The third StarSeries CS:GO tournament of the year, StarSeries i-League S6, is set to kick off once again in Kiev from October 10-14. Just like before, it will feature 16 teams from all over the world, fighting it out for a total prize pool of $300,000 USD.
The defending champions, Natus Vincere, are surprisingly absent from the tournament. Perhaps the CIS juggernauts thought it best to skip the tournament after fatigue likely set in and resulted in their 5th-6th place finish at ESL One New York 2018 following their silver-medal finish at the FACEIT Major: London 2018. Their rivals, and consensus best CS:GO team in the world, Astralis, are also not in the pool, as well as Team Liquid.
That means three of the best CS:GO teams in the world won’t be playing at the StarSeries i-League S6, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be seeing a lot of action. If anything, we’ll be seeing more tight games as the competitive field is more or less even, although heavy favourites, Mousesports, who recently pulled off an upset against Team Liquid at ESL One New York 2018, might have something to say about that.
Having said that, we will not delay any further and give you our preview of the StarSeries i-League S6.
StarSeries i-League S6: The Participating Teams
The sixth season of the long running tournament sees eight teams qualifying from Europe, North America, and Asia, to take part in the tournament. They’ll be joined by eight more teams that received a direct invite to the event.
StarSeries i-League S6 Direct Invites:
— ENCE eSports
— Gambit Esports
— Vega Squadron
StarSeries i-League S6 Qualifier Teams:
— Fragsters (Europe)
— The Imperial (Europe)
— Sprout (Europe)
— OpTic Gaming (Europe)
— NRG Esports (North America)
— compLexity Gaming (North America)
— TyLoo (Asia)
— CyberZen (Asia)
While the StarSeries i-League S6 does suffer from being on the back end of a series of big tournaments, it is nevertheless still a must-watch.
For the 16 CS:GO teams present in the tournament, they need to take this chance to make a statement and get themselves that much-needed break that they desperately need.
StarSeries i-League S6: Tournament Format and Prize Pool
The StarSeries i-League S6 is broken up into two parts: the 16-team Swiss System Format group stage and the 8-team single-elimination bracket playoffs.
The Swiss System Format is one of the most common formats in competitive CS:GO. Basically, 16 teams are matched-up against each other randomly in best-of-one matches for five full rounds, with each succeeding round pitting them against a team that they have yet to play against before in their group. By the end of it the group stages, only 8 teams will remain. The rest will be eliminated.
Once the group stages are over, the 8 remaining teams will face off in a single-elimination playoff bracket, contested in best-of-three series. Eventually, the 8 teams will be whittled down to two teams who will face off against each other in the Grand Finals in a best-of-five series.
All 16 teams will be fighting for the $300,000 USD prize pool. The payouts are as follows:
— 1st Place: $125,000
— 2nd Place: $50,000
— 3rd-4th Place: $25,000
— 5th-8th Place: $10,000
— 9th-11th Place: $6,000
— 12th-14th place: $4,000
— 15th-16th place: $2,500
StarSeries i-League S6: The Heavy Favourites
mouz, as they’re often abbreviated as, posted one of the biggest comebacks in CS:GO history after climbing themselves out of a 13-4 role in Map 4 in the Grand Finals of ESL One New York 2018 against Team Liquid, forcing overtime and claiming the win 19-17 to eventually stun the North American crowd and win the entire tournament.
The question now is, can they do it again?
We’ve seen so many teams finally get over the hump only to turn out to be more of a flash in a pan, and while mousesports have been, more or less, consistently good this year, the verdict is still up on whether or not they’re legitimate contenders or not.
A win here at StarSeries i-League S6 will help mouz strengthen their case.
How do you go from beating the best CS:GO team in the world to gutting nearly half of your roster in less than a month?
We don’t know but feel free to ask North.
After winning DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018, North are now rocking a different roster for StarSeries i-League S6. Gone is Dreamhack Masters Stockholm 2018 MVP, Mathias ‘MSL‘ Lauridsen, replaced by Casper ‘cadiaN‘ Møller as the team’s captain. Although kicking Nikolaj ‘niko‘ Kristensen was quite understandable, as he was the weakest link on the team despite their title win in Stockholm, swapping two players out in response to their bad showing at the FACEIT Major: London 2018 seems to be quite drastic.
Nevertheless, North remain a formidable team with the duo of Philip ‘aizy‘ Aistrup and Vlademar ‘valde‘ Bjørn leading the way. And, with the “honeymoon period” all too real for this team, North have a fair shot of winning StarSeries i-League S6.
One of the better teams in terms of utility usage and the best CS:GO team in the world at using their grenades, many may look at BIG’s crazy second-place run at ESL One Cologne 2018 as a surprise, but considering how this team has always flashed some potential, the performance was more of a long-time coming kind of thing for anyone who’s been following BIG for quite some time.
BIG’s biggest gripes are their lack of firepower and their relatively small map pool. Known for their Dust2 and to some extent, Inferno, but relatively weak in other maps, BIG will need to expand their map pool if they want to make another deep run in Kiev next week.
If they spent the last couple of weeks address that particular weakness, BIG are easily the most dangerous team in the tournament.
Following a relatively quiet period after the end of ESL One Cologne 2018, competitive CS:GO is back in full swing, with the StarSeries i-League S6 being the fifth notable tournament since DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 in late August.
With even more premiere CS:GO tournaments scheduled once this clash in Kiev ends, we’re already starting to see teams try to avoid fatigue by skipping tournaments in order to keep themselves fresh. That also means we’ll likely see more teams step up their game in the absence of the top dogs to try and position themselves closer to the top of the pecking order.
While all eyes will be on mousesports, BIG, and North to be that one team who takes advantage of the relatively weak competitive field, we know all too well that any of the sixteen teams are well capable of pulling off an upset run and taking home the title for themselves.
Click here for the latest StarSeries i-League S6 betting odds.