The StarLadder CS:GO Major play-offs continue on in Berlin, showcasing some of the best talent in professional Counter-Strike. The last two quarter-finals are now completed, leaving us with just four remaining teams who could lift the trophy on Sunday.
The first quarter-final of the day saw North Americans NRG come up against Russian-Ukrainian squad Natus Vincere. NRG tore through the group stage, taking down both Liquid and Astralis to grant themselves a 3-0 record and a spot in the playoffs. NaVi haven't looked like their former selves, just barely reaching the playoffs with a 3-2 record. The match started on Dust2, the map pick of NRG. Though it was closely contested in the opening rounds, the North American side cruised a 13-5 lead after a second-half pistol win. NaVi attempted to get back into the game, but uncharacteristic misses from Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev stopped them from getting too close to overtime. NRG closed out the map 16-13, showing that same unstoppable form from the Legends Stage.
The series then went to NaVi's map pick of Mirage, where the CIS side looked to have found their footing. S1mple stepped up to bring the team to a 10-5 lead at halftime, giving NaVi a good chance to take the map. NRG rallied back, keeping it neck-and-neck to send the map into overtime. NRG kept up their blinding pace, defeating Natus Vincere 19-17 to reach their first-ever Major semi-finals.
The second quarter-final saw tournament favorites Team Liquid take on their rivals, Astralis. The Danish squad's unexpected Vertigo pick kicked off the series. Despite Liquid's 100% win rate on the map, the North American side appeared caught off guard as Astralis took a quick 7-4 lead. The scoreline evened out at halftime, though Liquid would only manage one round in the second half as Astralis took the win 16-8.
Liquid's pick then brought us to Overpass, a map that both teams have been known to perform well on. Liquid set the pace on their T-side, ending the first half with a three-round lead. A shocking force-buy win from Liquid in the second half seemed to guarantee a third map. Astralis had other plans, though, taking command of their own offensive side with calculated plays and expert use of utility. The Danish side managed to retake the lead, giving up only four rounds in the second half. Astralis closed out the map at 16-13, advancing to the semi-finals for the third Major in a row.
NRG and Astralis will face off on Saturday, September 7th, in the Berlin Major's semi-finals. The winner of that match will earn themselves a place in the grand final, meeting one of Renegades or Avangar on Sunday. Apart from Astralis, no remaining team has ever made it this deep in a CS:GO Major. Should Astralis win this event, they would be the first to ever win three consecutive Majors.