IEM Katowice 2020 is the first proper S-tier event of the year. It’s been over 2 months since we’ve had a tournament of this scale. For that, we’d need to look back to the ESL Pro League S10 Finals or EPICENTER. But during these months the teams finally got their much-needed rest and can have a fresh start in 2020. However, some of the teams have already been baptized by fire in the BLAST Premier.
The failures of Liquid, Astralis and Vitality are quite worrisome. On the other hand, the successes of FaZe, G2 and Na’vi can’t be understated. With the best possible teams in attendance (the whole top 10 by HLTV’s February’s 17th ranking) there will be multiple opportunities to conduct CS:GO betting.
IEM Katowice 2020 Schedule and Format
IEM Katowice 2020 uses the classic ESL format we’ve seen in the past years. There are two distinct groups with 8 teams in each. The initial matches are determined by the ESL CS:GO World Ranking System. All the teams start their journey in the upper-bracket and it takes 3 bo3 wins to secure a spot in the semi-finals or 2 for the quarter-finals. If a team loses one of the bo3’s they must go down the lower bracket and defeat all the opponents there for a spot in the quarters. Just like the playoffs, all the matches in the group are bo3 only. The exception being the grand final which will have a bo5.
IEM Katowice 2020 Group Distribution
IEM Katowice 2020 Group A
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- Natus Vincere
- FaZe Clan
IEM Katowice 2020 Group B
- 100 Thieves
- Mad Lions
- Evil Geniuses
IEM Katowice 2020 Betting Predictions
The undeniable kings of Global Offensive and Counter-Strike. Even after their slump period of 2019, it should’ve have been the end of their dominance. Instead, unlike any other team before, they bounced back from their group stage and playoff exits, to consistently come back to contend for trophies and top 4 finishes. Fittingly, they ended 2019 as the number one team. Yet, there were some worrying signs in the BLAST Premier group stage. In one of the most historic upsets on LAN, Astralis lost 2-0 to a team outside the top 30. They played another bo3 afterwards and some of that form was a back in the first map against Na’vi, but they couldn’t close out the 3rd map of the bo3 even after having a substantial lead.
On a purely statistical basis, Astralis was doing well. They won more clutches than Complexity and even had more opening kills than them. Astralis even had those vintage moments of them winning crazy 2v5 situations. One of the reasons for the failure at BLAST Premier could simply be down to ring rust. Astralis is sure to learn from their mistakes, but it could take them some time to reach peak Astralis form.
Apart from Astralis, the second-best team in attendance is mousesports. For the majority of 2019 mousesports was a sleeper team. Being good enough to secure a spot in the playoffs but never in a position to win the big trophy. At the end of 2019 they had a successful 3 in-a-row straight tournament run. Heading into 2020 they’ve already been tested on LAN in the GGbet Ice Challenge. Not the most difficult tournament environment but a great little way to build up early momentum.
This NA team is a far cry from the dominant run during the summer. They are, however, still a prominent force in Counter-Strike. They have some of the best individual talent assembled in a roster. Even the recent BLAST Premier showed that they have stellar individuals. Amazing positionings, great clutch potential and stellar aim. But they seem to lack on a more tactical basis. When the individuals don’t step up, they don’t seem to have anything to back on. Yes, they’re one of the greatest teams in the world, but currently, there are more than a few teams that can knock them down from their pedestal.
Fnatic have really turned the corner. The addition of Golden in September stopped the team’s downward spiral. At one point, it even looked like they could drop out of the top #30. The fact that they’re still standing strong at #4 shows how far this team has come. Not to mention the individuals also improved under the leadership of Golden. Brollan especially has flourished under this new leadership. But I’d be careful about placing IEM Katowice 2020 bets on this team as we are yet to see them play an official game in 2020.
The North-America team which seemed to be on the cusp of replacing Liquid as the best in their region. But their brief stint of success was even shorter than Liquid’s. Yet in the tournaments they attend they would achieve playoffs. Without a doubt, it’s still a strong roster in attendance for IEM Katowice 2020, but there were worrying sights in BLAST Premier. They looked incredibly hectic in the event making a lot of mistakes in their showing during the 3 bo3’s. They, just like Astralis, Liquid & 100 Thieves, just didn’t provide a high-level of Counter-Strike.
Na’vi finally did the cut-throat roster move and got rid of Guardian from the team. This finally means that s1mple can return to greatness and begin AWPing for the team. Though, there’s a slight problem. For Na’vi, they had to find a new rifler and with ForZe’s unwillingness to sell their player. That meant Na’vi had to reach their hands to depths of the CIS scene. In their case, they picked up Perfecto, who’s now adapting to the roles of flamie. So far, it doesn’t seem to be a massive impact. It still ends up being the s1mple and electronic show. On a good week, they could contend for a trophy, but with the caliber of opponents here that shouldn’t be the case.
The Frenchmen ended 2019 on a good note. ZywOo received the best player of the year award and they won the last S-tier event of the year in EPICENTER. But as they’ve come over to the BLAST Premier, troublesome signs began to show. Just like in the past, Vitality seems to ride-or-die depending on the performance of the young French talent. It seems to be a simply unsustainable system. When someone from the team can contribute to fragging, like RpK in the game against Na’vi they can absolutely win games. But in the field of IEM Katowice 2020, I see them struggling to make it out of the groups.
The Franco-Serbian project, on the other hand, should surpass Vitality in this event. They’ve finally begun to click together and as a result, there are finally some trophies and good finishes. As nexa has now fully taken over leadership duties his fragging has taken a dip, but not a massive one. Under his guide, players like KennyS and Hunter can shine in the limelight. Even a player like JaCkz has been on an upwards trajectory. With a momentum build-up from the BLAST Premier, this is one team on the lookout.
Last year FaZe was a massive disappointment. Throughout the year, they constantly brought in stand-ins, like NEO and AdreN with no results. Then FaZe made the big move by adding coldzera. But the results remained the same, no real change. But in BLAST Premier, the team looked much better. They finally seem to have structure, they’ve swapped up the roles and everyone (except olofmeister) was performing on a high individual level. Of all the teams in attendance, FaZe seemed to be the best dark horse team to make a run for the grand final.
Ever since September, the Australians have been lingering in this limbo between the Top 10 and Top 5. It’s without a doubt an improvement from last year as they are now capable of reaching playoffs and even finals in big international events. And because they’ve been playing together for so long, they have things like communication and teamwork. But they seem to always have the odd-even where nothing seems to click. BLAST Premier seems to be one of those instances. Some tight games, but just like for a lot of teams, there have been amateur hour mistakes, which cost the maps and series. This is also an exciting squad to watch, but they must iron out their mistakes before the getting into IEM Katowice 2020.
This Danish project might confuse a lot of people, but this is in fact the Tricked roster, which won the V4 Future Sports Festival in Hungary. Hunden has finally brought young talents not only to the limelight but to a position where they can compete with the world’s best. It’s an incredible story and they are a team worth looking out for in IEM Katowice. Expect an extreme level of preparation.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
It’s incredibly hard to place the Ninjas in the world rankings. Right now, they are undergoing a learning process. They’ve recently removed veteran player f0rest and coach pita, for nawwk and THREAT. In the case of Nnwwk he is supposed to be the new star player of the roster, but that is yet to be seen in the official games. The addition of THREAT is also interesting as he’s been away for the game for about two years and he needs to adapt to the new economic system, as well as krieg meta. That’s why I don’t expect any outlandish results from this roster.