Spirit, Nemiga, Winstrike, AVANGAR to CIS Minor
Only the first two rounds of the upper bracket have been played out, which means none of the teams have been eliminated so far, but four teams have already locked their spot at the CIS Minor, which will run alongside the Europe Minor in Katowice on January 16-20.
The first team to do so were Spirit, one of the favorites of the qualifier, as they defeated Syman and forZe convincingly to return to the CIS Minor stage, from which they had qualified for the FACEIT Major New Challengers Stage in the previous cycle.
Belarussian side Nemiga followed with a close win over Atlants and a convincing one against the new Gambit lineup on two maps. That saw Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov's side fall to the lower bracket, where they'll have to win the next series against the winner of Monolith vs. PUGSTAR5 to qualify.
Winstrike have also made it to the Minor after beating MOLLIHblE and RAVE, while AVANGAR scraped past PUGSTAR5 and Sergey "starix" Ischuk's UnderPressure after playing seven overtimes over the course of the two series.
The first four teams to qualify for the CIS Minor are:
The other half of teams advancing to the Minor will be determined on Sunday, after the first two rounds of the lower bracket conclude.