CIS Minor preview

The second official CS:GO Minor will run this weekend, this time hosted by StarLadder and featuring CIS region teams competing for $50,000 and a spot at the MLG Columbus Main Qualifier; we have prepared a preview to get you up to date on the lineups.

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 for the varying regions, and with the winner of each receiving an invitation to the MLG Columbus Major offline qualifier taking place February 26-28.

The CIS Minor, hosted by StarLadder, is next up from January 22-24 and it features eight teams split up into two groups of four, from which teams will play a double elimination group format (with winners and elimination matches being best-of-three) and four teams will then move into a single elimination, best-of-three playoffs.

The Minor itself will take place at the Victoria Olimp Hotel in Minsk, Belarus.

Although a minor issue prevented Team YP from attending (due to Vadim "DavCost" Vasilyev having played in the previous Major), the teams list is overall more stable than the problems which beset the Americas Minor, with three invited and five qualified teams.


StarLadder to host the CIS Minor

As a reminder, the group draw for the event is once again:

Group A Group B
Russia Method CIS Rebels
Russia Arcade CIS Gambit Gaming
Russia Fluffy Gangsters Ukraine eXplosive
Russia Quest Russia Binary Dragons

The lineups of all eight teams, and a short examination into their histories, can be found below:

Russia Method

Russia Nikita "waterfaLLZ" Matveyev
Russia Ivan "spaze" Obrezhan
Russia Savelii "jmqa" Bragin
Russia Dmitriy "facecrack" Alekseyev
Russia Alexey "ub1que" Polivanov

Method signed the PiTER team only days ago in order to support their travel expenses to the CIS Minor. The move sees the organisation transition from supporting a North American team in the past year to supporting PiTER, widely seen as a team always vacillating somewhere in the top five of CIS region squads.

In terms of recent experience, Method won the CIS LAN Championship #2 in November, triumphing over teams such as Vega Squadron, Enso, and Team YP to take home $3,000.


PiTER are now Method and can be considered likely to make the playoffs 

The team also finished second place at the Uprise Champions Cup Season 3 finals, losing only to the Bulgarians of E-frag.net in the grand finals, although the PiTER lineup back then included Russian veteran Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov.

The fifth man slot on Method has always been somewhat up in the air, as the Russian team played the Cologne European qualifiers with Belarussian Igor "dERZKIY" Radosavlevich and many still remember PiTER's strong run at the ESL Katowice Main qualifier with Finn Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen back in February of last year.

Method's fifth is now ub1que, who has played with the team for long stretches of time, including back during the ESL One Katowice 2015 Main Qualifier.

Russia Arcade eSports

Ukraine Dmitriy "jR" Chervak
Russia Nikolay "mir" Bityukov
Russia Sergey "keshandr" Nikishin
Russia Pavel "hutji" Lashkov
Ukraine Pavel "COLDYY1" Veklenko

Arcade eSports are the old Vega Squadron lineup and, much like the current Method, were part of a round of consolidation of CIS region teams by hungry organisations looking to acquire the most promising lineups.


Mir's Arcade could also go the long mile at the Minor 

Arcade are another team who are considered a step above the rest in the CIS region: they finished in second place behind Method at the CIS LAN Championship #2 as well as taking fourth place at the Uprise Champions Cup Season 3 finals.

While perhaps less experienced than Method in Group A, Arcade could very likely snatch the second spot and move on to the playoffs to do damage.

Russia Fluffy Gangsters

Belarus Vladimir "ROBO" Neskey
Russia Sergey "Fox" Stolyarov
Russia Dmitriy "hoax" Balandin
Russia Vladislav "El Patron" Kopitin
Russia Vladimir "pixel" Lukyanov 

The cutely named Fluffy Gangsters have as their most renowned player Fox, the brother of Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov who was both part of legendary ventures in Moscow Five during the CS 1.6 days with his brother and then continued his fraternal exploits with Dosia by being on the first lineup to defeat the 2013 NiP in an offline game, doing so in two best-of-threes at the StarSeries V Finals.


Fox is still seeking a breakthrough in a new CS:GO venture

Fox was featured in a recent documentary in his struggles and attempts to get back into the game after taking a long soujourn and his latest venture in Fluffy Gangsters sees him team up with both veterans and newcomers alike.

23-year-old Belarussian ROBO has a long history in Counter-Strike, as he appears in both national lineups for Belarus in the Nations Cup in CS 1.6 and played for A-Gaming in 2014 alongside the likes of Roman "CyberFocus" Dergach. Russian player El Patron meanwhile shows up on a plethora of lineups from the past two years, having played for teams such as TEAMSWAGYOLO in 2014 and Enso in 2015.

pixel and hoax are lesser known players, both only seen in our database as having played with Fox in a team called GUS-Gaming during the Uprise Champions Cup Europe qualifier.

Russia Quest

Russia Aleksey "1uke" Zimin
Russia Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov
Russia Evgeny "fenvicious" Mitsik
Russia Roman "rommi" Golubev
Russia Kirill "vvalter" Varfalameev 

Quest can probably be considered to be the largest cipher of the four teams in Group A, with their most noteworthy player being 1uke, who played for Team YP during the CIS LAN Championship #2 (where the team finished a dismal 5-6th place) and for Enervate at the UCC Season 3 finals (where they finished third over the likes of Nostalgie, RCTIC, and Vega Squadron).

Teammate chopper has been plying his trade for a long time in the CIS region, playing on various Russian lineups since 2013 such as ELTZ, TEAMSWAGYOLO, and dope (the final team alongside hooch and ub1que).

On the other hand, rommi, fenvicious, and vvalter have literally no history at any trackable tournaments in CS:GO and thus either have nothing to lose and will play phenomenal Counter-Strike or will crumble under the pressure of an offline environment (history has shown the latter option to be more common).

CIS Rebels

Russia Denis "electronic" Sharipov
Belarus Roman "CyberFocus" Dergach
Ukraine Ilya "fix" Golovko
Belarus Sergey "spaz" Skrypchik
Russia Alexander "spiker" Ivanov 

The current Rebels team is the old Arcade lineup (with Vladyslav "arch" Svistov being replaced by electronic) who were dropped by the organisation due to a series of middling performances in November of 2015. Afterwards they attended the CIS LAN Championship #2 (with Ukrainian arch) where they finished a paltry 5-6th place.

Before they were picked up by Arcade, the core of this lineup went by the name 'Worst Players' and they briefly hosted Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev as their fifth before that player characteristically left in a whimsical manner.


CyberFocus' Rebels are a true CIS region lineup

Belarussian spaz was part of the 97club lineup that achieved a second place finish at the Voronezh Cup in 2014 before he joined Worst Players and he is joined by countryman CyberFocus, who played for the likes of ACES, A-Gaming, and even briefly FlipSid3 during the middle of the summer.

Russian player spiker is a player who spent a large part of the year playing for PiTER, although he himself was unable to make much of a mark and joined up with Worst Players by the autumn.

Ukrainian fix is another player who has briefly stood in for FlipSid3 (although only for six maps) and the 18-year-old is joined by the youngster electronic (who is seventeen years of age), a player who has shown promise on the CIS scene.

CIS Gambit Gaming

Russia Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov
Russia Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov
Kazakhstan Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev
Kazakhstan Rustem "mou" Telepov
Finland Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen

Gambit Gaming come into the CIS Minor as clear favourites to win due to the sheer experience and talent packed on the roster.

The Gambit organisation invested in the team (then known as HS.GG) at the beginning of this year after Dosia had managed to bring on board Kazakh duo and old teammates formerly of HellRaisers in AdreN and mou as well as snagging Finnish-Russian talent wayLander, who turned heads at the Katowice Main Qualifier in 2015 with a 1.23 rating and +15 kdd.


Dosia's team are clear favourites in Belarus

Finalising the five is 28-year-old hooch, a player who likely needs no introduction as he has been involved in the CIS scene as a star, support, and coach since 2006 and earlier.

The combination of experience and raw talent is what makes Gambit a considered favourite, and anything short of a finals placing will be considered a disappointment for this team.

Ukraine eXplosive 

Ukraine Dima "def" Lemeshchuk
Ukraine Ivan "AiyvaN" Semenets
Ukraine Sergey "smike" Sklyarenko
Ukraine Igor "crush" Shevchenko
Ukraine Artur "Pancher" Mishin

eXplosive were previously known as ACG and signed to the eXplosive organisation (a subsidiary of HellRaisers) back in November of 2015.

The Ukrainian team features a mix of young and old players and some of their recent achievements include winning the ESWC Ukrainian qualifier and finishing 7-8th place at the CIS LAN Championship #2.

Pair them against some other teams in this Minor and eXplosive may be seen as having a fighting chance due to the core's experience of playing together as five, however against the likes of Gambit and Rebels the team will surely need a little bit more than just synergy.

Russia Binary Dragons

Russia Yaroslav "It's my" Ushkov
Russia Gregory "balblna" Oleinick
Belarus Alexander "uNdo" Kiziukevich
Russia Vasiliy "FANAT ROCKA" Trusov
Belarus Igor "dERZKIY" Radosavlevich

Binary Dragons had been playing together under the name Revival before being becoming the name that they are now and most of the players in this roster have experience playing for a wide range of varying teams this year.

FANAT ROCKA and balblna were already playing on a core known as New Era in the first half of 2015 before they teamed up with fellow Russian It's my. They also briefly played with El Patron, who is currently on Fluffy Gangers, before retooling as Revival and picking up Belarussians dERZKIY and uNdo and then playing in the SLTV ProSeries XIV.

The team can rightly be considered to be the underdogs of Group B when all things are taken into account.

 

The StarLadder Regional CIS Minor kicks off on in a few hours time at 12:00 when Method will take on Fluffy Gangsters.

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 HLTV.org will continue to update the match pages as the games progress.

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

Ukraine Igor 'crush' Shevchenko
Igor 'crush' Shevchenko
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
563
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Kazakhstan Rustem 'mou' Telepov
Rustem 'mou' Telepov
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
995
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
Ukraine Ivan 'AiyvaN' Semenets
Ivan 'AiyvaN' Semenets
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
626
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.11
Ukraine Dima 'def' Lemeshchuk
Dima 'def' Lemeshchuk
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.86
Maps played:
602
KPR:
0.59
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Belarus Igor 'dERZKIY' Radosavlevich
Igor 'dERZKIY' Radosavlevich
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
345
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
Belarus Alexander 'uNdo' Kiziukevich
Alexander 'uNdo' Kiziukevich
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
418
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
Belarus Sergey 'spaz' Skrypchik
Sergey 'spaz' Skrypchik
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
250
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Sergey 'smike' Sklyarenko
Sergey 'smike' Sklyarenko
Age:
21
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
462
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.10
Kazakhstan Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1446
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Belarus Vladimir 'ROBO' Neskey
Vladimir 'ROBO' Neskey
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
667
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
Ukraine Dmitriy 'jR' Chervak
Dmitriy 'jR' Chervak
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
489
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.11
Russia Aleksey '1uke' Zimin
Aleksey '1uke' Zimin
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
601
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.09
Russia Sergey 'keshandr' Nikishin
Sergey 'keshandr' Nikishin
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
314
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
Russia Nikolay 'mir' Bityukov
Nikolay 'mir' Bityukov
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
522
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Russia Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Denis 'electronic' Sharipov
Age:
21
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
807
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Russia Pavel 'hutji' Lashkov
Pavel 'hutji' Lashkov
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
410
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Russia Dmitriy 'facecrack' Alekseyev
Dmitriy 'facecrack' Alekseyev
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1112
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.15
Russia Nikita 'waterfaLLZ' Matveyev
Nikita 'waterfaLLZ' Matveyev
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
698
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.12
Ukraine Artur 'Pancher' Mishin
Artur 'Pancher' Mishin
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.89
Maps played:
105
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.15
Russia Ivan 'spaze' Obrezhan
Ivan 'spaze' Obrezhan
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
534
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Vladyslav 'arch' Svistov
Vladyslav 'arch' Svistov
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
593
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
Russia Roman 'rommi' Golubev
Roman 'rommi' Golubev
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
507
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Russia Evgeny 'fenvicious' Mitsik
Evgeny 'fenvicious' Mitsik
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
618
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.12
Belarus Kirill 'vvalter' Varfalameev
Kirill 'vvalter' Varfalameev
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.77
Maps played:
80
KPR:
0.56
DPR:
0.75
APR:
0.13
Russia Mihail 'Dosia' Stolyarov
Mihail 'Dosia' Stolyarov
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1396
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Russia Sergey 'Fox' Stolyarov
Sergey 'Fox' Stolyarov
Age:
33
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
198
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Russia Dmitriy 'hoax' Balandin
Dmitriy 'hoax' Balandin
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
12
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.78
APR:
0.10
Ukraine Ilya 'fix' Golovko
Ilya 'fix' Golovko
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
334
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.13
Russia Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakov
Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakov
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
564
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Russia Yaroslav 'It's my' Ushkov
Yaroslav 'It's my' Ushkov
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
290
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.75
APR:
0.13
Russia Vladislav 'El Patron' Kopitin
Vladislav 'El Patron' Kopitin
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
213
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Russia Gregory 'balblna' Oleinick
Gregory 'balblna' Oleinick
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
571
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Russia Vladimir 'pixel' Lukyanov
Vladimir 'pixel' Lukyanov
Age:
27
Rating 1.0:
0.84
Maps played:
10
KPR:
0.56
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.11
Russia Alexey 'ub1que' Polivanov
Alexey 'ub1que' Polivanov
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
491
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Russia Vasiliy 'FANAT ROCKA' Trusov
Vasiliy 'FANAT ROCKA' Trusov
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
455
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
Russia Savelii 'jmqa' Bragin
Savelii 'jmqa' Bragin
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
893
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Russia Dmitry 'hooch' Bogdanov
Dmitry 'hooch' Bogdanov
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
848
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Russia Jan 'wayLander' Rahkonen
Jan 'wayLander' Rahkonen
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
679
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.13
Russia Alexander 'spiker' Ivanov
Alexander 'spiker' Ivanov
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.89
Maps played:
406
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.14
Ukraine Pavel 'COLDYY1' Veklenko
Pavel 'COLDYY1' Veklenko
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
947
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
Russia Vadim 'DavCost' Vasilyev
Vadim 'DavCost' Vasilyev
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
926
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.12
Ukraine Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
22
Rating 1.0:
1.23
Maps played:
1060
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.10
Belarus Roman 'CyberFocus' Dergach
Roman 'CyberFocus' Dergach
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
484
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.11
#3
 | 
African Union BoyBetterKnow! 
ez gambit
2016-01-22 03:47
#5
 | 
Portugal dracø 
ez 4 Fox
2016-01-22 03:48
Nice
2016-01-22 03:49
ez gambit
2016-01-22 03:49
#10
 | 
Russia Drinkins 
nice preview, tnx stich
2016-01-22 03:51
#11
H1ber | 
Finland Dagyhy 
gl gambit, hooch & waylander
2016-01-22 03:52
#InDosiaWeTrust
2016-01-22 03:52
ez COLDyy no Kappa
2016-01-22 03:58
Group A : russians.
2016-01-22 03:59
#28
Panama JJAU 
Group B : russians.
2016-01-22 04:39
#54
 | 
Luxembourg alex24 
Group C : more russians
2016-01-22 09:49
#16
GuardiaN | 
Other Darge 
C'mon Dosia, show than our beloved sexgod it's not done on CS
2016-01-22 04:01
#17
 | 
Belarus Starvoid 
EZBD
2016-01-22 04:03
#18
 | 
Europe ROMAG 
rush b cyka blyat
2016-01-22 04:13
That feeling when CIS can get 8 teams to the minor but NA can't. FeelsBadMan
2016-01-22 04:19
#21
 | 
Czech Republic RNGendr1 
ez ruski fox
2016-01-22 04:20
ez for fox
2016-01-22 04:28
arcade ez
2016-01-22 04:32
dosia ezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
2016-01-22 04:35
Should be easy for Gambit, outside chance for Method.
2016-01-22 04:37
#34
 | 
United States Doctor1597 
I think Rebels have upset potential over Gambit in groups, but yeah should be 2-1 Gambit in the finals over method.
2016-01-22 05:34
#29
 | 
Brazil hugoooo 
Too much money for the level
2016-01-22 04:43
Valve is trying to develop lower tier talent out of their own pocket, what is wrong with that? There is very little cash or opportunity outside of the tier 1 orgs too.
2016-01-22 04:54
#37
 | 
Brazil hugoooo 
Nothing wrong, I'm just surprised they're spending 50k for this level of competition.
2016-01-22 05:39
2ez4sexgod
2016-01-22 05:10
ez dosia
2016-01-22 05:34
#38
cyx | 
Russia airton 
method top1
2016-01-22 05:40
GL REBELS!!!!!!! GL CYBER!
2016-01-22 06:37
ez
2016-01-22 06:40
go method
2016-01-22 06:47
#42
 | 
Belarus ALBiNh0 
gl Hooch, gl Cyberfocus, gl Fox, gl 1uke, gl Fanat
2016-01-22 07:03
ez for fluffy gangsters
2016-01-22 07:12
-fox +Fox
2016-01-22 07:19
#45
 | 
Latvia Ke]R[4u 
Fox coming back and reking everyone #the_dream gl
2016-01-22 07:30
dosia incomming :D
2016-01-22 07:36
it's my
2016-01-22 07:43
go gambit
2016-01-22 08:16
ez for gambit
2016-01-22 08:47
gl Gambit
2016-01-22 08:51
#53
Egypt tud1 
nice
2016-01-22 09:46
spaz vs spaze. interesting :)
2016-01-22 10:02
Gogogo Gambit <3
2016-01-22 10:05
gl everyone ;o
2016-01-22 10:08
#60
 | 
CIS sergioff 
Dosia vs Fox <3
2016-01-22 11:19
will see gambit on major? hope so
2016-01-22 11:20
#62
Edward | 
United States kUcheRR 
ez 4 dos1a
2016-01-22 11:34
nice!
2016-01-22 12:05
sex god dosia will win
2016-01-22 12:10
#65
 | 
Other anarh1st47 
piter\vega\hs.gg in final
2016-01-22 15:13
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