IEM Katowice: Asian Minor Preview

The Asian Minor is almost here, lets take a look at the attendees and their chance of making it to the next stage of the Major system.


Photo Credit: (ESL Bart Oerbekke) 

MVP PK

Solo, Glow, Zeff, Xign, Xeta

MVP have been a weird team in recent months. After taking a map against NRG at IEM Chicago and showing overall promise of being a decent team out of Asia in the world scene, the team has not won a map on LAN since Chicago, going out in last place at Toyota Masters Bangkok, and taking 3rd place at the Starseries Season 7 Asia qualifier. The team has been the same since June of last year, and are a pretty unknown quantity due to their lack of success in the last three months of 2018.

Gosu

HSK, Jinx, Stax, Lakia, Seoke

Gosu is the second best team in Korea behind MVP PK. They swapped Xeta for HSK in June and have been playing second fiddle all year to MVP in terms of tourney placements. While Gosu is not freshly created this is their first big LAN event. The team setup is almost identical to MVP PK, similar CT setups and T side executes. While MVP PK are good role models in the setup sense, they are less skilled in comparison to their countrymen in MVP PK. Expect them to get smacked around by teams like MVP, Renegades, and Grayhound. 

Beyond

TOR, stk, Olivia, RoLEX, bnwGiggs

Beyond are the sole representatives of Thailand in Katowice. They qualified with a slightly different lineup as they dropped everyone from the qualifying lineup aside from TOR but have to follow the majority rule for the major qualifying system. This team is a mess of good aim, bad positioning and a lack of experience and team cohesion. Expect them to lose out quickly and make little to no impression against the more experienced and cohesive teams. 

Auequus Club

Hydra, ZENCER, anarkez, ponkt, asYlum

Auequus Club is the Israeli team from the Middle East Qualifier sporting the best player from Uniquestars Anarkez who will be making his second Minor Qualifier appearance and the team is being coached by British coach Immi formerly of NRG. This team is r low skilled relative to the aim heavy countries such as China and Korea even though they are coming out from a qualifier with teams such as NASR and Uniquestars. Just like Uniquestars from last minor expect them to be the other team to go out with no wins. Their lack of experience and in game ability will be a hindrance to them against the rest of these teams, but possessing players such as Anarkez will be key to a chance out of an extremely tough group. 

Grayhound Gaming

BIGDickstacy, erkaSt, malta, dexter, sterling

Another Aussie team with big personalities and experience against all levels of teams. We last saw Grayhound at PLG where they beat NASR and lost to Tyloo 14-16. Grayhound beat Renegades in the closed qualifier for the Asian Minor 2-1 in a BO3 for the first place spot showing they match up well with domestic competition. Grayhound aren’t the favorite to make it out of the minor but they should be placing top 4 in terms of their known skill level and recent performance. 

Renegades

Jkaem, liazz, Gratisfaction, jks, AZR

The Asian Minor champions are looking to three peat their way to the top of Asian CS once again. There really isn’t much to say about this squad in terms of their in server ability that is not already known. They’re head and shoulders above the competition at this event and are the perennial favorite to make it out of the minor.

Vici Gaming

Kaze, Freeman, auman, advent, zhokiNg  

Vici is the definition of a Cinderella story. Made from scraps of multiple failed lineups across Asia last year they have carved a niche little hole as the second best Chinese team behind Tyloo. Vici have spent their time before the minor building the strongest team possible for this event. Signing Kaze and building the team structure around his AWP skills on both sides of the map, ViCi shows a strong potential to have explosive results. This team is strong in server, crisp aim, good team play, a strong map pool and multiple playmakers that can open up space for the rest of the team. Vici is hot and ready to strike on anyone that underestimates them, expect a top 4 finish with the potential to make the New Challenger stage. 

CyberZen

HZ, Savage, tb, bottle, Viva

Cyberzen is another team from China, who while not as good as Tyloo they are strong at the things they lack in server. Another scraped together team from the wreckage of Fierce Tiger and a loan from newliFe for the player Viva there is a lot of potential for this team. Having just qualified for the Starseries Season 7 finals for Asia through the lower bracket, there’s not much more that a team can do to show their worth against Asian teams. Expect an extravagant showing from this team until the top 4 are decided they either qualify or come close to it along with Vici Gaming this time around. 

What team do you expect to show up and make the major? Comment below!

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Brendan Passeno

Freelance coach and analyst in CSGO avid player of Rocket League CS:GO and League of Legends. Most of my articles are analytical views that I take from hundreds of hours of watching matches demos and being around the players during interviews and streams.

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