IEM Katowice 2019 is the first big event for CS:GO esports this year. Fans are eager to watch the best CS:GO teams in the world fighting for the first Premier tournament title of the year, and the main prize estimated at $500,000. Recently we found out how the IEM Katowice 2019 Minor groups will look like.
Given that the main event begins on February 13th, CS:GO fans will have the pleasure watching less popular/new teams compete at IEM Katowice 2019 Minor events which are the Qualifiers for the major event. Considering that a huge number of teams want to be part of IEM Katowice 2019, they are separated according to their locations into four different regions. Therefore, we have CIS, Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Minor Championship.
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) January 8, 2019
There is a sophisticated and somewhat complicated way of qualifying for these Minors. Each Minor has Closed and Open Qualifiers. Closed Qualifiers include one team from FACEIT Major London 2018, seven Invited teams, and eight teams from Open Qualifiers. Americas and Asia Minor Championship are further divided into sections as there are North and South America, as well as five regions in Asia. In theory, it sounds complicated, but it actually gets clear once when we move to practice.
Europe Minor Championship
This is perhaps the most interesting IEM Katowice 2019 Minor considering names in groups. The most famous name in this Minor is undoubtedly mousesports. Besides this diverse European team, we have Windigo Gaming (Bulgaria), OpTic Gaming (Denmark), North (Denmark), Space Soldiers (Turkey), ENCE eSports (Finland), Valiance (Europe, Germany), Team Vitality (France). If we look at rankings of these teams we will see that six out eight teams are in Top 30 (only Space Soldiers and Valiance are out of the Top 30). That tells us a lot about how strong this Minor is.
There are two different groups in each IEM Katowice 2019 Minor. Mousesports, OpTic Gaming, Valiance, and Team Vitality are in Group A. On the other side, we have Windigo Gaming, North, Space Soldiers, and ENCE eSports. In the initial matches, we will watch the following duels: mousesports – Valiance; Vitality – OpTic; North – Windigo, SS – ENCE. It’s important to stress out that only two teams will qualify for the main event in Katowice.
First two teams in each group will advance in Semi-finals. Teams that lose their matches in the Semis are going to play against each other in Lower Brackets. Teams that win their Semi-final matches are facing each other in finals in the Upper Bracket. Winner of the Upper Bracket final qualifies for IEM Katowice 2019 directly, and the loser has another chance in a match against the winner of Lower Bracket first round. The winner of Lower Bracket finals also qualifies for the main event. These rules apply for each minor.
- Also read: CS:GO Esports 2018 Season [Year in Review]
Americas Minor Championship
The highest rated team in the Americas Minor Championship is NRG(Invited) from the USA. Also, there are eUnited (USA), Team Envy (USA), Furia eSports (Brazil), Team One (Brazil), Bravado Gaming (South Africa), INTZ eSports (Brazil), Imperial e-Sports (Brazil).
NRG, Imperial, INTZ, and Bravado will fight in Group A, and eUnited, Team Envy, Furia and Team One will compete in Group B. Therefore, first pairs are next: NRG – Imperial, INTZ – Bravado, Envy – One, and Furia – eUnited. The main favorites for Qualifying are definitely NRG, INTZ and Team Envy.
CIS Minor Championship
Here is another IEM Katowice 2019 Minor. This minor features teams that are considered to be not as strong as other teams in all IEM Katowice 2019 Minor tournaments. The strongest team would be AVANGAR (Kazakhstan) who had an invitation for Closed Qualifier. Winstrike Team (Russia) came directly to Closed Qualifier thanks to good achievements in FACEIT Major. Furthermore, they managed to get to the CIS Minor Championship.
Another well-known name in CIS Minor Championship is Gambit Esports (Russia). They came to this IEM Katowice 2019 Minor as an Invited team. Among other Invited teams are Team Spirit (Russia), Nemiga Gaming (Belarus), and pro100 (Ukraine). Runtime.gg (Germany, CIS) who sign whole UnderPressure squad, and Syman Gaming (Kazakhstan, Ukraine) also got to this Minor.
In Group A, Gambit will face Syman and Nemiga will face Spirit in opening matches. In Group B, AVANGAR will play against pro100, and Runtime will fight with Winstrike.
Asia Minor Championship
As mentioned, the Asia Minor Championship is the IEM Katowice 2019 Minor with the most sections. It has Oceania, Greater China, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East section. Therefore, there were many teams trying to reach the main event. However, only the following eight teams made it: Grayhound Gaming (Australia, Invited), ViCi Gaming (China, Invited), Renegades (Australia, Invited), Cyber Zen (China, Invited), MVP PK (South Korea, Invited), GOSU (South Korea, Invited), Beyond esports (Thailand, Invited), and Aequus Club (Israel).
We will watch matches between Renegades and Aequus, and Cyber Zen and Grayhound in Group A. On the other side we will watch duels between ViCi and GOSU, and Beyond and MVP PK.
IEM Katowice 2019
If you are asking whoe are the most popular names in the CS:GO world, here is the deal. Fourteen teams are already in the main event thanks to their results at FACEIT Major in London. So, if you didn’t see your favorite team in any of the above minors mentioned, it is because they are already preparing for the major. And here you can try to find the favorites for winning IEM Katowice 2019: