The main favorites of the IEM Katowice 2023 group stage: who will join the fight for six spots in the playoffs


The Play-In stage at IEM Katowice 2023 has ended, following which the teams Cloud9, Ninjas in Pajamas, BIG, OG, IHC Esports, fnatic, Complexity Gaming and Team Spirit advanced to the group stage of the tournament. The listed participants already today, February 4, will enter the fight in the main stage of the championship, where they will have to face eight seeded teams.

As IEM Katowice 2023 moves into the most intriguing part, we propose to go through the participants of the group stage and highlight the favorites. Thus, we will try to understand which teams are more likely to get into the playoffs of the championship and continue to fight for the trophy.

Group A

Perhaps the main favorite of group A will be the G2 Esports team. The Samurai made a name for themselves at the end of last season by winning the BLAST Premier World Final 2022. In addition, at the start of the new season, the European team won three confident victories at BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 without losing a single map during the group stage. Thus, in its current form, G2 Esports seems to be the most stable member on the scene, without creating any kind of neutral image around itself.

At the same time, FaZe Clan will be a clear contender for the playoffs. Moreover, the team will come to Poland in full force, welcoming the newly-made dad rain. However, even without the Norwegian, the team showed an excellent game at the last BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, where they did not suffer a single defeat. FaZe Clan’s only difficulty will be the bracket, which already in the semifinals promises a potential meeting with another favorite – G2 Esports.

It is logical that Natus Vincere cannot be written off from the accounts. The Ukrainian team performed ambiguously at the past BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, having lost twice to G2 Esports at the group stage. Moreover, “Born to Win” with great difficulty outplayed Complexity Gaming on the way to the spring finals, which does not add points to confidence. And at the start of IEM Katowice 2023, the team will have to play with Cloud9, the principal rival of recent seasons.

The next contender for the playoffs is Cloud9. The main advantage of the “cloud” is the presence of game practice, since the team managed to get two victories in the Play-In stage and get into the group stage. Given the teamwork and excellent start, Cloud9 will definitely fight for the distribution of prizes. However, returning to the previous paragraph, the team will have to play with Natus Vincere from the start.

In certain scenarios, Team Liquid and Team Spirit may join the fight. But if the North Americans are lucky enough to get to IHC Esports, then the “dragons” fly out to the lower bracket almost immediately, since they play with FaZe Clan in the quarterfinals. The German team BIG is much less likely to shoot, which still has problems in games with direct competitors. In turn, if IHC Esports managed to become a sensation at the Play-In stage, then it will not be so easy in the main draw.

Group B

The main favorites of the IEM Katowice 2023 group stage: who will join the fight for six spots in the playoffs. Photo 2

Team Vitality should become one of the leaders of Group B. Recently, the Danish-French team played well at BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, where they went through Astralis, Evil Geniuses and Heroic in a row, getting a well-deserved ticket to the spring finals. However, you need to make allowances for the start of the season and the fact that the “bees” in the first round will play with Ninjas in Pajamas – another contender for a place in the playoffs.

Smoothly moving to Ninjas in Pajamas. The Swedish team managed to make changes in the roster after the disastrous BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, where the guys frankly had a hard time. However, at the start of IEM Katowice 2023, the team managed to surprise with two victories over MIBR and Team Spirit, leaving quite positive impressions. However, a lot will be decided already in the first game, because here Ninjas in Pajamas will face Team Vitality.

Of course, you can’t get past Heroic, which is still the current leader in the world rankings. At the end of last season, the Danish team was really good, having played in the finals of IEM Rio Major 2022, as well as winning the autumn finals from BLAST. However, at the last BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023, Xizt’s wards had a small crisis, as the guys completed their task with great difficulty. However, building on the experience of Heroic, the team needs to work on themselves and become stronger.

Speaking of the other members of Group B, the picture is really blurry. Here we can highlight Outsiders, MOUZ, OG and fnatic, who can both surprise and fail in equal measure. And a lot depends on the first matches, since all these teams are forced to play each other. And if someone needs to be singled out, then it is worth taking a closer look at Outsiders and MOUZ, which have not appeared before our eyes for a long time. In turn, OG and fnatic have already been to the Play-In, but did not cause a “wow” effect.

Perhaps the main outsider of group B will be the North American team Complexity Gaming. Of course, the team became a sensation at the Play-In stage, because after the defeat from BIG, they managed to beat Permitta Esports and ENCE to reach the main part of the championship. However, based on history, Complexity Gaming will find it extremely difficult to play against the big clubs, as the team actually crumbles under pressure.

IEM Katowice 2023 takes place from 1 to 12 February in Katowice at the Spodek Arena. As part of the championship, 24 teams from the CIS, Europe, North and Latin America, Asia and Oceania are fighting for a total prize pool of $1,000,000, as well as a ticket to IEM Cologne 2023 for the winner.

Interim results of IEM Katowice 2023

  • 1st place: $400,000 + ticket to IEM Cologne 2023
  • 2nd place: $180,000
  • 3rd-4th place: $80,000
  • 5th-6th place: $40,000
  • 7th-8th place: $24,000
  • 9th-12th place: $16,000
  • 13th-16th place: $10,000
  • 17th-20th place: MIBR, ENCE, Sprout and FURIA – $4,500
  • 21st-24th place: paiN Gaming, Evil Geniuses, Permitta Esports and Grayhound Gaming — $2,500


Source link

Scroll to Top