Will the CIS teams be able to repeat last year's success? IEM Katowice 2022 Preview

Alisa Barladyan
21 Feb 2022
14:59

One of the main historical CS:GO tournaments starts on February 17th. 16 teams will fight for ten days for $400,000, which will be taken by the winner. Competitions are held in the Polish city of Katowice since 2013, Majors have been held here several times, the last one in 2019. The current winner is the Gambit Esports team, before which the trophy was taken by Natus Vincere in 2020. We hope that our teams will continue their victorious march. This time the CIS region is represented by the above-mentioned champions and Virtus.pro (last year's finalist).

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IEM Katowice 2022

Tournament Format

Sixteen organizations are divided into 2 groups of 8 teams. Only 3 teams from each subgroup will get into the playoffs, which will be held in a large stadium with a large crowd.

In groups, the organization expects the usual system of double elimination. Winners automatically qualify for the semi-finals of the entire tournament. The finalists of the upper bracket will start in the knockout stage in the quarterfinals against the team participating in the finals of the "losers" of the opposite group. In general, the standard system for competitions under the auspices of the ESL. The last time we saw this format was at IEM Cologne 2021. Now let’s take a look at the teams’ chances of reaching the decisive stages separately.

Playoff Bracket
Playoff Bracket

Group A

Group A
Group A

The upper grid of the first subgroup promises intrigue for many CS:GO fans. The Danish-French roster Team Vitality will hold a “baptism of fire” at a major LAN event for the new MOUZ roster. The latter impressed the experts at the Play-In stage, knocking out the top 10 HLTV Entropiq from the competition, and also lost to FaZe Clan 14-16 on the decisive map. Two players of the youth squad are truly great - JDC and torzsi. Until recently, the brave guys smashed everyone at the academy tournaments, and now they are demonstrating breathtaking numbers on the tier-1 stage. During such a game, frozen got a bit lost, while skilled NBK and dexter played great. MOUZ has every chance to make noise in the upper grid. Perhaps the return of Bymas will only get in the way. Vitality, by the way, is still in adaptation mode, so the team can lose to the riddle opponent. But, of course, the French organization is the favourite to reach the grid final.

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JDC and torzsi
JDC and torzsi

OG has been showing itself well lately, it did not lose at BLAST Premier Spring Groups and only once made the fans nervous in the duel with Renegades. Heroic, in turn, we saw only once in 2022 (losing to K23). It's hard to pick a clear winner. Perhaps the experience of a long game together elevates the Danes above the opponent, but the outcome can be anything. A sober assessment forces to put Team Vitality in the final.

Team Vitality
Team Vitality

The lower grid is the most attractive for the CIS audience. Last year's finalists Gambit Esports and Virtus.pro have every chance of colliding in the semifinals. The Bears face Copenhagen Flames in the opening match, and that Danish team is a rather dangerous opponent. They make it as difficult as possible for opponents on maps like Overpass, so Virtus.pro shouldn't expect an easy walk.

Gambit was much more fortunate, Ninjas in Pajamas are in a broken state today. Nikolay dev1ce Reedtz didn't show up for the main tournament, the situation with the sniper worries the organization more than its performances, so we should expect a quick exit from Poland. It is difficult to judge which of our teams will go to the group final, both teams have already won the tournament in 2022, they are in fighting shape. Both Gambit and Virtus.pro are called the main favourites of the entire event, their match will become an ornament, and the strongest will win.

Group B

Group B
Group B

For a long time Natus Vincere could not thank the organizers with such a simple grid. The path to the final is just “smeared with honey” for NaVi. The new ENCE is not yet a competitor for the top 1 in the world, it is inappropriate to recall the 2019 semi-finals in the current context. Furia and Astralis are now busier with the chemistry of the new rosters. We wrote about the Danes more than once that IEM Katowice is their last chance. Rumor has it that in case of unsuccessful performance, the contract with Xyp9x will be terminated, and Lucky will be put up for transfer. In an interview with Maincast, Christian k0nfig Wienecke asked the fans for some patience and time, saying that the team is working and will find a better game very soon. Hard to believe, of course. NaVi can get in good shape during the tournament thanks to passing opponents. The main thing is not to make an upset, as in the past BLAST.

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Astralis
Astralis

The bottom grid is a treat for audiences all over the planet. The new Liquid again got into a difficult group, where FaZe Clan awaits them. The teams played two great matches at Inferno with overtime. "Liquid" with great motivation will come to revenge in the bo3 format, but their chances are still modest. FaZe seemed like a formidable force with the replacement at the Play-in stage, and with the return of ropz, her potential is limitless. Already in the semifinals, most likely, another notable team, G2 Esports, will become an opponent.

G2 Esports
G2 Esports

The Kovachi brothers, Ilya m0NESY Osipov, JACKZ, Aleksib increased their fan base several times in the first month and a half of the new year. The audience believes in this roster, believes that it will be able to stop the hegemony of Natus Vincere. The first tier-1 LAN for the young G2 sniper predicts great hopes. The English-Swedish fnatic roster does not look like an obstacle for the finalists of the PGL Major, but the match with FaZe Clan can become a highlight of the entire tournament. Of course, the audience is waiting for the confrontation in the final of the group with NaVi, s1mple vs m0NESY, s1mple vs NiKo, b1t vs m0NESY, but karrigan and his team can postpone this fight. Looking forward to the clash of group B, something tells - the future winner is here.

We wish good luck to our teams and look forward to watching some good playing. Finally, intrigue has returned to the world of professional Counter-Strike:Global Offensive.

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