ESL has released the official groups for IEM Katowice, including the first and second-day matchups between the participating teams. The groups are likely going to be an absolute bloodbath.
Group A consists of the following teams:
Group B will prove equally strong, especially with mousesports leading the charge in recent weeks:
Astralis will face off against a surging Cloud9 to kick off the first day of IEM Katowice 2020, which starts on February 24 and runs through March 1. Every single matchup in Group A could be an absolute barnburner, with the first match followed by NiP versus Vitality, Na`Vi versus FaZe Clan, and Renegades versus Astralis.
Every match could see an upset, especially given Astarlis’ play this past weekend that sent them to the lower-tier BLAST Showdown. Stunning defeats at the hands of Complexity and Na`Vi were a shock to fans watching at home. The Danish team looked outclassed and outmatched.
Cloud9 has already proven to be a fiery team, just as was the very different roster that took home the Boston Major in 2018. If they can fire on all cylinders, their opponents should be worried.
Group B features similar matchups with the exception of one. The first game of the group pits mouseports against Vici Gaming in what might be the least exciting matchup of the first two days. That said, Chinese teams have surprised before, so don’t count them out despite the obvious talent disadvantage.
All of 100 Thieves versus G2, Team Liquid versus Virtus.pro, and Evil Geniuses versus MAD Lions have the words “trap games’ written all over them. If Kenny “kennyS” Schrub comes alive, you can’t count G2 out of aby match. This combined with the fact that 100 Thieves couldn’t decide if they were good or not at BLAST last weekend .
For Team Liquid, timings are off, communication seems spotty, and we’re seeing little from them right now. A 16-2 loss on Dust 2 is embarrassing, no matter if it was the once time that FaZe remembered who they had on their roster. TL needs to tighten it up and quickly if they plan to make a run in Poland.
Evil Geniuses also look out of sorts, losing to forZe and mousesports in demoralizing fashion. In spite of their successes, it sometimes seems that Tarik and his teammates can’t seem to get out of their own way.
There are storylines abound in this one, and fans can’t wait until IEM Katowice officially kicks off the ESL calendar year and a boatload of good CSGO action.