IEM Katowice 2019 Minor: Americas predictions and live streams

CSGO

The Americas region of the IEM Katowice Minor 2019 is a chance for teams to reach the CSGO Major, with two teams going through to the New Challengers Stage and the third place team going into the play-in.

The Americas Minor runs from January 22nd to 26th and all live streams can be found on the Luckbox website.

Americas Minor live streams, with a choice of broadcast language, can be found in our matches section.

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We've made our Europe Minor and CIS Minor predictions, so who will make it through from the Americas group? Let's take a look at the groups...

Group A

NRG

It’s been said before but this is NRG’s Minor to lose, really, with the quality of their players and the level of opposition they face. That was true for the London Major in 2018, of course and the fact the NRG IGL ended up working as talent at FACEIT’s Major mess should tell you all you need to know about how they delivered on that expectation level then. The team is the same, with a little more experience, and another failure at this level should raise real questions about daps’ ability to lead an elite level team, especially with the likes of Tarik in free agency.
Expected finish: 1st

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Imperial

There is a lot of talent in Brazil right now, but to be honest not much of it is playing for Imperial at this minor. You might have heard of SHOOWTiME and zqkS, but their top-level performances are rare historically and they now find themselves on the third or fourth best team from BR, and not in the conversation for potential MiBR players either. Tifa, dzt and shz are young enough to still see some evolution, but betting on Imperial would be a colossal risk, even with the relatively poor level of teams in this group.
Expected finish: 4th

Bravado

You can’t have failed to notice the Bravado story if you’re around CSGO at the moment, with the five South African players currently scrabbling funds together to keep their Major dream alive, having moved to NA to pursue the CS dream. Those who know, including the likes of Richard Lewis, have backed them to make it out of this Minor and into the Major, and it seems like the SA boys will have a massive amount of support for their cause, which can make a huge difference in marginal cases. Recent wins over the likes of LG and G2 suggest they can do it, too.
Expected finish: 2nd

INTZ

A month ago, you’d probably have picked INTZ to make it out of this group based on the talent in their team alone, with kNg, felps and horvy all having been at bigger teams, and the first two rated very highly despite a number of issues down the years. However, felps is now part of MiBR, and they’ve replaced horvy with destinyy, reducing the name value and also potentially the level of synergy in the team. With kNg in the team they will always be dangerous (yup), but putting your pennies on an INTZ win is risky as hell.
Expected finish: 3rd

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Group B

Envy

A lot of folk are writing this Envy team off before they’ve fired a shot but they might be the most interesting team in this section of the draw, if not the entire Minor stage. On the face of it there are a lot of reasons to not back them, but when you compare them to the opposition it almost seems weird how hard they’ve been written off. Jdm has Major experience, Nifty’s talent and potential are well known, and after hearing how amazing karrigan is for the last few months we can’t wait to see what he does with the disparate but talented parts of this Envy team.
Expected finish: 1st

Team One

While players like bit, Maluk3 and Argentina’s NikoM might not jump to the forefront of your mind when asked about elite SA CSGO, Team One have been quietly doing some decent work over recent months, and come into this event with an outside shot. They’ve beaten the likes of Rogue and Swole Patrol recently, but losses to compLexity and Ghost are also concerning. The mix of SA players makes them an interesting watch, and much will hinge on their opening game vs Envy, which could set the tone for their whole event, and even year.

Expected finish: 4th

Furia

It’s probably not that helpful for the rest of the team when one player is dominating the headlines, but that is the situation Furia find themselves in related to their star man kscerato. We assume the player is a very talented individual, as the team overall don’t seem to be that hot at present, having lost to the likes of Rogue, but equally wins over Ghost and Luminosity show the potential they have in the five man unit. This group is incredibly hard to call, and the differential between the potential and actual performance of the players will be the deciding factor.
Expected finish: 2nd

eUnited

It’s actually pretty difficult to pick and obvious top two from this group, as every team has pros and cons, but eUnited have made decent strides in recent months and will feel like they have a chance here. Led by FNS, and featuring the man who broke Freakazoid’s heart, this is a team with a bit of pedigree, and in moose they also have a player with good potential that is yet to really break out. It could be an historic time for the eU boys, who are in with a great chance of making their first Major here.

Expected finish: 3rd

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Images: Twitter, IEM, BeyondTheSummit

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.

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