Fnatic, Complexity headline a stacked ESL Rio European Minor

By Nick Johnson


Mar 10, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

The European invitees to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s first Minor of the year are all set. Fans now know which teams will represent their region at ESL One Rio’s Minors starting on April 26.

There were surprises in most of this weekend’s regional competition at their respective Minor qualifiers, but the European Minor in particular, will undoubtedly see some fan favorites fail to qualify for 2020’s first Major tournament. The possibility of a fan-favorite team like Dignitas or Complexity losing out to an inferior team in the Minor is very real.

That said, the Majors are about finding the best team in the world. This year will be the last time that the current qualifying ruleset is in effect, as Valve announced a change to the Major process earlier this year for 2021. The new rules have teams accrue points starting three months prior to the Major, similar to the changes made by Valve in Dota 2 earlier last week.

Fans interested in Valve’s changes to Dota 2 can check out our coverage by clicking the image below.

EU Minor stacked with Fnatic, Complexity, Dignitas

Fans can now start to block off the Minor dates to catch the eight teams from each region that will compete in the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Minor tournaments.

In what comes as no surprise, the European Minor for ESL One Rio is filled to the top with extremely talented teams. Fnatic predictably took home a qualifying spot at the closed Minor qualifier, with Complexity Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas joining them.

In a surprising finish, Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey’s Team Heretics finished near the top of the competition with an impressive thrashing of OG. Heretics defeated OG on both Dust 2 and Mirage in mirrored 16-9 scorelines. 

Both Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt and Aleksi “aleksib” Virolainen were little more than dead weight as Issa “ISSAA” Murad and Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså tried their best to drag their teammates to the European Minor. Ultimately, ISSAA was the only OG player to post a rating higher than 1.00 or to have a positive K/D over the two maps played.

OG then lost to GODSENT in the lower bracket, costing the all-star team a spot at the Minor. The OG team that had impressed fans just weeks before at BLAST Premier won’t have the opportunity to compete for 2020’s first Major in Rio.

Dignitas also squeaked in just under the cutoff for the Minor, with the reunited NiP roster falling to the lower bracket after a 2-1 loss to Fnatic. In the lower bracket, GeT_RiGhT and company split two close matches against Nordavind on Dust 2 and Nuke before putting the Norwegian organization away on Inferno 16-8 and sealing a Minor spot.

The eight teams from the qualifier made the European Minor are listed below:

  • Fnatic
  • Complexity Gaming
  • Team Heretics
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Movistar Riders
  • Copenhagen Flames
  • Dignitas

The weirdest part about the list is that Complexity shouldn’t even be here. In what might have been one of the most confusing moves in modern CS, MAD Lion’s benched Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen and replaced him with Asger “Acilion” Larsen before the start of the closed Minor qualifiers. Acilion couldn’t play due to tournament rules. Instead of finding a standin, the team chose not to compete. At least they’ll have him for Flashpoint, though?

Their spot was taken by North America’s latest international roster at Complexity, who wound up finishing at the top and making the European Minor. After its close loss at DreamHack Anaheim, most are going to so those so inclined should take advantage of supporting a team that is unstoppable when it gets rolling.

The minors qualifiers are in full swing, and continue until the Americas closed qualifiers end later tonight. Stay tuned for WIN.gg’s continuing coverage of the ESL One Rio Major, as well as both Flashpoint and the new ESL Pro League’s upcoming debuts.