- Katowice CIS Minor taking place January 16-20
- Will AVANGAR live up to their potential?
- Can Gambit once again find themselves on the Major Stage?
It’s that time, again, ladies and gentlemen; the minors to qualify for the Katowice Major begin next month, starting with the CIS Minor from January 16-20.
A few familiar faces will be in attendance, in former major winners Gambit and major attendees AVANGAR.
Though the CIS regions is considered one of the weaker regions in Counter-Strike outside of Na’vi, there are definitely some teams here that could make waves in the Major if they’re able to qualify.
The top two teams from the CIS Minor will qualify for the New Challengers stage of the Major in Katowice.
Odds to Win CIS Minor Championship
*Odds taken 12/21
AVANGAR’s to Lose?
The CIS Region has produced some top talent, but has really struggled to put together an elite team other than Natus Vincere.
Inconsistency is a very common trait among teams from the region, which could definitely lead to some wild results coming out of the Minor.
AVANGAR is the favorite here to win the tournament as they have shown that they are able to compete with some of the best in the game when they’re firing on all cylinders.
But that’s the big question mark: which AVANGAR will we see in this tournament?
If they are running like a well-oiled machine, there is a very real chance that they come out of the Minor as the top seed. But if they come out flat-footed, like they did in the last CIS Minor, we will see another squad claiming the #1 spot.
Can Gambit Return as a Top CIS Team?
I think this tournament will showcase the work that new coach B1ad3 has been able to put in with the former Major winner, Gambit. He has a proven track record that he can take teams from relative obscurity to the Major stage.
With this in mind, I think that the veteran leadership in Dosia and Mou combined with the guidance of B1ad3 will lead Gambit to not only qualify for the Major, but to take the #1 seed in the CIS Minor with the win.
Pick: Gambit (+300)
Odds to Reach the Finals at CIS Minor
Can Spirit Qualify Once Again?
Last major saw Team Spirit make it through the CIS Minor with the 2nd seed and qualify for New Challengers stage, only to fall to TyLoo in Round 5 (2-0).
They’ve had some wins over some pretty good teams this year in OpTic, North, and ENCE, so, they are definitely capable of making a run to finals.
This year’s CIS Minor will see a more talented field than last, but there may be some value in taking Team Spirit as an underdog pick to reach the finals at +225.
Major Mainstays Look to Find Their Way Back
It is rather odd to see a major winner back in the qualifying stages so soon after actually winning said major.
Gambit was able to take home the chip at PGL Krakow 2017, which was only two majors ago. They had a bit of a rough stretch losing their IGL Zeus, as he left back for Na’vi, and they haven’t been quite able to find their footing since.
With the recent roster changes losing both Hobbit and Adren, there is quite the question mark surrounding the squad heading into the CIS Minor.
But with the addition of coach B1ad3, their chances of seeing another major stage greatly increase, as he has overseen multiple teams from the CIS Region that have gone on to not only make major’s, but play pretty well once they’re there.
B1ad3 joins Gambit CS:GO as coach on a loan from FlipSid3 Tacticshttps://t.co/bX9QavxGnr
— Gambit Esports (@GambitEsports) July 24, 2018
The other team that’s expected to make it out of the Minor is the young squad AVANGAR, led by AWP/IGL hybrid Jame. Though they weren’t able to make it out of the last CIS Minor, placing 4th, they look in better form as of late, with recent wins over both Kinguin and Vega Squadron.
Though they had a pretty disappointing finish at the PLG Grand Slam placing 9-12th, I expect them to come out and show the CIS Region why they have made it to the big dance in the past.
Pick: Gambit (-105) / AVANGAR (-145)
Looking for other Katowice Minors?