The review of IEM Katowice Major 2019 — The New Legends StageLord Matus
All teams can be divided into three categories. The first ones performed better than they had been expected, having shown an incredible show. The second ones, in turn, played way worse than viewers had expected. The third ones performed just like everyone had thought: not better or worse.
Participants, which have surprised
The Australian team heads the list of participants, which have exceeded the viewers’ expectations played way better than they had been expected. After RNG held one of the first places at The New Challengers Stage, HLTV representatives made an interview with Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunovic, the team’s coach. He has told that the team had been working hard at a bootcamp for a month and managed to make it to The New Legends Stage with a score 3-0 due to great efforts. Who would have thought that the Australians would become the first known participant of The New Champions Stage after Astralis and Team Liquid? A very few people expected such turn of events. We expect good results at The New Champions Stage from this team.
ENCE eSports is the second team, which has surprised viewers a lot with its results at the championship. Having lost the first two matches against Renegades and HellRaisers, the Finns didn’t give up and managed to make a comeback, being a step away from elimination from the tournament. They achieved victory in the next matches with BIG, G2 Esports, and AVANGAR with a score 2-1, 2-0, and 2-0, respectively. Probably, ENCE lost to the first matches due to matches were played in a bo1 format. The Finns showed much better performance at the longer distance with bo3 formats and received their invite to the next stage of the tournament, The New Champions Stage, for a reason.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
It might sound strange but NiP has surprised a part of viewers with their advancement to The New Champions Stage. Many viewers and also analysts and casters are in the state of uncertainty. On the one hand, experienced esportsmen are gathered in Ninjas in Pyjamas who have been playing on the professional CS:GO scene for not a single year. On the other hand, a stagnation has been noticed in the Swedish team and the results of the last half a year are not satisfying. That’s why the star team’s advancement to The New Champions Stage has become some kind of a surprise for us. We’ll see how NiP will perform in the final stage. They will have to face Astralis.
The Kazakh team is the last team to surprise us a lot in a positive way. Being an obvious underdog of the second part of the Major tournament, AVANGAR has managed to fight well with their opponents. There was a moment in the first match against Liquid when it seemed that a victory was for AVANGAR but something changed at one moment and Liquid won as a result. The Kazakhs were an underdog in the next matches NRG and FaZe but despite this, managed to prevail over one and another opponent with a score 16-13. They were not able to create a serious fight in the final matches against Natus Vincere and ENCE eSports and lost with a score 0-2, having finished their participation in the tournament at The New Legends Stage. AVANGAR has earned a consolation prize in the sum of $8,750 for their efforts. Despite the final loss, AVANGAR deserves respect after all because they have shown a good play and played against strong opponents on a decent level.
BIG has performed pretty bad at the championship. They have finished their participation in The New Legends Stage with a statistic 0-3 and it’s way worse than they had been expected. The team was playing against such opponents as Team Vitality, G2 Esports, and ENCE eSports. They were close to a victory in the matches against G2 Esports. The match against G2 was over with a score 13-16 and the Germans won 14 rounds on the second map of the match with ENCE and lacked a bit to finish it. This case reflects that you need to know how to finish what you have started and do not give up. Due to such a bad result, the German team has become an owner of a consolation prize in the sum of $8,750 and left without an invite to The New Challengers Stage of the Berlin Major tournament. It’s worth to remind that one of the roster’s key players left BIG at the beginning of February and his place was held by Johannes ‘nex’ Maget who had been inactive. It’s likely to be the main reason for the loss of the Germans at the Major tournament.
Just like Renegades, the American team made a statement at The New Challengers Stage, having advanced to the second stage of the Major tournament with a statistic 3-0. There, they have beaten Winstrike, Vici Gaming, and TYLOO. When NRG made it to The New Legends Stage, they had to fight with such teams as Ninjas in Pyjamas, AVANGAR, and compLexity Gaming. The Americans were not able to beat them, due to had a tough loss and were eliminated from the competition, having finished the participation in The New Legends Stage with a statistic 0-3. No one has expected such turn of events because, according to many viewers’ opinion, NRG has a title of one of the strongest teams in North America and, according to the HLTV portal, the team is the fourth in the world in the terms of power, being behind Astralis, Liquid, and Natus Vincere in the rate. Due to this reason, NRG has become the main team to surprise viewers in a bad way. The strangest thing in this situation is that nothing foretold troubles. There were no reshuffles, esportsmen have been playing in one team for more than a year and the performance at the previous stage was brilliant but something went wrong in NRG and we have the standings, in which the Americans place 15th-16th, as a result. Due to this, NRG will not receive an invite to The New Challengers Stage of the next Major championship and they will have to start their way from the very beginning.
Participants, which haven’t surprised
Who would have doubted that Astralis would make it to The New Legends Stage? Now, the Danish team placed first and is one of the strongest in the world and this means that there is nothing surprising in their advancement to the final stage of the Major tournament. What is more, the Danes are the most obvious favorite to win, according to many viewers and all bookmaker companies. Astralis has defeated compLexity Gaming and Cloud9 with a score 16-6 and 16-0, respectively, on its way. They have achieved victory in the final match against Renegades with a score 2-1.
An interesting fact: the match between Astralis and Cloud9 has become the second in the CS:GO history, in which a participant of the main stage of the Major tournament has lost without a scoring point.
Team Liquid is one more of a very few teams, in which advancement to the playoffs hardly anyone doubted and which success was not surprising. It’s worth to remind that the Americans became the winners of iBUYPOWER Masters IV on January 20 where defeated Astralis in the final. Liquid earned a money prize in the sum of $100,000 for their efforts and the final against the Danes was the first where the Americans prevailed over Astralis. After that, it became clear that Liquid had reached a new level of play and might guarantee themselves the first place of the rate by HLTV later. According to many bookmakers and viewers, Team Liquid will become a finalist and this means that viewers have no doubts about their advancement to The New Champions Stage. Their current gaming shape is the result of big efforts, which had been made to prepare for the tournament.
Natus Vincere has managed to make it to the playoffs of the Major tournament not without problems. Na’Vi is a team, which has not the stablest results but at the same time, Natus Vincere always shows good performance at Major championships. They have entered the top eight at the event one more time, about which we had had some doubts, to be honest. However, the majority of viewers and analysts thought that we would see Na’Vi at least in the semi-final and the way things are going now, their expectations might be met. Due to this reason, the advancement of Natus Vincere to The New Champions Stage can’t be called a big surprise. It’s worth to remind that the CIS team achieved an easy victory against G2 in the first match, having lost to the opponents only 7 rounds. The second match against Team Vitality, the other French team, was way more difficult and the match was over with a score 25-22 in the favor of Na’Vi. The first try to make it to the playoffs was unsuccessful for Natus Vincere. The team has lost the match against Team Liquid with a score 0-2 and had to play against AVANGAR. Na’Vi achieved an easy victory against the Kazakhs in the upper match of the fourth round, having defeated them with a score 2-0. Due to this, Natus Vincere has guaranteed itself a spot at The New Champions Stage.
The team captain has recently said that he has some communication issues with a coach and he has also stated that Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major 2019 is a tournament, which has the same meaning for Na’Vi as the rest of the tournaments and doesn’t stand out among them. Apparently, Daniil Teslenko’s words were an interesting PR stunt and a try to disorient their opponents. According to one of the key players of Na’Vi, Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev’s statements, it was way easier to play against opponents, which didn’t expect a serious opposition than against seriously concentrated opponents. But in any case, it will be more difficult for the players of the CIS team to play at the playoff stage and we, in turn, are interested in watching what the representatives of the tag Natus Vincere will offer to their opponents.
The Brazilian team was one of the favorites to advance to the playoffs, according to many viewers, analysts, and casters. Now, we see that it was for a reason and MIBR, in turn, proved one more time that they are called the best team in Brazil for a reason too. FalleN and his teammates lost the first match against Cloud9 but MIBR had a confident victory against compLexity Gaming, G2 Esports, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The toughest moment for them was on the second map against NiP but the Brazilians met the challenge and are waiting for the next match, which will be hosted on February 28.
The players from FaZe Clan had a very tough time. Despite their status, the team was close to elimination from the tournament a couple of times. It’s worth to remind that the team has recently been joined for a trial period by the Kazakh esportsman, Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev. The team performed at iBUYPOWER Masters IV and ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019 together with him. The team placed 5th-6th at the first tournament but FaZe prevailed at the second one. Despite all difficulties, FaZe Clan is on that high level than when their advancement to the final can be called a surprise with a great reserve. The Europeans managed to achieve a fast and confident victory in a tough match against HellRaisers, having lost only four rounds to their opponents. They were defeated in the second and the third matches, playing against Renegades and AVANGAR. The last two matches against compLexity Gaming and Cloud9 were over with a score 2-1 and 2-0 in the favor of FaZe. Now, the Europeans will have to play against Natus Vincere in the first quarterfinal match on February 28.
An interesting fact: AdreN and Zeus have become the first players to make it to a playoff of a Major tournament for a few times, playing on different rosters. Also, an interesting thing is that both esportsmen played at PGL Krakow Major 2017 for Gambit and became the champions there and AdreN and Zeus will face, representing different sides: AdreN will represent FaZe Clan, while Zeus will protect Natus Vincere’s honor.
The French from Team Vitality have passed a tough way to the current Major. Unfortunately, it was over for them with a loss in the fifth round. Vitality advanced to The New Challengers Stage with a statistic 3-1, having lost the match against TYLOO but beaten Grayhound Gaming, Vega Squadron, and Vici Gaming. They defeated BIG and lost the match against Natus Vincere at The New Legends Stage, after which prevailed in the match against Cloud9 again. Consequently, Vitality didn’t overcome Renegades and Ninjas in Pyjamas and finished their participation in the Major tournament on the 9th-11th place. Vitality has earned a consolation prize in the sum of $8,750 for their efforts. They were a step away from getting to the playoffs but they were not able to finish their opponents, which was not a big surprise for us. Despite this, Vitality has shown good performance and brought bright emotions to all viewers of IEM Katowice Major 2019.
Cloud9 is not in a very good gaming shape. They have managed to make it to The New Legends Stage due to victories over such opponents as Grayhound Gaming, FURIA Esports, and Winstrike. The above-mentioned teams had a status of an underdog of the tournament in one way or another, so there is nothing remarkable in the triumph over these teams. It’s also worth to notice the fact that C9 was beaten at the first stage by the Chinese, TYLOO and Vici Gaming. They were close to getting to the playoffs at The New Legends Stage but FaZe Clan didn’t allow the Americans to win the final match. Before that, C9 had beaten MIBR and HellRaisers but lost to Astralis and Team Vitality. Cloud9 has finished its participation in the Major tournament on the 9th-11th place, having a statistic 2-3 at The New Legends Stage. There were many strong and competitive teams, so such a result from C9 surprised a very few people,
HellRaisers have achieved only one victory at The New Legends Stage, namely, in the match against ENCE eSports. The Europeans have lost the rest of matches, which had been hosted against FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Cloud9, and finished their participation in The New Legends Stage with a statistic 1-3. HellRaisers haven’t had good results for a long time and almost no one has expected their advancement to The New Champions Stage. It’s possible that they will surprise the public at the next Major tournament, just like it was at FACEIT Major: London 2018 but they have performed not so good at the championship.
G2 Esports can’t be called an obvious underdog of the stage but due to there were a lot of strong opponents, the end of their way in the tournament on the 12th-14th place can’t be called a surprise. The French had made it to the second stage with a statistic 3-2, having defeated Fnatic, Vega Squadron, and TYLOO, however, they faced stronger opponents at The New Legends Stage. They managed to win the match against BIG but, playing against Natus Vincere, MIBR, and ECNE eSports, they were not able to show a decent opposition, which would be enough for the French to win.
compLexity Gaming has received its spot at The New Legends Stage due to a good performance of FACEIT Major: London 2018. They managed to beat only NRG Esports, which were unable to show something, at the championship. They were not able to create a strong struggle against such opponents as Astralis, MIBR, and FaZe Clan, due to which finished their participation in the Major tournament on the 12th-14th place. However, it was interesting to look at coL’s performance and their victory over NRG reflects that the Americans had prepared for the tournament. The reason for their loss is a weak level of play to fight with the world-class teams.