The StarLadder Berlin Major - New Legends Recap
0-2. Backs to the wall. Everything on the line against an opponent who threatened an upset win at every turn.
The boys found themselves on the brink at the StarLadder Major Legends Stage in Berlin after narrow losses to NRG & AVANGAR, yet turned their event around with three nail-biting victories to claim a spot at the Champions Stage.
“I mean it feels awesome. We’ve had a rough couple of months so to come here and reverse sweep from 0-2 to 3-2, it feels great.” - Aaron ‘AZR’ Ward, Captain
The Mercedes-Benz Arena awaits the Renegades later this week, with this their second consecutive showing at a Major Champions stage after February’s IEM Katowice Major quarter-final finish.
Eyes were on the ever consistent pairing of Justin ‘jks’ Savage (1.05 rating, 40 assists [2nd at event]) & Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad (1.20 rating [11th at event], 211 kills [1st], 52 assists [1st]) but it was in fact a lights-out Legends stage for Jay ‘Liazz’ Tregilgas who played a monstrous part in RNG’s reverse sweep.
At 1.19 rating (12th at event), this marks Liazz’s best event for the Renegades to date. A +48 kill differential (2nd) over 10 maps & 207 kills (2nd) made him an essential piece to the comeback puzzle for the boys.
However, his most impressive stat - seven 1vX clutches (=1st at event) - was integral in seeing the Renegades break a mid-game stalemate or close out a crucial series. A 1v4 in the third map against FaZe Clan sparked a match-winning fightback, while a 1v2 against G2 on Inferno halted G2’s recovery on their CT side.
Outside of his clutches, his impact was felt from start to finish. Left to solo B site at 20-19, Liazz’s apartments ace will go down as one of the plays of the tournament and a key round that helped see the Renegades claim Mirage from FaZe in their 1-2 matchup.
“It feels amazing and I’m so proud of the full team. It’s actually unbelievable - we worked our asses off these last three weeks and we never stopped believing, even when we were 0-2. We’re gonna go for the title.” - Aleksandr ‘kassad’ Trifunovic, Coach
The boys’ campaign took a sharp dive after two incredibly close matches against NRG and AVANGAR, both of which qualified ahead of RNG for the Champions Stage. Down but not out, the Renegades began their reverse sweep with a 2-0 series win over a spirited DreamEaters.
Arch rivals FaZe Clan awaited the boys in the 1-2 matchup - 10 of the 11 maps between the two sides had gone 25+ rounds, including 3 overtimes. The trend continued on RNG’s Mirage pick, with Liazz’s ace proving a key difference-maker in a 22-19 victory.
FaZe stepped up hard on Nuke, blowing the boys off the map and forcing Vertigo, before a 29-kill effort from Jkaem plus a serviceable 19 kills from Sean ‘Gratisfaction’ Kaiwai saw off FaZe in a gruelling 3-mapper.
G2 was their final hurdle on their way to Champion Stage glory, and it couldn’t have started stronger for the boys; a 16-11 win with all five of the boys contributing on Vertigo had RNG one map away from the main stage.
“[The last Major] we didn’t have that experience on as big of a stage as at Katowice and we learned our lesson there. We’re going to aim for the next stage at least but we will try for the whole thing, who’s going to stop us?” - Aleksandr ‘kassad’ Trifunovic, Coach
A back-and-forth affair on RNG’s CT side of Dust 2 kept the map close but early clutch rounds to AmaNEk on G2’s second half gave the French squad enough of a lead to hold off the boys 16-11, this forcing Inferno.
G2 previously beat the Renegades on the map at Dreamhack Dallas but the boys wouldn’t be letting G2 control the pace of Inferno. Liazz’s 1v2 clutch kept G2 down at 6-2 and despite a strong finish to the half for the French, RNG returned from the halftime break and ended G2’s hopes of a stage appearance 16-9.
The Renegades will aim to go one better in the Mercedes-Benz Arena later this week as they face ENCE for a spot in the top 4 and a semi-final berth in Berlin - tickets for the Champions Stage are available now.
Written by Nicholas ‘Taffy’ Taifalos
@TaffyAU on Twitter