Asia Minor preview

The first regional Minor Championship ahead of PGL Major Krakow will kick off tomorrow, in Beijing China. Eight teams will be taking part in the Asia Minor, and we have prepared a preview to look at their chances.

Taking place at the Dongyi Tianhong Studio Hall, in Beijing, the four-day Asia Minor will see eight teams - two invites and six qualified - duke it out for their share of a $50,000 prize pool and two spots at the offline qualifier for the PGL Major Krakow. 

The tournament will kick off with a double-elimination group stage, featuring best-of-three matches in the Lower bracket. The top two teams from both groups will progress to the playoffs, featuring a best-of-three double-elimination format. 

Below you can find the group draw in full:

Group A Group B
Australia Renegades China TYLOO
China Flash Mongolia TheMongolz
Thailand Signature Australia Immunity
Lebanon Spotnet
Thailand 7642

Check out our viewer's guide if you want to find more information about the tournament, including the full schedule and the talent line-up. Scroll through the preview below to get to know more about the teams in attendance at the Minor and their chances:

Ratings used are from the past three months on LAN

* indicates online rating

Group A

Renegades (#22) Age Rating
Australia Karlo "USTILO" Pivac 23 1.12
Serbia Nemanja "nexa" Isaković 20 0.95
United States Noah "Nifty" Francis 19 0.77
Australia Aaron "AZR" Ward 24 0.74
Australia Justin "jks" Savage 21 0.63
Offline results in the past three months
6th-7th Australia IEM Sydney

Renegades are one of the favorites heading into the Minor. They are, after all, the highest-ranked team in attendance, even though their recent results have been inconsistent.

Earlier this month, Renegades went back to Australia to compete at IEM Sydney, where they ended up being outplayed by their fellow countrymen of Chiefs. A victory over ViCi was of little comfort to Renegades, who bowed out of the tournament in seventh place.

Renegades hope to bounce back after a series of mixed results

It is true that nexa has not looked particularly impressive since joining the team, but even more worrying is the fact that jks had below average Ratings at each of his last three offline events. A tournament like this one, where the level is obviously a bit lower, could be just what the 21-year-old needs to start performing once again and help his team to find some much-needed stability.

Renegades have a very strong map in Nuke, where they have lost just one of their last seven matches, while they look very shaky on Train and try to avoid Overpass as much as possible. Even if they get caught out in a best-of-one match, their superior experience should be more than enough to earn them a spot at the offline qualifier for the Major.

Flash (#65) Age Rating  
Malaysia Andrew "Kaze" Khong 22 1.29 *
China YuLun "Summer" Cai 20 1.26 *
China YuanZhang "Attacker" Sheng 20 1.24 *
China KunHua "LOVEYY" Bai 28 1.16 *
China QiFang "Karsa" Su 25 0.93 *
Offline results in the past three months
N/A

Flash are probably the team that the community is most excited to see at the event. Created in March by bringing together experienced men from different teams, Flash take an Astralis-like approach to business in the sense that they offer co-ownership to the players.

The Chinese qualifier for the Asia Minor was Flash’s first real test, and they passed it with flying colors, easing past Wings.V and wNv before securing hard-fought victories over EHOME and ViCi – two famed opponents, especially the latter.

The Minor will be kaze's chance to shine

A number of Chinese teams have recently signed foreign imports, and Flash are no exception, having landed Malaysian star Kaze, formerly of MVP.karnal and JYP. The 22-year-old is not only one of the most exciting players in Southeast Asia, averaging a 1.21 Rating on LAN, but he is also very experienced and versatile, with an ability to use the AWP intelligently but also to stand his ground with rifles, especially the AK-47, if needed.

Flash’s scarce number of tournaments played could be seen as an advantage as opponents will have a hard time to find material to study them. But it is clear at this point that Inferno is a strong pick for the Chinese, who have won all three games played on this map. While Flash may ultimately fall short against the likes of Renegades and TYLOO, their chances cannot be written off and they will be out to prove their worth.

Signature (#152) Age Rating
Thailand Kitsada "bnwGiggs" Pookamroong 20 1.40
Thailand Kritthee "Geniuss" Sawatmuang 18 1.33
Thailand Tosapol "TOR" Saekow 24 1.14
Thailand Warittorn "RoLEX" Kalanukarn 16 1.13
Thailand Anupong "stk" Mueangngam 20 1.04
Offline results in the past three months
1st Thailand FPSThailand x SteelSeries Pro League
1st Thailand MGA Thailand CS:GO Season 1

Signature were one of the big surprises of the qualifying process for the Minor as they came through the India and Southeast Asia qualifier after defeating BOOT-d[S], one of the most experienced teams in the region, in the semi-finals.

This will be the Thai team’s second international event since the start of the year, after attending the WESG finals, in January. In Changzhou, Signature made it through to the playoffs after finishing third in their group before being sent home by TyLoo in the first round of the playoffs.

The manner in which Signature lost to Kinguin, Space Soldiers and TYLOO at the WESG event showed that they still have a long way to go, despite being one of the finest teams hailing from Southeast Asia. Placing third in the group seems to be well within their reach; to expect anything more than that is unrealistic.

Spotnet (#109) Age Rating  
Jordan Issa "ISSAA" Murad 20 1.38 *
Lebanon Belal "Senpai" Chehab 17 1.23 *
Lebanon Omar "Jabz" Jabbouri 21 1.18 *
Jordan Mohammad "Zerocool" Ahmad Issa Al-Adwan 26 1.10 *
Lebanon Husain "Empera" Chehab 22 1.04 *
Offline results in the past three months
N/A

Attending the Minor is the chance of a lifetime for Spotnet, the winners of the Middle East qualifier. The Lebanese/Jordanian team booked their ticket to the Minor, their toughest challenge ever, after defeating Risky, who are a regular presence at international events.

Spotnet’s previous attempts to compete abroad have ended in disappointment, so it will be quite interesting to see how they will fare this time around. Twenty-year-old ISSAA has put in some quality performances against foreign teams in the past, and he will be looking to take this opportunity to present himself to a bigger audience.

The Minor will allow Spotnet to get some international experience under their belts. An opening match against Renegades should provide a reality check for the Middle Eastern team, who will find it very hard to avoid a last-place finish in the group.

Group B

TYLOO (#41) Age Rating
Indonesia Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand 21 1.37
China Zhen "HZ" Huang 27 1.10
China Hui "DD" Wu 22 1.07
China HaoWen "somebody" Xu 21 1.06
China Ke "captainMo" Liu 28 1.03
Offline results in the past three months
1st China CS:GO Super League Spring Finals
15th-16th Ukraine SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals
1st China China Cup I

To many, the Asia Minor title is TYLOO’s to lose. The Chinese team are, after all, the defending champions, and since the last Minor they have added a lot of firepower to their squad in the form of BnTeT.

The Indonesian prodigy is one of the highest rated players in Asia, and he has been able to live up to that billing, putting in big numbers in almost every match he has played for his new team. Sadly for them, visa issues prevented BnTeT from attending the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 event, where they lost three straight matches with WeiJie "zhokiNg" Zhong as a stand-in.

TyLoo hope to defend their Minor title

But BnTeT’s arrival has come at the cost of communication as his Chinese is still far from perfect, which could have an impact during fast-paced situations, when tension is high.

In recent months, TYLOO have looked very strong on Cache and Inferno, while Overpass is the map on which they seem to be the least comfortable. Having been invited to the Minor, TYLOO got to skip the qualifying stage, which has given them enough time to revisit their strat book and mix up their tactics. Anything less than a top-two finish should come as a disappointment for them.

TheMongolz (#116) Age Rating  
Mongolia Enkhtaivan "Machinegun" Lkhagva 27 1.15 *
Mongolia Batbayar "kabal" Bat-Enkh 21 1.09 *
Mongolia Tsog "Tsogoo" Mashbat 23 1.04 *
Mongolia Bold "ncl" Batsuh 22 1.04 *
Mongolia Gan-Erdene "dobu" Batbold 18 1.00 *
Offline results in the past three months
N/A

It has been quite some time since TheMongolz last showed up at an international LAN event. As such, the Mongolian team is generating great excitement ahead of the Minor, which will also mark the offline return of Machinegun, the most famous player in the country, after his sojourn in North America.

To qualify for the Minor, TheMongolz had to go through the East Asia qualifier, which also featured teams from countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The Mongolian side prevailed thanks to a great run that culminated with a 2-1 win over MVP Project, with Machinegun raising eyebrows with a tournament Rating of 1.39.

Will Machinegun lead TheMongolz to the semi-finals?

It is hard to know where TheMongolz stand right now. With TYLOO seemingly out of their reach, they can hope for a top-two group finish if they manage to fend off the challenge of Immunity. However, if there is one thing that the 2016 Asia Minor match between the two showed is that an encounter like this can go either way, and the TheMongolz will have to hope that Machinegun has an inspired day to be able to defeat the Australians.

Immunity (#99) Age Rating
Australia Travis "wizard" Richardson 21 0.99
Australia Callum "BURNRUOk" Henderson 21 0.93
New Zealand Sean "Gratisfaction" Kaiwai 21 0.90
Mongolia Erdenetsogt "erkaSt" Gantulga 22 0.81
Australia Mohammed "MoeycQ" Tizani 24 0.76
Offline results in the past three months
3rd Australia CyberGamer Pro League Season 10 Finals

The Australian team are one of the biggest question marks heading into the Minor. They will be attending the event with a stand-in, wizard, who has only recently returned from a period of inactivity following his departure from Tainted Minds.

The 21-year-old is no stranger to this level of competition, having been part of the Athletico team who were one map away from securing a spot in the semi-finals of the previous Minor.

MoeycQ & co face a tough task to finish top two in the group

It is hard to imagine that Immunity are happy with their preparation for this event, with wizard having even attended the ESL Australia & NZ Championship finals with AVANT GARDE two weeks ago in the hope of regaining some of his form. Still, the vast competitive experience of MoeycQ’s men, combined with their great run in the Oceania qualifier for the Minor - which included wins over AVANT GARDE, Legacy and Chiefs - showed that writing them off so quickly would be foolish.

7642 (#156) Age Rating  
Thailand Patiphan "CigaretteS" Posri 20 1.16 *
Thailand Phoomphat "qqGOD" Phodjanat 19 1.08 *
Thailand Sattawut "Leaf" Reathong 22 0.99 *
Thailand Kitikawin "PTC" Rattanasukol 18 0.96 *
Thailand Thotsaphon "cbbk" Suphatthanaphalaphon 23 0.82 *
Offline results in the past three months
2nd Thailand MGA Thailand CS:GO Season 1

7642 are the lowest team of our ranking in attendance at the Minor, which will be their very first international event. The Thai team booked their ticket to Beijing after finishing top two in the India and SEA qualifier, in which they defeated JYP and Recca, two teams still trying to find their feet following the departures of their starplayers to China.

An opening match against TYLOO should put 7642 on the brink of elimination, and it is hard to see them get the better of Immunity or TheMongolz. Earlier in the week, the Thai team finished last in the Infinite Challenge Cup Weekly following defeats to ViCi, UYA and Recca, and while one could argue that they were not playing to their strengths to avoid getting countered at the Minor, picking up a win in such a tough group will be a herculean task for qqGOD’s team.

Mongolia Erdenetsogt 'erkaSt' Gantulga
Erdenetsogt 'erkaSt' Gantulga
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
649
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Mongolia Bold 'ncl' Batsuh
Bold 'ncl' Batsuh
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
364
KPR:
0.65
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Thailand Patiphan 'CigaretteS' Posri
Patiphan 'CigaretteS' Posri
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
193
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Thailand Thotsaphon 'cbbk' Suphatthanaphalaphon
Thotsaphon 'cbbk' Suphatthanaphalaphon
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
308
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Australia Travis 'wizard' Richardson
Travis 'wizard' Richardson
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
260
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Australia Aaron 'AZR' Ward
Aaron 'AZR' Ward
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
825
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Serbia Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
765
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.14
Thailand Kritthee 'Geniuss' Sawatmuang
Kritthee 'Geniuss' Sawatmuang
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
355
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
China QiFang 'Karsa' Su
QiFang 'Karsa' Su
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
383
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
China WeiJie 'zhokiNg' Zhong
WeiJie 'zhokiNg' Zhong
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
923
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.17
Mongolia Tsog 'Tsogoo' Mashbat
Tsog 'Tsogoo' Mashbat
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
383
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
China HaoWen 'somebody' Xu
HaoWen 'somebody' Xu
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
906
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Mongolia Enkhtaivan 'Machinegun' Lkhagva
Enkhtaivan 'Machinegun' Lkhagva
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
351
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.13
Australia Callum 'BURNRUOk' Henderson
Callum 'BURNRUOk' Henderson
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
667
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.13
Thailand Warittorn 'RoLEX' Kalanukarn
Warittorn 'RoLEX' Kalanukarn
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
401
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Lebanon Husain 'Empera' Chehab
Husain 'Empera' Chehab
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
67
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.12
Lebanon Belal 'Senpai' Chehab
Belal 'Senpai' Chehab
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
78
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
Lebanon Omar 'Jabz' Jabbouri
Omar 'Jabz' Jabbouri
Age:
23
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
79
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Mongolia Gan-Erdene 'dobu' Batbold
Gan-Erdene 'dobu' Batbold
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
514
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Thailand Kitikawin 'PTC' Rattanasukol
Kitikawin 'PTC' Rattanasukol
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
371
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.10
Australia Mohammed 'MoeycQ' Tizani
Mohammed 'MoeycQ' Tizani
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
521
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
China Ke 'captainMo' Liu
Ke 'captainMo' Liu
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
733
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.12
Australia Karlo 'USTILO' Pivac
Karlo 'USTILO' Pivac
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
690
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
Thailand Kitsada 'bnwGiggs' Pookamroong
Kitsada 'bnwGiggs' Pookamroong
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
346
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.15
Australia Justin 'jks' Savage
Justin 'jks' Savage
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
822
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Thailand Tosapol 'TOR' Saekow
Tosapol 'TOR' Saekow
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
450
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Thailand Phoomphat 'qqGOD' Phodjanat
Phoomphat 'qqGOD' Phodjanat
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
422
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Jordan Mohammad 'Zerocool' Ahmad Issa Al-Adwan
Mohammad 'Zerocool' Ahmad Issa Al-Adwan
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
121
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.14
Jordan Issa 'ISSAA' Murad
Issa 'ISSAA' Murad
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
524
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
New Zealand Sean 'Gratisfaction' Kaiwai
Sean 'Gratisfaction' Kaiwai
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
629
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.12
Indonesia Hansel 'BnTeT' Ferdinand
Hansel 'BnTeT' Ferdinand
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.19
Maps played:
660
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.15
Thailand Anupong 'stk' Mueangngam
Anupong 'stk' Mueangngam
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
386
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.16
China Zhen 'HZ' Huang
Zhen 'HZ' Huang
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
450
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.17
China YuanZhang 'Attacker' Sheng
YuanZhang 'Attacker' Sheng
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
866
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
United States Noah 'Nifty' Francis
Noah 'Nifty' Francis
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
781
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.09
Thailand Sattawut 'Leaf' Reathong
Sattawut 'Leaf' Reathong
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
328
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
China Hui 'DD' Wu
Hui 'DD' Wu
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
767
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.16
China YuLun 'Summer' Cai
YuLun 'Summer' Cai
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
873
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
Mongolia Batbayar 'kabal' Bat-Enkh
Batbayar 'kabal' Bat-Enkh
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
509
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Malaysia Andrew 'Kaze' Khong
Andrew 'Kaze' Khong
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.20
Maps played:
530
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.12
China KunHua 'LOVEYY' Bai
KunHua 'LOVEYY' Bai
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
700
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
#3
Portugal JrMan 
Ez
2017-05-31 23:19
#16
 | 
New Zealand fuckislam 
ez for Belal "Senpai" Chehab
2017-05-31 23:26
#4
 | 
Luxembourg sanzc 
ez for luxembourg
2017-05-31 23:19
#7
JD | 
Poland PSZ 
nice
2017-05-31 23:19
#8
 | 
France StickyRice 
EZ Flash Gaming
2017-05-31 23:20
#11
 | 
Latvia DanShu 
ez4kaze
2017-05-31 23:21
Who cares about Asia? No one of this teams will qualify to the major after all
2017-05-31 23:21
#13
 | 
Europe HLTVs Hero 
Tyloo & Flash
2017-05-31 23:21
grand final flash vs mongolz
2017-05-31 23:22
#15
 | 
Macau Bent0 
7642 & signature gl
2017-05-31 23:25
#17
 | 
Slovakia TatKo 
Lets go Signature and TyLoo
2017-05-31 23:28
#20
 | 
Germany ssaH 
i miss recca :((
2017-05-31 23:44
#23
 | 
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
Flash and Tyloo PLEASE not Renegades -.- (also, why the fuck are Renegades in Asia Qual?, they live in NA and play against NA teams lol)
2017-06-01 00:16
Majority of the team is Australian.
2017-06-01 00:19
#25
 | 
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
And? They still live and play in NA? Exactly like SK / Immortals.
2017-06-01 00:21
Just like the EU team (BIG?) had to qualify through EU despite playing in the NA EPL.
2017-06-01 00:23
#28
 | 
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
Huh? BIG never played in NA EPL?
2017-06-01 00:24
Can't remember the team name they had prior to being big in NA. Edit, it was NRG
2017-06-01 00:27
#30
 | 
China LeBronGames 
Flash will beat Renegades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2017-06-01 02:59
#32
 | 
United States RecoS 
yes, it was
2017-06-01 07:53
Ez for mongolz
2017-06-01 03:00
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