The main part of both Asia and Americas Minors have finished. The remaining teams are going to play tomorrow that leads them to Katowice. In the upper brackets, Renegades and NRG claimed titles and $30,000 at the Asia and Americas Minors. Now they are looking forward to the first Premier of the year.
As said, the first part of Asia and Americas Minor finished, and tomorrow are the last two remaining matches. These matches will determine who is going to play Minors’ 3rd Place Play-in event and who will book a flight for Poland immediately after matches are finished.
Americas Minor – FURIA Esports upset INTZ eSports
Teams that advanced to the Play-off Stage were quite expected. Actually, FURIA was the only team that we could consider to be a surprise. Somehow, CS:GO fans expected to see Team One instead of FURIA, but FURIA exceeded expectations. Moreover, they won the first place with Team Envy in the group, which is very surprising. Tomorrow, they will face each other again, and Team Envy is going to have a chance to get revenge in a much more important match.
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However, Team Envy didn’t fail only against FURIA. They also lost to eventual champion, NRG Esports in Semi-final. The first game took place on Overpass. After 11 rounds, NRG was already leading 10-1, and no one could assume that Envy could come back. Regardless, that was the exactly what they did. They won nine consecutive rounds and equalized the result. Jdm64 contributed to that accomplishment with AWP Ace in the 15th round. Anyway, Team Envy managed to win just another one round until the end, so NRG took the lead in that match. Interestingly, jdm64 was the best-rated player with 1.66 rating.
The next leg wasn’t much better for Envy. NRG destroyed them in the first half on Mirage. NRG was leading 12-3 on half-time, and it was easy for them to convert so big lead into the win. The final result was 16-9. NRG’s player, CeRq stood out with 1.89 rating. No one was even close to him.
In the other Semi-final, FURIA faced INTZ eSports as underdogs. Nevertheless, FURIA didn’t give up even after losing the first map to INTZ. After not a great start on Inferno, INTZ took momentum and finished the game in an impressive way with end score 16-8. Teams then moved to Mirage, and INTZ caught an early lead winning four opening rounds. However, FURIA overtook momentum from INTZ and kept riding on it until the end of the whole match. Firstly, they won Mirage 16-9 and then defeated INTZ on Inferno (16-7) as well. So, they booked meeting with NRG in the final.
Team Envy beat INTZ, NRG is champion
Before FURIA and NRG crossed their mice, Team Envy and INTZ played a match in the Lower Bracket. The importance of the match was pretty heavy, considering loser losses any chances to get to IEM Katowice. It seems like INTZ crushed under the pressure as Envy really destroyed them on Dust 2 (16-2) in the first match. The North American team had a convincing lead on the half time in the second match as well (11-4). But, Brazilians managed to do something extraordinary. They won all remaining rounds and Envy lost even though they were leading. Nonetheless, Drone and reltuC led their team to the win on Overpass (16-8), so Envy stayed in the competition waiting for the loser of the final.
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) January 25, 2019
NRG gave their best to not face Envy once again. Apparently, not because they were afraid of them, but rather because it would mean they won the tournament. FURIA couldn’t stand a chance against NRG on Inferno, given that NRG defeated them 16-9. NahtE felt very comfortable, considering he performed excellently. FURIA managed to be neck and neck with NRG during most of the game, but NRG took control over the match after 23rd round and won the remaining four rounds, as well as the title.
Asia Minor: Renegades is stronger than Grayhound
On the other side of the planet, Renegades had to work much harder than NRG to get to the final and win the title. Firstly, they confronted ViCi Gaming in Semis. ViCi played a very good game on Mirage and won that leg 16-11. The Australian team was the dominant side in the rest of Semi-final. They demolished ViCi on Inferno (16-5) and then defeated them on Train (16-7) after a bad start. Kaze definitely drew attention to him with his great AWP display. He had four AWP kills in several rounds.
In the other Semi-final, Grayhound also had a tough time against MVP PK, but they prevailed in the end. Same as in the previous match, the underdogs won the first map, Nuke in this case(16-9). Anyway, Grayhound showed they are the much better team on the other two maps, beating Korean team 16-8 both on Cache and Dust 2. Erkast was a key player for Grayhound on these maps as he both time was the best-rated player with totally 54 kills on these two maps. Therefore, Grayhound gave us an opportunity to watch the all-Australian final.
MVP PK lost all chances to get to Katowice, Renegades prevailed in the final
Unfortunately for MVP PK, they didn’t manage to take a part in their first IEM Katowice event. After such a good season last year, this is quite disappointing for them, but still, they have so many positive things to take from this tournament. However, ViCi prevailed on both Mirage (16-12) and Train (16-8), and MVP PK couldn’t do much about it. Overall, ViCi didn’t play so good match on Train, but Freeman just blew off the competition. He was rated over two (2.16) and had 32 kills and 83.3% KAST percentage. He was just amazing.
After this match, we could watch the match between Renegades and Grayhound. Australian fans definitely had doubts who they should support, as both teams are coming from the smallest continent. Anyway, unbiased fans could enjoy in a great match.
The first match took place on Inferno and Grayhound had a big lead on half-time (10-5). Until the end of that leg, Renegades won just another one round. ErkaSt from Grayhound played an extraordinarily good game with 90.9% KAST (same as dexter) and 26 kills. Teams then moved on Mirage. This time, Renegades was the team with a lead on half-time (8-7), and the match was so close to the 20th round. Then, Renegades won the seven out of the eight remaining games.
The final leg took place on Cache. Again, during the half-time, it looked like it was going to be an easy job for Renegades (12-3), but it Grayhound was so close to making a complete comeback. Renegades prevailed in the 29th round and took all hopes of winning the title away from Grayhound. In this way, Renegades won a trophy and $30,000 and proved they are the best Australian team at the moment.