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It’s always been the case that Europe is the most stacked region in CS:GO. The group stage of the EU Minor Championship for the Katowice Major proved that once again.

Three of the favorites to make it to the Minor playoffs at least have already been eliminated, following today’s group stage matches. In Group A, both mousesports and OpTic Gaming finished in the bottom half and will not be attending the Major.

Both mouz and OpTic were in dire straits at the end of day 1, forced to play each other in the elimination match. This was already an upset on its own, as mouz were considered perhaps the best team out of all eight. Instead, it was the French side of Vitality that ruled the opening day to qualify for the Minor playoffs.

Tossed in the pit for survival, both teams had to step up. Train was a highly contested affair, ending 16-14 in mouz’s favor. The all-Danish roster of OpTic was finally defeated on Nuke 16-11 and were the first to drop out of the Minor.

Mouz then faced Valiance in the decider match. The European mix, featuring NiKo’s own cousin Nemanja “huNter” Kovač had already defeated mouz 16-14 in a best-of-1 and was quick to prove it that wasn’t a one-off occurrence. Valiance took Train 16-12 and Cache 16-8 to eliminate Chris “ChrisJ” de Jong and co from the running.

Group B was not as stacked as A but delivered upsets nonetheless. After the Finns from ENCE took the first place on day one, it was down to North, Windigo and ex-Space Soldiers to decide the second place finisher.

SS were the first to go losing 0-2 to North after a 16-13 Inferno and a one-sided 16-5 on Mirage. The Danes then took the Bulgarians from Windigo in the only series that went to three games. Windigo won their own pick of Overpass 16-12, but the other two maps went decisively into North’s favor: 16-9 Inferno and 16-13 Dust II.

The top 2 winners of the Minor will be decided on Jan. 19-20.

EU Minor playoffs schedule

Jan. 18, 17:00 CET: Team Vitality vs. North
Jan. 18, 20:45 CET: ENCE vs. Valiance
Jan. 19, 17:45 CET: Losers’ Round 1 (loser qualifiers for 3rd place Play-in)
Jan. 19, 20:45 CET: Winners’ Final (winner qualifiers for the Major)
Jan. 20, 17:45: CET: Losers’ Final (winner qualifiers for the Major)

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