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Photo by: ESL

The Europe and CIS Minor Championships for the IEM Katowice Major are underway and already there are unexpected results. A handful of the tournament’s favorites are having hard times, and might face elimination today.

Perhaps the biggest upset so far is mousesports. Mouz brought back Martin “STYKO” Styk in October to reassemble the roster that won ESG Mykonos 2017 and StarLadder Season 4, but ended up in the elimination match instead. Mouz lost a 16-14 series to Valiance and will have to survive a best-of-3 against OpTic Gaming to stay in the tournament.

To see OpTic in the losers bracket is another upset of sorts. The Danish roster put up good results in the fall of 2018, placing top 4 at StarSeries Season 6 and second at cs_summit 3, but fell rather one-sidedly to the French from Vitality. Led by former G2 duo Nathan “NBK” Schmitt and Dan “apEX” Madesclaire, Vitality were also the first team to win their playoffs spot at the Minor.

Over in Group B, the all Finnish roster of ENCE behind captain Aleksi “allu” Jalli took the second playoffs seed. The group’s standings are just as interesting as the ones in Group A, as both North and Space Soldiers are in the elimination match, at the expense of the Bulgarians from Windigo.

EU teams qualified for Minor playoffs:

— Vitality
— ENCE

nbk vitality

NBK’s Vitality took Group A of the EU Minor over favorites Mousesports. Photo by: ESL

The CIS Minor wasn’t as stacked, but enough to leave Gambit Gaming a loss away from elimination. The Krakow Major champions have been in a period of downfall, losing players left and right. Denis “seized” Kostin and Abay “Hobbit” Khassenov left in November, followed by Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev a month later. The results have been comparably disappointing.

To stay in the tournament, Gambit will play Nemiga today, a team that already beat them with a decisive 2-0 in the Closed Qualifier, in a series that featured a 16-2 scoreline on Inferno. If those results are any indication, it’s very likely that Gambit will miss the Major.

At the end of day 1, it was Team Spirit and Winstrike who qualified for the playoffs. Their opponents will be decided by the end of today.

CIS teams qualifier for Minor playoffs:

— Team Spirit
— Winstrike Team

winstrike

Winstrike are a lock for the CIS Minor playoffs after a successful day 1. Photo by: ESL

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