Starting today and until June 3, the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players in the world will play in the StarSeries Season Five. This event takes place in Kiev, Ukraine and has a guaranteed prize pool of $300,000, plus the coveted points. Previously known as the StarLadder i-League, the rebranded event will feature 16 top teams competing in a Swiss Format group stage. Over the course of five days they will try to secure qualification to the elimination round and make a deep run in the playoffs.
Fans of the popular first-person shooter will be able to watch the games played on CS:GO servers broadcasted live. The first five days of the competition are dedicated to the group stage that will see eight players through. To advance from the group stage to the championship bracket, a team will have to win three games. What makes this competition format special is that it has a randomly seeded match setup. Eight CS:GO teams will be eliminated after the group stage, which makes the opening phase really tough.
Participating teams will compete in a best-of-three series, with the option of vetoing maps. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players will recognize the seven maps as those used in all major tournaments. Cache, Dust II, Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, Overpass and Train were chosen for this event. Before the beginning of each series, players will be able to exclude one of these maps.
Mouz Are The Defending Champions At StarSeries Season Five
Last year’s StarLadder i-League was won by Mousesports, commonly abbreviated as Mouz. The reigning champions will have some tough competitors when the tournament returns under a different brand. Liquid, Na’Vi, SK, NiP and Renegades are their closest competitors and they will need some of the teams in the group stage. They all play the opening day, followed by North, VP, Gambit, HR and TyLoo, which are some of the new teams aspiring for glory.
The teams less likely to survive the Swiss Format group stage are AGO, AVANGAR, VG.Flash and NRG. These are the underdogs at the Ukrainian event and the odds are stacked against them because of the high number of teams eliminated in the opening phase. All the matches played in the group stage as well as playoffs games will be broadcasted in real-time. Fans will enjoy simultaneous broadcasts on the primary and secondary StarLadder Twitch channels.
All 16 teams will collect a paycheck, but the lion’s share of $200,000 will be divided among the top four. The winners will walk away with $125,000, the runners up will claim $50,000 while the teams in the third and fourth places will collect $25,000 each. The next four will receive $10,000 and the prizes shrink to $6000, $4000 respectively $2500 for those who don’t survive the group stage.
There are some notable absentees from the CS:GO StarSeries Season Five, including Cloud9 who declined the invitation. The other teams that were invited by the organizers, but chose not to attend are FaZe Clan, Fnatic and G2 Esports.