NRG defeated Astralis 2-0 today to qualify for the StarLadder Berlin CS:GO Major playoffs.
This is the first time that NRG have made it to the playoffs of a CS:GO Major. And they had to beat Astralis and Liquid—arguably two of the favorites to win the Major—as well as Renegades to qualify.
The first map of the series, Train, went the distance. Both teams almost broke the record for the most rounds played after five rounds of overtime. NRG won it 32-21 after saving eight map points. Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov finished with 52 kills and was only one kill away from tying the record for most kills in a Major held by Nikola “NiKo” Kovač at MLG Columbus in 2016.
Nuke, one of Astralis’ best maps, wasn’t as balanced as Train. NRG dominated it from the beginning on the CT-side and switched sides with a 12-3 advantage. Astralis only won one round in the second half and NRG beat them 16-4. NRG’s captain Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz, who was one of the best players on Train, finished with 24 kills and only seven deaths.
Before the New Legends Stage started, nobody would’ve guessed that NRG would be the first American team to qualify for the playoffs. Fans doubted if stanislaw would improve the team over the former in-game leader, Damian “daps” Steele, but NRG certainly made a statement in the New Legends Stage.
All of their players have had great moments at the Major so far, but most of the hard work is being done by CeRq and Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte.
As for Astralis, they were simply not able to close out the game on Train and losing after eight map points must have shattered their mindset going into the second map. They were famous for allowing opponents to come back when they represented TSM in the past and part of the community is already saying that the players choked just like in the TSM days. This loss against NRG may be a tough pill to swallow.
NRG will have six days to rest and prepare for the Major playoffs, while Astralis will face CR4ZY tomorrow at 11:30am CT. You can keep up with the StarLadder Berlin Major New Legends Stage results and standings here.