IEM Katowice Europe Minor group predictions

The IEM Katowice Europe Minor groups have been confirmed ahead of next month's CSGO Major. It’s always a contentious subject as fans are either happy or sad about the teams their heroes are going to face, and this year is no exception, with Group A looking one of the most stacked in recent minor history, so let’s dive in and see who might make it to the New Challengers Stage for a tilt at a title.


Europe Minor Group A


Of all the teams at this level of the Katowice Major, it’s fair to say Mousesports are the most accomplished when it comes to CSGO. With top-20 HLTV talents in their team and a lineup that has not just played together, but also won together for a while now, there is no real reason for them to worry, but being stuck in Group A might be a concern. Vitality are far from the finished product, but have upset potential, and OpTic are a team stacked with talent that doesn’t seem to know how to use it. Expect Mouz to come out on top of Group A.
Predicted group finish: 1st


Valiance should be called Bravery, if for no other reason than the fact they come into this event with a young Lithuanian named Rokas Milasauskas, or EspiranTo if you meet him on the server. While the kid is undoubtedly talented, he’s already shown a level of ego that outstrips his achievements and this international line-up seems like it could go either way. A 2-0 loss to Vitality in MDL suggests they’ll struggle to make top two in this group, but there is potential to spring a surprise.
Predicted group finish: 3rd


The French side that has everyone excited are ready to prove they belong at the top level, but Vitality still probably come in with a degree of doubt about their own ability to perform. Recently they cut Happy to be replaced by ALEX, formerly of LDLC, but the feeling about the side is that they live and die by ZywOo at the moment, and that’s not good enough for a team with NBK and apEX in. This is their chance to shine, and this five-man team might not get many more if they continue to underwhelm.
Predicted group finish: 2nd


It must be odd being a part of OpTic Gaming right now, as you are copping flak from angles you didn’t even see coming. One example would be the enormous amount of abuse they and North seem to be getting for not signing karrigan from FaZe, as if that was anything to do with OpTic and not FaZe’s decision, but that lack of a new leader does mean they come into this group with nothing more than a drunk puncher’s chance, despite the weight of talent they possess.
Predicted group finish: 4th


Europe Minor Group B


The standout name in Group B has to be North but, to be honest, there is no reason a team with the resources and time North have spent should be in position. While Kjaerbye wasn’t the best player on Astralis, he’s still far too good to be in a Minor, and the same should be true of his org, but it’s not. North should win Group B, but if they don’t it won’t be a huge surprise, and that in itself should prompt their owners to think seriously about making some changes.
Predicted group finish: 1st


Bulgaria’s finest are in attendance at this Minor, and although they may not be household names this is a team with the talent to make waves. Poizon is ultra-talented, and the sort of player who could easily step up a couple of levels, but with the synergy they should have it makes sense that his team could pull a few upsets in Group B, and maybe even make top two. They aren’t favourites, but you should not write off the Bulgarian side, as they have the pieces to play very well indeed.
Predicted group finish: 3rd

Space Soldiers

Without Xantares, it’s going to be very interesting to see how the Turkish five get along. They’ve replaced their best player with a guy who wasn’t good enough for Renegades, and that doesn’t exactly inspire too much confidence. Of the four teams here they arguably come in with least pressure, but don’t expect that to lead to much, as the team has lost the heart of their system and replaced it with a tin can.
Predicted group finish: 4th


The memes around this team are strong but so is the talent within it. Sergej might be the best talent to come out of Finland since SuNny and the chance to play alongside a man as legendarily bedecked with cojones as Allu won’t hurt the younger members of this team either. It’s never easy to predict how the young roster will get on, but it’s fair to say they have the potential to win this group with room to spare if things go their way.
Predicted group Finnish: 2nd