The Asia Minors 2017 – The Gateway to the Big Leagues

Shounak Sengupta

14th, Apr, 2017
While prize pools aren’t as high as Dota 2, viewership for Counter Strike is rapidly on the rise and with tournaments like ELEAGUE being broadcast on national network, even Valve would be foolish to not acknowledge the potential of the game. With this in mind, they introduced the minor system just a little over a year ago and it has received nothing but praise.

A brief rundown of how the season works
 
We’ll quickly take a look at the entire system put in place by Valve and while most of you are aware, this is just a quick summary for the uninitiated.
 
Majors – Valve announces Majors which are hosted by various networks/organizations( ESL, Dreamhack, PGL, ELEAGUE, MLG). Majors are premier level tournaments in CS:GO with prize pools currently capped at 1 million USD. Majors are without a doubt, the most anticipated events of the CS:GO season and the next one will be hosted in Krakow by PGL. The best of the best teams come to play in the Majors and qualification is based on performance in the previous Major(subject to roster stability), and through the implementation of offline qualifiers.
 
Minors – These are also Valve sponsored events, with a significantly lower prize pool of 50k USD. They are held regionally and are meant to give smaller teams an opportunity to showcase their talents and provide them an opportunity to make it to the bigger leagues. There are checks in place to ensure that bigger teams aren’t playing in the Minors to ensure as even a playing field as possible and apart from the prize money, slots are also handed out to teams for the Major qualifiers.

The PGL Asia Minor Qualifiers
  
The PGL Asia Minor Qualifiers are to kick off later this month and thee following regions have been identified which are to be represented at the Minor.
 
China, East Asia, Middle East, Oceania, India and SEA. Each region will have a single slot with India and SEA being given 2. Additionally 2 more slots will be reserved for teams who will be invited directly and are yet to be announced. This makes it a total of 8 teams who will be duking it out at the LAN in China (details are yet to be revealed). The dates for the LAN are 1st – 4th of June and the format will be 2 GSL groups with top 2 moving on from each into a double elimination playoff. From there the top 2 teams will be invited to the Krakow Major closed qualifiers where they will go up against teams from across the world for a spot in the Majors.
   
The details for the Asia Minor qualifiers are as follows:
  • The minors will be hosted by PGL and SoStronk.
  • The East Asian and Middle East quals will be taking place from April 21st to 23rd.
  • The India+SEA quals will take place from the 24th to the  28th of April while Oceania quals will be from 28th to the 30th.
  • Head on over to SoStronk.com to find registration links for the qualifiers.
  • Visit the Asia Minor official website for further details on the format and tournament.
 
While most entire Asian scene isn’t very stable in terms of rosters and organizations there are a few worthwhile mentions. It’s quite possible that the invited teams will be from among these as well.
  • Tyloo – Chinese powerhouse featuring the likes of BnTeT who is regarded as the best player of of the Asian scene.
  • Flash Gaming – A player owned org based out of China with big names like fancy1, karsa and Attacker in the lineup.
  • Recca Esports – Indonesian squad which was the home BnTet before he moved to Tyloo.
  • Risky Gaming – A Middle East based squad which took top spot in the ESL India Premiership and are the top team in the region.
  • MiTh – A Thai esports organization generally regarded as a fringe team in the Asian circuit.
  • JYP – the ex MVP Karnal roster barring kaze who has moved to Flash gaming.
  • 5Power Club/UYA – Recently participated in the Starseries iLeague season 3 against the who’s who of the international Counter Strike world.
  • MVP Project – Korean top dogs who have a wealth of experience.
  • Dare2Dream, Team Brutality, Entity Esports and Team Wolf are the pack leaders in India but with little to no international exposure these teams will have their work cut out for them as they go up against SEA’s top sides in the qualifiers.
 
 Well, the minor system is obviously beneficial for the upcoming teams as they will get the chance to represent their country and to play against some top tier teams.This will help them to grow as a team and gain a lot of experience.
We(Dare2dream) will start our preparation soon as some of us have exams so yea, We'll work hard and will try to represent our country once again and do some damage at the minors. – Sabyasachi ‘antidote’ Bose
 
The Asia Minor Qualifiers is the best place to test out your skills against some of the better teams in the region. While there have been some local leagues and online tournaments being conducted in the country in recent times, the Asia Minors should be able to give players and teams a more accurate reality check of where they stand on a bigger scale. 
 
One thing is for certain however, India will have representatives at the Asia Minor in one way or the other as  SoStronk has tied up with PGL for the qualifiers. Here’s what CEO Prashant had to say:
 
I think Asia is by far one of the most difficult regions to tackle when it comes to region wide qualifiers. From the consistent routing issues (for example. this time around India is paired with SEA as opposed to ME simply due to routing issues) to the language barriers. SoStronk has the infrastructure and the resources to consistently execute qualifiers of this level simply because a majority of us are ex-gamers who prioritize in-game experience over everything else. Putting the gamer first and understanding what it means to have a low latency, without loss, choke and variance environment when competing at such a level. Due to our experience of doing pan-asia qualifiers consistently from the multiple minors to the Las Vegas qualifiers we have built up the understanding that is required to minimize the routing issues. Even then, it’s not foolproof as someone will always be at a disadvantage, that’s just the nature of Asian CS. We hope to provide the fairest ping based matchups for every team involved (due to the algorithms and in-built mechanisms we have). Let’s be real for a second thought. At the end of the day, there is no such infrastructure coverage that covers all competing asian countries and promises ALL of them to compete at 60 ping and below. – Prashant ‘Aequitas’Prabhakar
 

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