The first day of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Europe and CIS Minors playoff event saw four teams inching closer towards the coveted Major spots.
The European Minor playoffs kicked off with Group B survivors ENCE Esports and North edging out their counterparts Valience and Team Vitality. The latter two will face off at the lower bracket where the loser will have to pack their way out of Poland.
CIS meanwhile saw the resurgence of Winstrike, who along with AVANGAR advanced to the winner’s final of the playoffs. Winstrike sent Gambit Esports down to the lower bracket to face Team Spirit who was stomped by a 32-11 round performance by AVANGAR.
Both North and Winstrike were immediately knocked out of the last FACEIT Major London, relegating them to the closed qualifiers for their respective region. The Danish squad of North are looking to redeem their tier 1 status in the professional landscape while Winstrike is looking forward to find progress from the Russian group of Quantum Bellator Fire which they acquired last June 2018.
They have to face ENCE and AVANGAR respectively to secure the first spot at the Majors. AVANGAR with their Kazakhs roster are looking to put their own dent at the scene by taking another chance at the Majors, while Aleksi "allu" Jalli – a former Faze Clan star looks to bring in his all Finnish roster to their first ever Major appearance.
The last day of the IEM Katowice Major Europe and CIS Minor playoffs will continue later 5:00 PM UTC+8. The winner of the Winners and Lower Bracket Final will secure their respective tickets to the New Challengers Stage while the third placers or the losers of the LB finals will have to duke it out at the 3rd placer play-in with the eventual teams from the upcoming Asia and American Minors.