Europe and America’s Minors are behind us, meaning StarLadder Berlin Major has only four more spots open for teams that will advance through CIS and Asia Minors and three spots for top three teams that will come through Minors’ 3rd Place Play-In.
Looking back at Europe and America’s Minors, it was mousesports and CR4ZY who came through European qualifiers, whereas NRG and FURIA came through Americas playoffs to end the first round of Minor qualifiers.
The 2nd round of Minor qualifiers, however, is just about to begin, this time in CIS and Asia region. There we will get to see some of the strongest CS:GO teams from their regions doing their best to prove their worth as they battle through qualifiers which will award the top two teams from each region a ticket to one of the most prestigious events of the year.
In this preview, we will look at CIS Minor Championship, which will be played between July 24th and 28th.
The format of the tournament is the same as with all other Minor Championship, meaning it will start off with two double-elimination (GSL) groups with four teams in each. All opening matches will be played as Bo1, whereas all the following will switch to Bo3. Playoffs will then feature only top four teams, who will compete in Bo3 matches, in hopes to claim their ticket by winning either winner’s finals or claiming a win in the loser’s finals.
The 3rd placed team or the loser of the loser’s finals will, as mentioned get to compete in Minors’ 3rd Place Play-In against 3rd placed teams from other three regions for one last shot at appearing at StarLadder Berlin Major.
The draw for CIS Minor Championship has divided the teams into two groups, which will look as follows:
Group A: forZe, Gambit Youngsters, Syman Gaming, Unique Team
Group B: DreamEaters, Nemiga Gaming, Team Spirit, Warthox Esport
With a mix of quality, potential and different play styles present at CIS Minor Championship, we expect it to be an exciting one to watch. Who will claim their tickets to the Major is a huge mystery, and while there are two teams who are considered huge favourites, we cannot simply disregard their opponents, who are all more than capable of producing an upset win and secure their spot in StarLadder Berlin Major.
Looking at the odds, forZe are priced as $2.00 favourites to take the first place, which overrates them, given these games are quite unpredictable. Looking at the teams, I expect quite a few close matches and possible upsets, which means betting on favourites is not a good idea.
Team Spirit are priced around $3.00 and they look quite a good bet to take. They have won 11 out of 13 matches against the favourites forZe, including a recent 16-0 win on Overpass in the ESEA MDL Season 31 Europe. They also have the most experienced roster out of all teams, as they are the only team at this Minor, who already played at the Major. The team looks stable and given that there is no notable competition in their Group B, they should at least aim for the second place, however, they come off as a team that has the best chance of finishing in first place.
Team Spirit and forZe will be two main contenders for the first two places, whereas teams like Nemiga and Syman should be one of the teams pushing for the third place. Both teams have some young talent in their ranks and have a few great results in their own region. However, it’s the lack of proper leadership, which I believe will prevent them from aiming for the top spots.
That leaves us with Unique, Gambit Youngsters, DreamEaters and Warthox who all have the needed quality to upset some stronger teams, however, I don’t expect a lot from them in the long run, especially in a BO3 LAN environment. No point betting on them.
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