KRIMZ / Helena Kristiansson (ESL)

MIBR upsets Fnatic, eliminates them from IEM Katowice 2021

MIBR has eliminated Swedish powerhouse Fnatic from the IEM Katowice 2021 play-in stage

In the first round of the lower bracket at the IEM Katowice play-in, MIBR pulled off a major upset. The Brazilians managed to beat Fnatic in a convincing 2-0 fashion. It’s only the second series win for the squad since signing with MIBR back in January. 

Fnatic and MIBR started the second day of the play-in with a tough road ahead. Both teams lost their opening match and were hoping for a flawless lower-bracket run to make it to the main tournament. 

shz spurs MIBR over Fnatic in IEM Katowice 2021

The match started on Dust 2, MIBR’s map pick. They won the opening pistol round and managed to secure the following two anti-eco’s to start with a comfortable lead. But once Fnatic got rifles in their hands, momentum seemed to swing towards the Swedes. They won three rounds, but MIBR discovered a weakness on the B-site. While new Fnatic signee Jack “Jackinho” Ström Mattson had a good showing defending it, It wasn’t enough to lock MIBR out.

MIBR continued to play a strong T-side, and Fnatic was scrambling to find an answer. Out of the last nine rounds of the half, MIBR won eight. The final score at the half was a lopsided 11-4 lead for the Brazilians. 

Moving over to the offensive, Fnatic managed to bridge that gap and even tied up the game at 12-12. That was the moment that Bruno “shz” Martinelli decided he’d seen enough. 

The rifler successfully defended the B-site and scored an ace in the following round to bring his squad to match point. With Fnatic’s economy broken, MIBR won the final round against upgraded pistols with relative ease, securing them the map and a 1-0 lead.

Going into their map pick, Overpass, the pressure was high for Fnatic. The team had a solid T side and despite losing the first four rounds, they still ended the half with 7 rounds to their name. Their defense proved to be anything but solid though, allowing MIBR to trampled them in the second half. With a comfortable Ricordo "boltz" Prass showing them the way, MIBR ran away with the second map, taking their opponents' map pick to the tune of 16-9.

With that result, Fnatic, the three-time winners of Katowice tournaments, exit the event disappointingly early. While not seen as favorites, the Swedes were considered potential spoilers that could hit their stride. Meanwhile, MIBR will face BIG later in the day for a spot in the main tournament.