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Berlin Major semi-finals preview: Can EU disrupt the Brazilian party?

Four teams remain and only two can make it to championship Sunday.

Europe's Rogue will face North America's XSET, while a Latin American rumble between w7m esports and FaZe Clan will decide their opponents.

Rogue vs XSET

Rogue -- Cryn, LeonGids, Kantoraketti, Deapek, Spoit, meepeY, Bernie (two coaches), and Saethus (analyst)
XSET -- Kyno, DiasLucasBr, GMZ, Spiritz, Yoggah, Vivas (coach), and PFernandes (analyst)

Europe's home favourites and top seeded team were both knocked out in the quarter finals against Rogue and XSET, respectively, as two recently formed rosters hope to reach their first grand-final. 

Every member of Rogue is fighting for their own personal triumph:

  • LeonGids has attended and lost three Six Major semi-finals, can he finally win on his fourth try?
  • Can Kanto tie Canadian’s record and win titles on three different teams? 
  • Can Spoit become the first player ever to win a Major in their debut stage?
  • After three years stuck in the Challenger League, can Deapek win a title just two stages after his debut?
  • After being relegated twice and failed campaigns on Mock-it Esports, G2 Esports, and Chaos Esports, and Cryn finally reach the top on Rogue?
  • MeepeY last reached a tier-one grand-final in 2016, before Brazil was even involved in global R6 -- can he overcome a Brazilian gauntlet to go one kill better this time?

XSET, meanwhile, are an anomaly of a roster. A Brazilian team are North America's last hope and despite being ridiculed for his plans to redeem NA on the world’s stage, Budega and co. are the last ones from Las Vegas standing in Berlin.

The organization was relegated last year and picked up three Challenger League players and Oxygen's two newest members, and is now just two wins away from turning them into champions. 

This semi-final match is also unique in that Rogue and XSET were both in Group A in this event. Rogue beat XSET 7-4 on Oregon on Monday, while XSET then took their revenge, beating Rogue by the same scoreline on Theme Park two days later.

Now, after two 2-0 quarter-final wins, will we have an all-Brazilian grand-final, or will Rogue become the first mixed-European team to reach a grand-final since Kanto last did it in Raleigh? 

FaZe Clan vs w7m esports

FaZe Clan -- Astro, cameram4n, Bullet1, Cyber, soulz1, and Ramalho (coach)
w7m esports -- HerdsZ, GdNN1, Kheyze, Jv92, volpz, Abreu, and igoorctg (two coaches)

A rematch of this stage's Copa Elite Six grand-final will decide which LATAM team will represent the region in the grand-final.

These two teams are effectively polar opposites in their stories; FaZe Clan are one of the best known teams in the world. They are looking for their second title in less than a year, while this is the first time w7m have ever attended an event in person.

Should FaZe progress to the grand-final, they will be fighting to make history. A win would make them the fourth team ever to win multiple titles alongside G2, Continuum, and Team Empire. Bullet1 would be the seventh player to win three titles after the G2 core and Canadian. Plus, the consistent success would likely make FaZe the most successful Brazilian team of all time.

W7m's story is that of a team that went from 10th, 10th, and ninth during last year's three stages, to two back-to-back BR6 stage victories. This was purely off the back of two rookie pickups; Jv92 and Volpz.

In these two teams' entire history, w7m have only beaten FaZe on two maps, but both of these wins have come this year.

A 7-3 BR6 Stage 1 win on Border and a 7-2 win on Clubhouse during map two of the CES BO3 was the lone prior wins for w7m. FaZe, meanwhile, have won on Bank, Villa, and Chalet against the current w7m lineup.

So far this tournament, they were both close to a flawless group stage performance before dropping points to Europe on the final day. They then both really struggled in their quarter-finals, too, as FURIA and Elevate took FaZe and w7m to map three, respectively.

Another map three will be likely here as Abreu, w7m's coach, will want to go from student to master and knock out his old coach from his time as a player on Elevate -- FaZe's Ramalho.

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