The very first matchups of the StarLadder Major saw Vitality take on Syman Gaming and NRG face DreamEaters. These opening games were supposed to be a warm-up for NRG and especially Vitality. Basically, we had two teams that were likely to go 3-0 against two that were commonly found to go 0-3 in people’s pick’em challenge. However, what emerged was an entirely different story – the underdogs went on to defeat the two teams that are in the top 10 in the world.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) August 23, 2019
t0rick fires up as Vitality fails to uphold Dust2
The youngest average team present on the StarLadder Major (20.5), went up against Vitality, the #2 placed team on the global ranking just behind Team Liquid. With odds 1 to 99, Syman Gaming proved the doubters wrong.
Vitality looked to quickly dispose of the underdogs as the French side got the pistol and the following two rounds. However, on the full buy, the counter-terrorist side composed of Syman players was ready. The CIS team got a staggering 7 consecutive rounds before Vitality responded. By the end of the half, Syman was already winning 10-5.
To add to the surprise, Vitality let up their own first four rounds on ct-side. Syman was already up 14-5 as the humongous upset closed in. The French decided to then get three rounds of their own before the Syman squad got the last two to close out Dust2. The end score was 16-8.
Despite the Syman Gaming squad being impressive overall, the victory is definitely accredited to Maksim “t0rick” Zaikin, who dropped 30 frags and had amazing rounds, such as this 4k below.
NRG mount a comeback but fall short against DreamEaters
Just like with Vitality and Syman, this was yet another upset coming from the palms of a CIS team. Here, despite the loss, NRG faced them with a long journey to force overtime.
DreamEaters definitely favored the ct-side of Overpass, as they grabbed the first five rounds before NRG retaliated. Despite that, NRG was only able to bag five rounds in the half on their t-side following fantastic bombsite retakes from the CIS side. At 10-5, NRG got to work and got the pistol round following Ethan “Ethan” Arnold’s 3k pistol. However, that was the beginning of the worst for NRG. DreamEaters somehow stringed 5 rounds in a row, all without even planting the bomb once.
At 15-6, something finally clicked in NRG’s head while DreamEaters were committing the ultimate choke. NRG mounted a phenomenal comeback to 15-15, with Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov leading the charge. The comeback was a success as overtime ensued.
Unfortunately, this is where NRG fell. DreamEaters reset and kept their cool, and they managed to snatch the overtime and grab the 1-0 at a 19-17 scoreline. Vladislav “Krad” Kravchenko guaranteed the map point for his side following a great 3k.
Much like t0rick gave Syman the edge, Anton “speed4k” Titov gave it his all for his side. The Russian got 31 frags to make his side the victor.
Despite CeRq’s and Ethan’s efforts, NRG have joined Vitality at the 0-1 bracket. Both teams will battle on for a spot in the New Legends stage.
Here lies Stewie’s Pick Ems…Candle’s up 🕯 pic.twitter.com/tbUb2vtrwj
— Jake (@Stewie) August 23, 2019
Are your StarLadder Major pick’ems ruined because of the two massive upsets? Let us know down in the comments below. As always, remember to follow us at Daily Esports for all your latest news in CSGO as well as other major esports.