As the Katowice CSGO Major is less than a month away, eyes look to Poland for the regional Minor Championships. This is an opportunity for teams from all over the world to prove their worth and secure their place at the Major. We’ve ranked all the teams from the EU Minor, read and find out who we think are the favourites to win the tournament.
8 – Ex-Space Soldiers
It’s a real shame that we never got to see the old Space Soldiers line-up at the height of their powers as visa issues marred their performance at the London Major. That event proved to be their swansong as the talismanic İsmailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş has left to join BIG. Hopefully, the team will be able to regroup and form another competitive Turkish roster, but Yaman “yam” Ergenekon isn’t the solution.
7 – OpTic Gaming
The Danish experiment from OpTic is starting to smell like a failure. Aside from a respectable performance at cs_summit, OpTic have consistently underperformed at every event they’ve attended. The case against shot caller Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer is starting to build. Snappi was loaded with praise when he led former team Heroic to upset victories but has been unable to recreate that success with OpTic. The Danes must feel like the green walls are starting to close in.
6 – Valiance & Co
Valiance is a pretty weird team. They seem to be packed full of potential talent, most notably young maestro Rokas “EspiranTo” Milasauskas. However, they are yet to face any serious international competition outside of the Mountain Dew League. With a mix of fiery personalities from vastly different backgrounds, Valiance has the look of a powder keg ready to blow. If they’re able to make it work though, they could surprise everyone.
5 – Windigo Gaming
Windigo could prove to be the dark horse of the tournament. This roots of this Bulgarian side have been around since 2015 but has been repeatedly tweaked and altered. Although Windigo rarely gets the opportunity to play against international opposition offline, they have previously beaten many of the teams at the minor in online matches. The question is whether they can translate relative online success into offline tournament play.
4 – North
North narrowly missed out on the top sixteen of the last major and subsequently lost their long term in-game leader Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen to Rogue. Journeyman AWPer Casper “cadiaN” Møller has taken up the leadership role to little success. The North roster undoubtedly has talent, but the historic underachievers have not responded well to their recent transfers. At this point, qualifying for the major at all will feel like a win for the Danes.
3 – Team Vitality
This new French “superteam” hasn’t had the immediate impact many were expecting. Eyes will be on Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut who has given consistently strong performances and will look to push his team to victory at the minor. Vitality has made a positive last-minute change by benching struggling veteran Vincent “Happy” Schopenhauer. French fans will be hoping this change will allow Vitality to become the team many hoped it would be.
2 – ENCE
All jokes aside, ENCE have shown a considerable amount of growth since their run at ESL Cologne in July. Perhaps most impressive is that they have achieved this growth as a team; the Finnish side now plays as a unit rather than as five individuals. Though they may struggle to beat teams in the upper echelons, the Finns record at this level of competition indicates that they should proceed to the major.
1 – Mousesports
After their disappointing performance at the London Major, Mousesports recalled Martin “STYKO” Styk to the active roster. While this change has seen the international team’s form increase, Mousesports remain a shadow of what they were twelve months ago. Though they’ve recently struggled to beat other top sides, Mousesports can still confidently call themselves a top ten team and should qualify for the major with ease.