The preview of IEM Katowice Major 2019 — The New Champions StageLord Matus
The favorites to win
Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, MIBR, and Astralis
To call the four best teams in the world, according to HLTV (the rate was updated on February 25 where MIBR placed 4th) is probably the most logical decision and the above-mentioned teams have proved that they can become champions of competitions for a number of times.
Na’Vi will face FaZe Clan in the first match. We can see a good gaming shape demonstrated by the CIS team in matches of the Major tournament. Despite the players hadn’t visited a bootcamp, the team plays very well and has advanced to the playoffs without special problems. The Europeans from FaZe Clan, in which AdreN plays, have become the next opponent on their way. It’s worth to remind that he joined the team for three tournaments a couple of months ago. Natus Vincere, in turn, is a professional team, which hasn’t made changes to its roster the longest, and it means if we compare the team play of Na’Vi and FaZe, the first ones will have a significant advantage.
Team Liquid is in a nice gaming shape now. Just like Astralis, they have made it to the playoffs with a statistic 3-0 and they had beaten the Danish CS:GO titans in the final at the last tournament, in which they had taken part. This reflects that Liquid is stronger than ever now and it’s not worth to doubt about their motivation to win. In our view, the team looks to be the most perspective one to win and the Americans must be expected to be in the final, especially considering that they will play against ENCE eSports.
MIBR, like the above-mentioned teams, is in a good gaming shape. They have advanced to the playoffs with a score 3-1. The fact, that the Brazilians have lost to Cloud9 in the first match with a score 3-16, reflects a not fully-stable condition of MIBR. If the same repeats in the upcoming match against Renegades, FalleN with his team will have a risk to place 5th-8th.
Astralis has shown its power at the group stage, having defeated compLexity Gaming and Cloud9 without efforts. In the first match against the Americans, they lost only six rounds to their opponents but, playing against Cloud9, they managed to win absolutely all rounds, which became a sensation of the first gaming day of The New Legends Stage. The Danes lost the first map in the match against the Australians from Renegades when the match was brought to overtime. However, they lost nine rounds to the opponents on the second map and only two rounds on the third one. If Astralis weakens itself in the match against Ninjas in Pyjamas who have surprised everyone with their performance, they might lose in the quarterfinal and hold the 5th-8th place.
«The dark horses»
FaZe Clan, ENCE eSports, Renegades, and Ninjas in Pyjamas
There are no underdogs at The New Champions Stage. All teams have good chances to win and each of the above-mentioned teams might stand out suddenly.
FaZe Clan has recently achieved victory at ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019 and, having AdreN on the roster, managed to make it to the final stage of the Major tournament. They also managed to enter the top eight at the previous Major but they stopped on the 5th-8th place there because had lost to the undefeated Astralis. They will have to face Natus Vincere in the next match and it’s not such an impossible aim for the team, which has recently hired the Kazakh esprotsman on the roster. It’s worth to notice that AdreN has enough motivation to win the match against Na’Vi. As we have noticed in the recent review, the Kazakh together with the captain of Natus Vincere had won PGL Krakow Major 2017, being in one team. Now, they will be on opposite sides and this match might be principle both for Zeus and AdreN. This factor might influence a play of FaZe very well or bad.
ENCE eSports was a step away from being eliminated from IEM Katowice Major 2019. When everyone had written the Finnish team off and was saying: «ENCE, go home!», allu and his team didn’t give up and won the next matches one after another. As a result, ENCE had a great series of won matches against BIG, G2 Esports, and AVANGAR, and advanced to the final stage of the Major tournament. Now, the Finns will have to play against the main favorite in the face of Team Liquid, in our view. The Americans are on the top of their shape and are likely to rise a cup on the stage. Despite this, ENCE can still surprise just like they have done at the group stage. The Finnish team is “a dark horse” with the lowest chance to win but the chance of allu and his teammates to win exists and it is pretty significant.
Renegades, in our view, is a pretty decent opponent for MiBR. The coach of the team, kassad has said that the had been preparing carefully for the Major tournament and had spent a month at a bootcamp before its start. Renegades have finished the participation in The New Challengers Stage with a statistic 3-0 and lost only once in the match against Astralis at The New Legends Stage. As a result, Renegades advanced to The New Champions Stage with a statistic 3-1. An interesting fact is that RNG defeated two participants, which also made it to the playoffs, ENCE eSports and FaZe Clan. The fact can reflect Renegades’ good shape. With regard to their opponents, the Brazilians from MIBR made a fatal mistake in the first match against Cloud9, a pretty weak opponent, and had a hard loss with a score 3-16. If they play with Renegades in the same way, the Australians will have to get to the semi-final.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have managed to make it to the playoffs, due to victories over such opponents as NRG Esports, HellRaisers, and Team Vitality. NRG and HellRaisers were in a bad gaming shape and the match with Vitality was equal and over with a score 2-1. The Swedes have exceeded many viewers’ expectations with their advancement to The New Champions Stage. They will have to play against the Danish CS:GO titan, the team Astralis. NiP has a chance to win but they will have to try hard to make a triumph, to show something unordinary and not to make mistakes for their opponents. Astralis is strong morally and doesn’t give up and if they manage to take a situation under their control from the very beginning, Ninjas in Pyjamas will forget about a victory.
In our view, the final results will look in the following way:
1st place: Team Liquid
2nd place: Astralis
3rd-4th place: Natus Vincere
3rd-4th place: Renegades
5th-8th place: FaZe Clan
5th-8th place: ENCE eSports
5th-8th place: MIBR
5th-8th place: Ninjas in Pyjamas
Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major 2019 has been hosted since February 13 and will finish on March 3. Spodek Arena has traditionally become a venue for the final stage and the general prize pool amounts $1,000,000. A showmatch will be hosted in the new Battle Royal mode “Danger Zone” in Katowice. The remarkable thing is that Valve will create a memorable graffiti on the map Blacksity, which will memorize the winner of the showmatch.