Starting on July 24th, the Asia Minor Championship will take place alongside CIS Minor Championship, both of which will provide us, the fans, with an exciting four days of CS:GO action. These events will award the best four teams with a ticket to the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, set to begin on August 23rd.
The format of all four of the Minor Championships (EU, Asia, Americas and CIS) is the same, meaning group stage divides teams into two double-elimination (GSL) groups of 4 teams, who go head-to-head in hopes of finishing in the top two. All of the opening matches between the teams are played in Bo1, while all the sequential matches switch to a more balanced Bo3 format. Playoffs, then continue in a double-elimination bracket with all matches played in Bo3.
There are no grand finals, but instead a winner’s final between top two teams in the upper bracket and a loser’s final between the winner of lower bracket and loser of winner’s final. The two teams that emerge victorious from those two finals get awarded a ticket to Major, whereas the loser of the loser’s finals get sent to Minors' 3rd Place Play-In where they get to play against 3rd placed teams from the other three regions in hopes to claim one of the three remaining Major tickets.
The 8 teams participating in Asia Minor Championship have already been drawn into two groups, which look as follows:
Group A: 5Power Gaming, Avant Gaming, Energy Esports, Grayhound Gaming
Group B: ALPHA Red, FFAmix, MVP PK, TYLOO
The Asia Minor Championship will feature a mixture of some new, promising teams as well as a handful of world-renown and well-known teams in the CS:GO community. While a region that has not yet established themselves as a dominant region in the Counter-Strike competitive scene, the fast-growing Asian esports scene should not be underestimated, as it has already produced some of the most promising young talents in the world.
But how will those young players fare against established CS:GO teams and which team will come out on top at Asia Minor Championship?
Right of the bat, it’s rather clear that the top two spots will be contested between MVP PK and TYLOO, while leaving Grayhound and 5POWER to fight for the 3rd place finish.
Looking at the odds, Grayhound are priced $2.25 to win the event which massively overrates them in my opinion. I doubt the Australians have the same amount of serious practice as the other Asian teams and tactically they seem to be behind MVP PK and even TYLOO. There are also some arguments to be made that Grayhound will not have an easy time against 5POWER either, as I believe the Chinese team is more than capable of giving Grayhound a run for their money. My biggest concern is that the team always runs with the “don’t care” attitude and I am not sure this will work against the well trained Asian teams.
In my books, MVP PK should be the favourites to win this one. It’s worth noting that the South Korean team almost defeated Team Liquid in BO1 match at the recent IEM Cologne 2019 and I am sure they will come well prepared into the tournament.
TYLOO had some internal problems recently, which makes me believe they will not be 100% ready to perform at their highest level. While they have the quality and the desire to finish at the top, I would advise against betting on them.
Last, but not least, FFAmix are apparently a team built for the sole purpose of competing at this tournament, but I doubt that they will amount to anything. They breezed through the Asia Minor MENA Closed Qualifier with only one loss to Aequus, while winning against NASR, NOM, nonamer5 and Aequus in a rematch. While an admirable record on the paper, we have to mention that these teams are all unknown and of similar quality to FFAmix, which is arguably much lower compared to teams that will appear in Asia Minor Championship. They are priced around $100, which is fair, as I hardly believe they will even get to win one match. All in all, there is no point on betting on them to win the Minor.
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