Hunter C. August 23, 2019
We’re only one day into the Starladder Berlin Major 2019, and North have already made a serious statement to the rest of the field.
The Danish North squad managed a slight upset of INTZ on Train by a dominant score of 16-5, then squeaked by Syman 16-14 in another game on Train. The moral of the story may be to ban train against North, though it’s still very early into the tournament.
Coming into the event, North weren’t exactly counted out, but they were assuredly not among the top teams, nor were they considered favorites. Those spots are reserved for massive names like ENCE, Astralis, Team Liquid, and Vitality.
During their match against INTZ, North was led by the stellar fragging power of Nicklas “gade” Gade and Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjaerbye, who dropped 23 kills each compared to only 19 combined deaths. North raced out to a 10-0 lead, and that hot start proved too much for INTZ to overcome down the stretch.
North’s matchup against Syman was much closer. Syman is considered one of the weakest teams in the tournament, but come major time, any win is a good one. Syman was also fresh off of an upset victory over Vitality.
Kjaerbye led the way in this match as well, dropping a game-high 29 kills to just 19 deaths, averaging nearly one frag per round played.
North’s round three match has yet to be revealed. Should they win that upcoming series, they’ll be one of the first two teams to advance to the next stage of the tournament.
While off to a strong start, winning the Berlin Major might prove to be a Sisyphean task for North. Getting out of the Challenger stage became a lot easier with their dominant win over INTZ, but will still feature some difficulty. G2 Esports are playing exceptionally strong, and big names like Vitality and NRG will remain threats throughout the stage.
However, North are now squarely in the driver’s seat. They control their own destiny for the rest of the stage, and could lock in a spot with just one more match victory. At this level of CSGO play, just making it to that next stage would be a huge achievement.