CIS Minor CSGO preview ahead of IEM Katowice 2019


With the CSGO Katowice Major fast approaching, it’s time to run down the potential entrants from the CIS Minor, which is always a contentious affair to say the least. Without lippy Swedes to deride them, the players can focus on bringing their A-game, but it is fair to say the teams at this level are not as stacked as they are in EU.

On the other hand, we have a team in this section that won a Major in 2017, or at least two of the five did, so you can never write these players off. CIS CSGO has a wealth of talent to this day, making the CIS Minor one of the most exciting, unpredictable events of the year, and well worth a watch.

Related: Europe Minor predictions

Group A predictions


Of the four teams in Group A, Gambit look the best equipped to get out, and make it to yet another major. The 2017 Krakow Champions are a shadow of their former selves, with leader zeus and star men AdreN and Hobbit departed, but the team led by Dosia and Mou should still have enough to make it out of a fairly underwhelming group, if truth be told. It’ll be interesting to see how new signing Ax1Le gets on, too, as he makes his first appearances in a Gambit jersey.
Predicted group finish: 1st


Ranked 86 by HLTV, it’s fair to say Syman are the sort of team a lot of people might be hearing about for the first time. Players from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are joined by two Russians, making for a CIS mix team hoping to bag an unlikely spot at week one of the major. Recent results include wins over group mates Nemiga, and even a map victory against Vitality, but also 2-0 losses to Pro100 and Team Spirit, who they need to beat to progress.
Predicted group finish: 4th



Four Belarussians and one Estonian have come together to play for Nemiga, and org that currenty sits at rank number 57 in the HLTV listings, although at that point it’s hard to take too much from the difference between themselves and Syman at 86. They’ve dropped series recently to the aforementioned CIS mix, as well as Pro100, but a 2-0 win over Virtus.pro does also speak to their potential. After Gambit, this group is a toss up, and Nemiga have a chance at least of going to Katowice.
Predicted group finish: 3rd

Team Spirit

Behind Gambit, Team Spirit are the men you’re most likely to have heard of, with the likes of DavCost and somedieyoung on the roster alongside Dima and S0tF1k. They’ve recently had wins over most of the teams in this part of the Minor, as well as Red Reserve, OpTic and Vitality, so if you were going to back a team to finish second behind Gambit it would probably be them, but they are also capable of losing to Syman or Nemiga and not making it into the top half of the group, which is what makes this minor so interesting.
Predicted group finish: 2nd


CIS Minor live streams


Group B predictions


The only team in this group to have spent time in the top 30, and the team in this group with arguably the best player not on a massive CIS team, Avangar come into the Minor with somewhat raised expectations. While four of the five men are from Uzbekistan, it is their Russian fifth Jame that has analysts and fans excited, and he should be able to lead the likes of buster, qikert and fitch to the top two of this group at the very least.
Predicted group finish: 1st


Because this is the CIS region, and CSGO, and esports, we are in the curious position of having a team essentially owned by Na’Vi in-game leader Zeus taking part in the Minor qualifier that could potentially see them enter the same Major as Na’Vi. Recent results suggest they do have the ability to play at a higher level, but the other teams in the group are more experienced, and it’ll be tough for Pro100 to advance.
Predicted group finish: 3rd



We all remember Winstrike from their various underdog runs, and in a weird way that is actually true for most of this group. There is name value in every team in one way or another, and picking out the best is very challenging, with this European/CIS mix capable of finishing in any of the four positions. WorldEdit and Boombl4 are both accomplished players, and you shouldn’t write them off, but they’ve shown weakness in recent games and can equally not be relied upon to deliver.
Predicted group finish: 2nd


This team was only formed very recently, and has a good amount of pedigree on it, in the same way a five-a-side team made up of 1966 World Cup winners would today. Like that imaginary team, though, few if any of the Runtime guys look like they have what it takes in 2019, and they’ll be relying on their veteran savvy and experience to cause an upset here. Seized, hooch and starix are all ‘names’, but their value has never been lower, making this a chance for redemption, or maybe the last chance saloon.
Predicted group finish: 4th


Tim MastersTim joined Luckbox as an editor in 2018, having previously spent time at GosuGamers, EsportsHeaven and other sites. He currently is not at his desk.