Berlin Minor Previews: CIS and Asia come to town

We’re closing in fast on the Berlin Major now, and that can only mean one thing for tiers two and below, the Minors. After Mousesports, CR4ZY, NRG and Furia booked their spots through the EU and Americas Minors respectively, it’s the turn of Asia and the CIS region to enter the gauntlet and see who emerges not unscathed, but at least alive. The competition is brutal, and with this being the closest thing CIS has had to a ‘home’ Major the stakes have never been higher for all the aspiring s1mples, or maybe James if they are more modest, out in that part of the world.


The Slav Squad

Projected winners: Team Spirit
Qualifiers: forZe

After seeing the likes of Fnatic, North and NRG go through the Minors already, we’re into slightly less familiar territory with some of the names in the CIS event, but the level of talent is not in doubt from a region that produces an insane amount of players. Not all of them make it to the top level due to difficult pathways, but there are some exciting young players on show here, alongside a few Minor veterans who are all too familiar with this circuit, or maybe circus.

Group A is probably going to be about who can challenge forZe, with the team ranked 34th in the world and making some great strides over recent times. Wins over OpTic and Heroic, as well as taking a map off Team Liquid when even ENCE struggle with that task, have shown this team can hang at a higher level, although the slight fly in the ointment could come in the playoffs. The likes of Nemiga and Spirit won’t fear them if they meet in bracket, with the latter having 16-0’d forZe back in May.

Group B should be headlined by the aforementioned Team Spirit, who are the top-ranked side here according to HLTV and probably have the most familiar names. Most bookies have them behind forZe as second-favourites to go to Berlin, but Nemiga are close behind, suggesting this group will be about that pair and the oddly-named Warthox will have to join DreamEaters in making up the numbers. Having said that, in domestic matchups anything can happen, so don’t be surprised if we see some new faces emerge.

Related EU and NA Minors: Berlin 2019 recap

No Renegades here, finally

Projected winners: Grayhound
Qualifiers: MVP

With the Renegades finally gone, the Asian Minor is looking a little bit more sensible, although there is still a chance that Grayhound end up replacing their OCE counterparts as perennial contenders here. The team with the snazziest jerseys and the biggest Dick Stacey in CSGO are going to come into this as favourites, but with the travel involved it could be a strange one with team struggling to adapt to the new time zone.

Related: Asia and CIS Berlin Minor betting tips

Group A is Grayhound’s, and probably theirs to lose with the world number 29s having a decent record against AVANT at least. Their matches with 5POWER and ENERGY are going to be more of a coin flip, but Grayhound have no excuses for losing them here. Sadly for their fans, they’ve recently been smashed by a few teams that weren’t good enough to make it through the NA or EU Minor, so the odds of a run at the Major itself are pretty slim, which is a shame from the most entertaining org on Twitter.

Group B has a lot more intrigue involved, with the battle for the second spot in Berlin likely to come down to a straight fight between South Korea and China. MVP PK and Tyloo are the names to watch, and while a year ago you’d have put the entire US debt to China on Tyloo winning and making yet another Major, the changes that team has made in an effort to improve seem to have done nothing more than make them less consistent at a time when the world of CSGO is gaining professionalism and learning to perform, leaving Tyloo in their wake.

These are unpredictable in a different way than the EU Minor, but there is going to be a lot for us to learn over the coming days about the chances of Asian and CIS teams at the Berlin Major, and there is no doubt a few new names will emerge, as they always do at this point in the Minor cycle. We can’t wait to see who are the DreamEaters, and who has their dreams come true, as the last few teams book their spots in Germany.

Image: Starladder