MLG Americas Minor preview

Seven teams will converge on Columbus, Ohio tomorrow in the United States to fight over $50,000 and a spot at the MLG Columbus Major offline qualifier in February and we have prepared a preview of all the teams for your reading pleasure.

The CS:GO Minors system was announced in early December and debuted the concept of four regional Minor tournaments (CIS, Europe, Americas, and Asia) with $50,000 apiece, in-game client streaming, and with the winner of each receiving an invitation to the MLG Columbus Major offline qualifier taking place February 26-28.

The Americas Minor, hosted by MLG, is first up from January 15-17 and it was to feature six teams from South America and North America who made their way through online qualification brackets and two invites: OpTic and compLexity.

However, a number of extenuating circumstances transpired which have changed the teams list since then: the two Brazilian teams, Operation Kino and AlienTech, were unable to attend due to not securing visas whereas compLexity dropped out due to lineup uncertainty.


The MLG Minor is the first of four to take place in early 2016

As a result, American teams Leader-1 and EZG eSports (who finished 5-6th and 7-8th place in the online qualifier respectively) have been drawn up to attend although the event will still occur with an empty slot and only seven teams competing.

The teams are split into two double elimination groups, with OpTic receiving a bye into the winners match of the three-team Group A. Four teams still advance to the double elimination playoffs, which will be played in a best-of-three format.

All seven teams and their respective lineups will now be examined below:

Canada OpTic Gaming

United States Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan
Canada Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz
United States William "RUSH" Wierzba
Canada Keith "NAF" Markovic
Canada Damian "daps" Steele

OpTic Gaming can safely be considered to be the favourites of the MLG Minor, as the team are both the highest ranked of those attending (#14) and have been steadily attending events in the past few months, which includes winning the recent two-team ELEAGUE 'Road to Las Vegas.'

Before that, OpTic were previously known as Conquest and their most notable result included the team's debut at CEVO Season 8 where they finished in 3-4th place after defeating dignitas and Liquid.

The team also attended iBUYPOWER Cup and ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 finals with more middling results. With a budding portfolio of young talent, and an automatic bye to the best-of-one Group A winners match, expect to see OpTic in the playoffs as a minimum.

United States Obey.Alliance

United States Matthew "no_one" Congdon
United States Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte
Canada Cory "APE" Bate
United States Alec "Slemmy" White
Canada Terry "dsr" Rioux

Three members of the Obey.Alliance lineup attended the RGN Pro Series as Nexus Storm, where the team lost to Method and Cloud9 and played Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen's compLexity to a tie before going out in the groups.

The fourth member of Obey.Trifecta is Brehze, who previously played for Open team VeloX, while the fifth is Slemmy, a longtime North American veteran who was last seen playing with Jake "Stewie2K" Yip & co. in the old SPLYCE before that particular lineup imploded (the team attended Northern Arena and finished 3-4th place in December).

United States Winterfox

United States Alexander "LeX" Deily
United States Kyle "flowsicK" Mendez
United States Todd "anger" Williams
France David "Xp3" Garrido
United States Derek "desi" Branchen 

Facing off against Obey.Alliance in the Group A opener will be Winterfox, a lineup whose core is ex-Mythic and which spent much of the autumn of 2015 in a tailspin before signing desi and flowsicK and bringing the team together to live in a team house in Chicago.


anger's Winterfox remain a Pro League team going into 2016 

Winterfox most recently survived ESL ESEA Pro League relegation and also managed to make the playoffs of the RGN Pro Series before losing to Renegades (the team also took part in the iBUYPOWER Cup but fared rather poorly there, picking up seven rounds total in two games).

United States Enemy

United States Kenneth "koosta" Suen
Canada Michael "Uber" Stapells
United States Skyler "Relyks" Weaver
United States Michael "MAiNLiNE" Jaber
United States Richard "Lucky" Vasconcelos 

One of the more recognisable and stable lineups in Group B is Enemy, a team perhaps most famous for featuring AWPer koosta but with other up-and-coming talents such as Relyks and Uber involved as well.


Enemy made the playoffs of the RGN Pro Series in November

The team made a quiet roster change after the RGN Pro Series (where Enemy finished in 5-6th place) by replacing Jared "Anomaly" Simmons for Lucky, who is most famous for playing with the current CLG lineup back in 2014. Earlier event placings in 2015 include a second place finish at Fragadelphia 6 and making the playoffs at the WinOut Championships.

United States SPLYCE

United States Arya "arya" Hekmat
United States Abraham "abE" Fazli
Canada Jason "jasonR" Ruchelski
United States Andrew "Professor_Chaos" Heintz
Canada David "DAVEY" Stafford 

Four-fifths of the current SPLYCE lineup are the old 3sUP team (also known as Dogmen in the interim between organisations). 3sUP were a team which showcased talent in the ESL ESEA Pro League as well as at certain offline events, such as finishing third at the WinOut CS:GO Championships.


DAVEY is SPLYCE's fifth 

However, the team were flattened in the Northern Arena and did not win a single map, possibly leading to Owen "wabbit" Farrelly leaving the team. Since then, SPLYCE have brought ex-Method player DAVEY on board and look to be much strengthened going into 2016.

United States Leader-1

United States Tyler "Char" Wallace
United States Jason "focs" Mauery
United States Daniel "virtus" Carrillo
United States Josh "joshbM" Blier
United States Corey "flashstep" Parks

Leader-1, an ESEA Premier team, will open up against SPLYCE in Group B and thus face an uphill fight against a more experienced team. However, Leader-1's ranks are packed with known figures such as Char, who previously played for SKDC and Nexus (attending the WinOut Championships with the latter).

Much of this core lineup was previously known as Astral Authority at the beginning of the year and they have always lurked just below the surface of the Pro League teams while occasionally being able to play them to a defeat, such as beating CLG 16-14 in the RGN Freedom Cup.

United States EZG eSports 

United States Thomas "GrumpiX" Jung
United States Nick "N4j" Norman
Canada Igor "cuse" Nikolic
United States Paul "MORViD" Beam
United States Adrian "recky" Golec (stand-in)

EZG eSports are likely the least known of the teams in attendance and this team (currently in ESEA Intermediate) played the Minor qualifier under the name of UNiTeDMass Gaming before moving to a new organisation ahead of the Minor.

An offline opener against the possible Group B favourites Enemy will be a harsh lesson for EZG but North American LANs are famous for their upsets and for watching teams fall to underdogs.

*Update: EZG's roster has been slightly amended. The team will be playing with MORViD instead of Brandon "Enemyy" Blair and recky will be standing in for the team's usual fifth, Allen "Ghoul" Vo.

 

The MLG Americas Minor kicks off on January 15th at 23:00 and continues until Sunday when a winner will be decided.

The prize-pool distribution for the event is:

1. - $30,000 + Qualification for MLG Columbus Major offline qualifier
2. - $15,000
3-4. - $2,500
3-4. - $2,500 

You can also find the full schedule for the event in this article and the talent lineup for the event in this article.

stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter

United States Josh 'joshbM' Blier
Josh 'joshbM' Blier
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
147
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.13
United States Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan
Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.10
United States Alec 'Slemmy' White
Alec 'Slemmy' White
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.85
Maps played:
445
KPR:
0.57
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.12
United States Adrian 'recky' Golec
Adrian 'recky' Golec
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
63
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.15
United States Jason 'focs' Mauery
Jason 'focs' Mauery
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.89
Maps played:
72
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.15
United States Skyler 'Relyks' Weaver
Skyler 'Relyks' Weaver
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
772
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
United States Richard 'Lucky' Vasconcelos
Richard 'Lucky' Vasconcelos
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
78
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Canada Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Keith 'NAF' Markovic
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1143
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.16
Canada Damian 'daps' Steele
Damian 'daps' Steele
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
906
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
United States Todd 'anger' Williams
Todd 'anger' Williams
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
682
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
United States Andrew 'Professor_Chaos' Heintz
Andrew 'Professor_Chaos' Heintz
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
171
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Canada Cory 'APE' Bate
Cory 'APE' Bate
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
228
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
United States Allen 'Ghoul' Vo
Allen 'Ghoul' Vo
Age:
21
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.85
Maps played:
18
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.77
APR:
0.16
Canada Brandon 'Enemyy' Blair
Brandon 'Enemyy' Blair
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.00
Maps played:
0
KPR:
0.00
DPR:
0.00
APR:
0.00
United States Corey 'flashstep' Parks
Corey 'flashstep' Parks
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.78
Maps played:
127
KPR:
0.55
DPR:
0.74
APR:
0.12
United States Paul 'MORViD' Beam
Paul 'MORViD' Beam
Age:
19
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
3
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.09
Canada Jason 'jasonR' Ruchelski
Jason 'jasonR' Ruchelski
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
289
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.15
Canada Michael 'Uber' Stapells
Michael 'Uber' Stapells
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
395
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.14
United States Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Jake 'Stewie2K' Yip
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1108
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
United States Derek 'desi' Branchen
Derek 'desi' Branchen
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
349
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
United States Jared 'Anomaly' Simmons
Jared 'Anomaly' Simmons
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.84
Maps played:
96
KPR:
0.57
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
United States Kenneth 'koosta' Suen
Kenneth 'koosta' Suen
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
816
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
Canada Igor 'cuse' Nikolic
Igor 'cuse' Nikolic
Age:
20
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
51
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.16
United States Thomas 'GrumpiX' Jung
Thomas 'GrumpiX' Jung
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
27
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
United States Nick 'N4j' Norman
Nick 'N4j' Norman
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
44
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Canada Terry 'dsr' Rioux
Terry 'dsr' Rioux
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
212
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.11
United States Tyler 'Char' Wallace
Tyler 'Char' Wallace
Age:
26
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
167
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
Canada Owen 'wabbit' Farrelly
Owen 'wabbit' Farrelly
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
82
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.09
United States Matthew 'no_one' Congdon
Matthew 'no_one' Congdon
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
336
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
United States Kyle 'flowsicK' Mendez
Kyle 'flowsicK' Mendez
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
395
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.15
United States Vincent 'Brehze' Cayonte
Vincent 'Brehze' Cayonte
Age:
21
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
832
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
France David 'Xp3' Garrido
David 'Xp3' Garrido
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
502
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.13
United States Daniel 'virtus' Carrillo
Daniel 'virtus' Carrillo
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
73
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.10
United States Arya 'arya' Hekmat
Arya 'arya' Hekmat
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
434
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
United States Abraham 'abE' Fazli
Abraham 'abE' Fazli
Age:
27
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
237
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.74
APR:
0.14
United States Alexander 'LeX' Deily
Alexander 'LeX' Deily
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
378
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.15
United States Michael 'MAiNLiNE' Jaber
Michael 'MAiNLiNE' Jaber
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.89
Maps played:
437
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
Canada Kory 'SEMPHIS' Friesen
Kory 'SEMPHIS' Friesen
Age:
30
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
806
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.14
Canada Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguz
Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguz
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1009
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Canada David 'DAVEY' Stafford
David 'DAVEY' Stafford
Age:
23
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
628
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.14
United States William 'RUSH' Wierzba
William 'RUSH' Wierzba
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
993
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
#1
EliGE | 
United States CiToX 
Nice, go NA!
2016-01-15 03:27
Optic to win it
2016-01-15 06:23
Shazeb to be the most bombastic man of the match
2016-01-15 06:47
No I believe that NAF will finally become a LAN player and drop 30 every map
2016-01-15 06:48
I'm exiting b don't shoot
2016-01-15 17:58
gl optic
2016-01-15 03:27
#48
 | 
Sweden changrai 
optic will win it just saying
2016-01-15 10:23
#3
ZayhanS | 
United States ZayhanS 
2nd edit: 3rd gl NA bois leggo
2016-01-15 03:29
internet laggg
2016-01-15 03:30
too bad the finals match which was csgl vs optic was played before the group stages. there won't be a better bo3 here lol
2016-01-15 03:31
#42
 | 
Slovakia itsab8 
Yes its unfortunate...
2016-01-15 08:01
Lol EZG is trash.. bunch of open players competing vs Premier/Pro players.. would be a miracle if they get double digits rounds.
2016-01-15 03:32
#9
fox | 
Portugal thefaceoff 
didnt tabsen carry them or something? theyre a decent IM team pretty sure (esea)
2016-01-15 03:36
What should tabsen do in a North American team? I mean he's a good player, but I'm confused :D
2016-01-15 20:42
#80
fox | 
Portugal thefaceoff 
nonono. he stood in for a few matches for them. tabsen plays pro league and these were versus IM/Main teams esea league system goes open intermediated (IM) main premier professional its not very fair that they used a pro player just because they have connections
2016-01-15 21:37
coL with SicK and frOd was such an interesting lineup. Shame they aren't attending, and that SicK and ryx are leaving the team.
2016-01-15 03:34
not ez for ezg rip
2016-01-15 03:37
Looking at a good underdog team in Splyce have always liked arya think they could take that Group B will be close with Enemy though.
2016-01-15 03:40
#12
NiKo | 
Poland Jaruzel 
That's a lot of money for a pretty bad teams tbh.
2016-01-15 03:43
#34
 | 
Hungary Shaperz 
exactly my thought.. 30k for first place and these teams.. none of them are even mediocre on NA level.. teams on this level in europe would be competing for about 500$ 1st place prize
2016-01-15 05:56
agreed, although it is pretty certain that conquest/enemy will be 1st/2nd. the money will definitely help keep their lineup together and reignite their passions for doing well, as both these lineups have huge potential for the future as they contain many players that are the NA backbone and can reach tier 1 status (ec. Koosta.)
2016-01-15 07:30
#58
NiKo | 
Poland Jaruzel 
Yeah, it's great that it's happening, just very surprising, but good for them anyways.
2016-01-15 14:14
I think Splyce might have a shot over Enemy
2016-01-15 18:09
the current Splyce lineup is basically a mix since they have new members and less talented players than enemy, which is a lineup that has stuck together for a really long time now with the exception of lucky.
2016-01-16 00:18
#13
shox | 
Sweden moonman33 
SO EASY FOR CUSE
2016-01-15 03:49
shit lan, they could have easily gotten better teams for the event but they used a online qualifier that some shifty ass players played in that are now going to this lan and then one of the invited teams died and 2 of the qualifier teams couldn't attend cuz of visa problems, gj volvo great tournament u have here.
2016-01-15 03:50
The only other Pro League team would be SKDC, and they didn't qualify
2016-01-15 04:21
skdc and method both didn't even attend the qualifiers, and GA should have gotten a invite (but volvos rules stopped them from playing the qual) and on top of that they could have at least invited to premier teams instead of main, and intermediate teams and 2 full groups instead of a group of 3, not really their fault but i was looking forward to this event and now im really disappointed and salty
2016-01-15 04:39
Teams that participated in the quals have a right to the free spots over teams that didn't. GA will almost definitely participate in the Last Chance Qualifier
2016-01-15 04:49
skdc did attend. they were sponsorless
2016-01-15 14:02
Enemy vs OpTic would be an interesting final, and perhaps the semis will be worth watching but otherwise I won't watch much of this lan
2016-01-15 03:51
#16
Ex6TenZ | 
Brazil LeTANK 
enemy will win this
2016-01-15 03:55
Enemy vs Optic finals Lets go Enemy
2016-01-15 04:03
It is important to note that the teams that finis 2-4 are automaticaly invited to the Americas Last Chance Qualifier. Also EZG is on their third org in a month, going from UnitedMass too Notorious to EZG
2016-01-15 04:17
source for the first part my friend?
2016-01-15 05:08
majorleaguegaming.com/news/road-to-mlg-c.. You are not my friend, you are my brother, my friend
2016-01-15 05:44
stich forgot one important detail about Mainline on EnemyGG: He smells like hotdog water. In seriousness, the winner of this LAN will have won a bigger prize purse than CLG (ESEA Season 1 finals, CLG won 25k for placing 3rd/4th) and Liquid (iBP cup, 25k for placing second) have.
2016-01-15 04:21
should be "MLG North America"
2016-01-15 04:25
"Americas"
2016-01-15 05:12
Two Brazilian teams have win the qualify for this tornament, Alientech (ZQK team) and Operation.Kino (ex-siteCS) but they did not get permission to enter the US and play =/
2016-01-15 11:49
kek
2016-01-15 20:55
ez for no one
2016-01-15 04:43
#26
 | 
Europe Scottxaxa 
Boring as per usual with NA CS. I'll be rooting for LexXx and Co with Winterfox.GG. I only look forward to these so games are put up on CSGOL.
2016-01-15 04:49
UK Scene..
2016-01-15 20:24
Gl KOOSTA
2016-01-15 04:52
splyce
2016-01-15 05:51
EZ for Professor Chaos on LAN with 10000 sens
2016-01-15 05:53
Tier 6 CS (on an international scale) except Optic and Winterfox. Interesting Kappa
2016-01-15 06:06
#64
 | 
United States MAY0 
Enemy > Winterfox
2016-01-15 17:20
#39
 | 
United States SILHOUTTE 
Best team probably Winterfox for sure my nerds. Seems like ole Frod (The self proclaimed bill collector) can't leave Texas or where ever hes from anymore to get beat. Jlake must be broken and afraid of the cold.
2016-01-15 07:07
I'm a Winterfox fan, but Complexity and Enemy are clearly better than Winterfox.
2016-01-15 20:50
optic ez shaz noscopes
2016-01-15 07:42
"The MLG Minor is the first of four to take place in early 2015" 2015?
2016-01-15 08:52
fixed :>
2016-01-15 21:23
I guess unknown teams need some action too.
2016-01-15 09:27
IN OPTIC WE TRUST
2016-01-15 09:37
OpTic got this.
2016-01-15 09:40
ez for enemy
2016-01-15 12:07
30k for NA, what?! btw ez OpTic
2016-01-15 13:50
#61
 | 
Poland tw1l1ghtt 
ez 4 optic
2016-01-15 16:33
#62
 | 
North America Medusza 
Ez Optic 2nd place is a tie between NME and Splyce for me tho it could go either way I think.
2016-01-15 16:54
OpTic, Winterfox or Enemy.
2016-01-15 20:52
gl
2016-01-15 17:12
Looking forward to seeing optic play.
2016-01-15 17:30
Optic stickers pls
2016-01-15 17:39
Let's go Leader-1, hoping for some L1 stickers after this.
2016-01-15 20:35
Winner will be OpTic or Winterfox.
2016-01-15 20:51
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