qualified via various regional qualifiers. This tournament is the first big LAN event that some of the teams will be attending with their new rosters. We have seen roster changes in teams such as Virtus Pro, Astralis, Gambit amongst others. This tournament will be the first time we have a look at these teams and their performance.

The Favorites

There are a few teams that can be considered as the favorites for the tournament. With Cloud9 winning the Boston Major and coming second at the CS_Summit 2; they are a top contender at this event. The other strong contenders include teams such as SK Gaming, Faze Clan & Astralis.

Astralis

Astralis underwent a roster change after the Major. They lost Kjaerbye in a somewhat unusual manner. The players on the team themselves had no idea that they would not be playing with Kjaerbye on Astralis again. The team started scrambling to search for a new member and they finally found Magisk who comes from another team.

Magisk shows a lot of promise as an individual. His young age coupled with high skill definitely make him a potent fit for Astralis. He comes as a loan from Optic Gaming who have also reformed their core roster.

It has been quite some time since Astralis have won a tournament. The last tournament that they secured the top position was the IEM Katowice 2017. It’s almost a year without winning any tournaments for Astralis.

The team will still be playing around Device and Dupreeh. Device goes back to his AWP while Dupreeh will go back to his entry frag/rifling. The team was making a lot of progress with this combination and they will hopefully continue to do so. Getting Magisk in brings in a lot of firepower but it removes the tactical advantage of having Kjaerbye on the roster.

We don’t know how comfortable Astralis are with Magisk on their team. The team obviously had to choose Magisk in a very short time period, during which they had limited options. Getting their synergy and map pool in tandem with Magisk is going to take some time. While we don’t expect Astralis to have a walk through this tournament, they remain a strong contender to reach the playoffs.

SK Gaming

SK Gaming promised us a lot with the ‘new roster’ towards the end of 2017. With Boltz on the roster, SK Gaming won several tournaments and was potentially challenging Faze for the title of the best team in the world. SK Gaming had to how comfortable Astralis are with Magisk the Boston Major with their old lineup, which included Felps.

According to their social media feed, SK Gaming was practicing with Boltz till the very start of the Boston Major. This would lead us to believe that they should have a great synergy built up with Bolt as a team. But the SK roster failed during the Boston Major and continued the same form as we moved on to the CS_Summit 2. They lost to Cloud9 both the times and CS_Summit 2 was a letdown. SK Gaming lost a series 0-2 with both the maps being single-digit losses for the Brazilian roster.

SK’s performance gives them an advantage as they are very well coordinated. The team has seen

amazing individual performances lapped with the synergy that only Fallen can command. With the In-Game Leader himself being a top player, it is one of the only teams whose IGL constantly puts up big numbers on the scoreboard.

But coming into this tournament, SK Gaming will be looking to overcome the mental blocks as they will eventually face off against Cloud9. Cloud9 have knocked out SK Gaming from two consecutive tournaments now. In order for SK Gaming to have a bigger impact, Coldzera and Fer need to step up their game. While Boltz has been the newest recruit to the team, the big names on the team have failed to step up their game so far.

SK Gaming might just miss out on the playoffs, depending on their performance at an individual level and as a team.

Faze Clan

The best team that cannot win the Major. This team is filled with players who have been on the best teams in the world but failed to win Majors. The Faze roster has been put together with the hope of creating a world-class team that will dominate the CS GO landscape.

Does that mean we will see a NIP/Fnatic/SK type dominance era from Faze? It’s really doubtful that would happen. However, Faze have been consistently counted as one of the best teams in the world in CS GO. Having talented players such as Guardian, Karrigan, Olofmeister, Niko, and Rain on the team, this team does not lack firepower. The veterans on the team share years in terms of experience, while Niko is definitely a contestant for the best player in the world title. They remain strong on Inferno, Mirage amongst other maps. The recent changes to Nuke should not affect the team as they veto it outright every time. However recently we saw the team being unable to win their matches on Inferno in the ESL Pro League. Being an online match, the results have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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They have won several tournaments prior to the Major, however, they still remain the team which could not win the Boston Major. But this is not the Major, the pressure and the situation are completely different. Faze are back to where they want themselves to be. In the current situation, this probably presents the best opportunity for Faze to stage a comeback and start winning trophies again. They are one of the favorites to win the title and they should be hungry for it.

 

Cloud9

The Eleague Boston Major winners will be looking to continue their winning streak at Starladder Season 4. Cloud9 is on a roll right now and is beaming with confidence. The team performs above their average when they are confident and the best example was the Boston Major.

Cloud9 have always been a consistent team and near the top ranks in Counter-Strike. However, with the home advantage at the major and the subsequent confidence, Cloud9 have ascended onto another level. Skadoodle has been a very strong AWPer for the team and has consistently been able to create opportunities for the team. Along with Tarik, the two form a very strong duo who have led Cloud9 to success so far in 2018.

However, coming into this tournament will be the first real test for Cloud9. Not only are they not in North America, they will be playing on LAN in Europe. Without the crowd support, it will be interesting to note how far the team can proceed at Starseries Season 4. They are a team capable of reaching the playoffs based on talent alone. But it depends upon the other stronger teams and their performance at this tournament. If we see Astralis, Faze and SK step up to their full potential, Cloud 9 will have a hard time reaching the playoffs at Starseries Season 4.

The Unknowns

The Starseries tournament will see several teams who pose a serious threat to the favorite teams in the tournament. Any of these teams can potentially cause a huge upset and change the balance at the top.

Mousesports

Mousesports has been the constant dark horse in all the tournaments that they attended. The ECS Season 4 finalists had a very close loss to Faze Clan in the finals. They followed it up with a loss to Faze again in the Quarterfinals of the Major.

Mousesports have all the players necessary to form a strong team. With talents such as Oskar, Styko, and Ropz; this team can potentially go on to win Starseries Season 4. However, they have always failed at the playoffs or just before it. They end up facing some of the strongest rosters in the tournament which eventually leads to the team being knocked out.

Mousesports has always had a consistency problem. While they regularly show up against some of the best teams in the world, they follow it up with poor performances later. This has resulted in the team not always making it high in the CS GO rankings. While they have potential, it’s a wild guess if they will perform up to their standards at Starseries Season 4.

Virtus Pro

Virtus Pro is not really considered a strong potential contender for the Starseries Season 4. The team recently underwent a roster change which broke up their longest standing roster. The famous Virtus pro roster had a lot of fans but their results had been going downhill for quite some time.

Replacing Taz with Michu has several consequences for the team as a whole. While they will be looking to make a huge impact in this tournament, the conditions are just not right for the team. We might see them potentially just make it to the playoffs, but that really seems unlikely. Starladder Season 4 will basically be a tournament that will propel Virtus Pro as being a potential contender through 2018.

This is a fan favorite team and they will have the backing of the live audience. However, the team has been known to be terribly inconsistent in their performances. The aggressive gameplay that Virtus Pro right now is very well known and teams prepare for the same. The ‘surprise’ element on the team just does not exist with their playstyle. More often than not, the team suffers due to their playstyle.

Final Thoughts

Starseries Season 4 seems to be a battle between SK, Faze, Astralis and Cloud9. But the other teams in the tournament are not to be scoffed at. Virtus Pro, Na’Vi, Mousesport, and Gambit are all potential upsets for the tournament. With the format being a swiss format, it actually favors the underdogs to quite an extent.

This will be the first tournament to be held in a LAN environment after the Boston Major. While we did have the CS_Summit on LAN, it was a very casual event with no live audience or stage for the players. How comfortable Astralis are with Magisk will be streamed live on Twitch on February 10th, 10:00 EET.


Rohan

The author

Esports journalist. An esports fan, former wannabe pro and occasional angry young man. You can find him trying to climb the Dota 2 MMR or just chilling in Rocket League. Or maybe building an entire city in Cities: Skylines. The current mood is always a surprise.

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[Update] SL i-League StarSeries Season 4 | sl i-league starseries – Vietnamnhanvan

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BlackCompany

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Joined August 2012

Germany

8387 Posts

#2

Jeez VP what are you doing.
Train was an easy victory but they are still doing awful things.
Faking a drop down to bait T’s in but then have a grenade in your hand instead of a rifle..

Pandemona

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Joined March 2011

Charlie Sheens House

43637 Posts

#3

This tournament is amazing, bo3 swiss stage holy hell! Tyloo beating Fnatic 2-0! MVP taking map off of VP wowow.

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Team Liquid Football Thread Guru! – Chelsea FC ♥

Ragnarork

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Joined June 2011

France

8976 Posts

#4

I love this format. I know we won’t be having that again anytime soon, so I’m enjoying the fuck out of it while it’s there.

Liquipedia

Wanderer. “MC in the chat after games 1-2 [vs ThorZaIN] was like who tf is this guy how is he so good”. CSGO <3

Faruko

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Joined April 2013

Chile

2980 Posts

#5

Ropz is sick

Ross was right // “Jesus Christ nahaz is doing shots before my eyes” (Sn0_Man, 2018)

Ysellian

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Joined December 2010

Netherlands

8409 Posts

#6

Mousesports are really good. They always have a win against a top team in them in any tournament.

Pandemona

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43637 Posts

#7

yeah Mouz played really well on the maps they won, got over the line just on Mirage but they deservedly won Inferno. SK have some searching to do, can’t really get a good steady performance going in a bo3 in a good while.

Damn SKyeah Mouz played really well on the maps they won, got over the line just on Mirage but they deservedly won Inferno. SK have some searching to do, can’t really get a good steady performance going in a bo3 in a good while.

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Ysellian

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Joined December 2010

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8409 Posts

#8

Yeah they are definitely still searching. I expect more from them

Ragnarork

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France

8976 Posts

Last Edited: 2018-02-18 19:53:46

#9

It’s weird seeing how sick their Epicenter run with boltz was. But after the major parenthesis with felps, it seems they can’t get back to that.

Hoping Liquid won’t do the same with NAF.

Liquipedia

Wanderer. “MC in the chat after games 1-2 [vs ThorZaIN] was like who tf is this guy how is he so good”. CSGO <3

Mensol

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Joined September 2012

Turkey

7890 Posts

#10

This tournament has been excellent. Definitely better than major so far.

If you don’t know what the fuck you are doing, how are your enemies supposed to know what the fuck you are doing. – imaqtpie on NA teams at Worlds.

phagga

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Joined February 2012

Switzerland

2194 Posts

#11

Cloud9 is getting rekt.

“A person who does not concern himself with politics has already made the political choice he was so anxious to spare himself: he is serving the ruling party.” – Max Frisch

Ysellian

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Joined December 2010

Netherlands

8409 Posts

#12

Faze is amazing. I see them choking the finals again

Kipsate

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Joined July 2010

Netherlands

29711 Posts

#13

haven’t watched much and this might be a weird and ironic thing but I don’t like showing the bomb timer that much, some part of the excitement of watching is not knowing how close people are.

Writer

Xiao8~~

Ragnarork

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Joined June 2011

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8976 Posts

#14

I don’t really like it either… This negates the casters a powerful tool to ramp up the hype during the defuse, kills a bit of the excitement indeed.

Liquipedia

Wanderer. “MC in the chat after games 1-2 [vs ThorZaIN] was like who tf is this guy how is he so good”. CSGO <3

Pandemona

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Charlie Sheens House

43637 Posts

Last Edited: 2018-02-19 10:26:15

#15

This Nitro awping for Liquid isn’t really working at the moment right? I mean in one of the rounds he throws his awp away to pick up an AK in a 2 on 2 where im sure most main awpers wouldn’t have done that? He is a good rifler anyway and to me it seems he prefers rifling to awping which is a big problem? They showed a stat yesterday in there defeat to Renegades where on the map they won he had 4 awp kills compared to Renegades player who had 14 awp kills. Just seems bit of a waste.

Oh well, new strats might work! Just i assume limits your map pool heavily if you can’t have a main awper ?

The last map mirage vs VP, Nitro has 7 awp kills out of 21 kills that map in a game they dominated. I mean you wouldn’t see Faze or SK with these kinda stats for their main awpers when they dominate maps. But again hopefully we will see a new strat or tactic that causes this to work.

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Faruko

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Chile

2980 Posts

#16

The fuck dude Juggi is FUCKING SICK AND NO TOP DANISH TEAMS WANT HIM

Ross was right // “Jesus Christ nahaz is doing shots before my eyes” (Sn0_Man, 2018)

Faruko

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Chile

2980 Posts

#17

24 rounds in 4 maps for Cloud9

MAJOR CHAMPIONS

Ross was right // “Jesus Christ nahaz is doing shots before my eyes” (Sn0_Man, 2018)

phagga

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Joined February 2012

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2194 Posts

Last Edited: 2018-02-19 13:23:45

#18

On February 19 2018 19:05 Pandemona wrote:
This Nitro awping for Liquid isn’t really working at the moment right? I mean in one of the rounds he throws his awp away to pick up an AK in a 2 on 2 where im sure most main awpers wouldn’t have done that? He is a good rifler anyway and to me it seems he prefers rifling to awping which is a big problem? They showed a stat yesterday in there defeat to Renegades where on the map they won he had 4 awp kills compared to Renegades player who had 14 awp kills. Just seems bit of a waste.

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Oh well, new strats might work! Just i assume limits your map pool heavily if you can’t have a main awper ?

The last map mirage vs VP, Nitro has 7 awp kills out of 21 kills that map in a game they dominated. I mean you wouldn’t see Faze or SK with these kinda stats for their main awpers when they dominate maps. But again hopefully we will see a new strat or tactic that causes this to work.

There is an interview with Zews where he is explaining these points.

I think it’s working just fine. They don’t want a specialised AWPer, they want the weapon to just be another tool they can use. Also, Nitr0 is not the only one AWPing, yesterday

I think it’s working just fine. They don’t want a specialised AWPer, they want the weapon to just be another tool they can use. Also, Nitr0 is not the only one AWPing, yesterday Twistzz was the top AWP on the server vs Renegades with 15 AWP kills

“A person who does not concern himself with politics has already made the political choice he was so anxious to spare himself: he is serving the ruling party.” – Max Frisch

Pandemona

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Charlie Sheens House

43637 Posts

#19

On February 19 2018 22:23 phagga wrote:
Show nested quote +

On February 19 2018 19:05 Pandemona wrote:
This Nitro awping for Liquid isn’t really working at the moment right? I mean in one of the rounds he throws his awp away to pick up an AK in a 2 on 2 where im sure most main awpers wouldn’t have done that? He is a good rifler anyway and to me it seems he prefers rifling to awping which is a big problem? They showed a stat yesterday in there defeat to Renegades where on the map they won he had 4 awp kills compared to Renegades player who had 14 awp kills. Just seems bit of a waste.

Oh well, new strats might work! Just i assume limits your map pool heavily if you can’t have a main awper ?

The last map mirage vs VP, Nitro has 7 awp kills out of 21 kills that map in a game they dominated. I mean you wouldn’t see Faze or SK with these kinda stats for their main awpers when they dominate maps. But again hopefully we will see a new strat or tactic that causes this to work.

There is an interview with Zews where he is explaining these points.

I think it’s working just fine. They don’t want a specialised AWPer, they want the weapon to just be another tool they can use. Also, Nitr0 is not the only one AWPing, yesterday

I think it’s working just fine. They don’t want a specialised AWPer, they want the weapon to just be another tool they can use. Also, Nitr0 is not the only one AWPing, yesterday Twistzz was the top AWP on the server vs Renegades with 15 AWP kills

Ah yeah that makes more sense and i thought it would be more a tactical decision, but surely that leads to issues on the maps where awps are very useful or are a key component for how the map plays out. Hmmm, we shall see!

Ah yeah that makes more sense and i thought it would be more a tactical decision, but surely that leads to issues on the maps where awps are very useful or are a key component for how the map plays out. Hmmm, we shall see!

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Faruko

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Joined April 2013

Chile

2980 Posts

Last Edited: 2018-02-19 15:26:44

#20

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA G2 CONFIRMED THE MOST STUPID TEAM IN THE WORLD

kick all 5 players after that round

Ross was right // “Jesus Christ nahaz is doing shots before my eyes” (Sn0_Man, 2018)

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