The group stage of IEM Katowice is over and many of the favorites did not advance to the playoffs. It seems that CS2 is much more unpredictable than we thought. In the coming weeks and months, teams like Natus Vincere, Astralis, and even Team Vitality will need to work hard to figure out what went wrong here.
Among the teams that qualified for the playoffs are Team Spirit, Team Falcons, ENCE, and MOUZ. Almost nobody believed that these four teams would get so far while other teams, who are used to winning, would get eliminated so early.
In group A of IEM Katowice, the three teams that qualified for the playoffs were Team Spirit, FaZe Clan, and Team Falcons. Spirit and FaZe played well in the upper bracket and then faced each other in the group’s Final. Spirit won the match quite easily: 13 – 10 on Mirage and 13 – 5 on Nuke. As usual, donk played incredibly well, finishing with a score of 48 – 24 / 1.83, and an ADR of 120.
His performances are starting to look more and more like those of prime s1mple and 2023 ZywOo. Given that the team also has players like sh1ro, the sky is the limit for Spirit and we might soon see them winning S-tier events.
Falcons qualified after beating Na’Vi 2 – 0 in the lower bracket Final. This was a tough battle, at least on the first map, but Falcons proved to be the stronger side. Na’Vi could have won the match but they messed up badly after winning the first half of Ancient 9 – 3. They lost the second half 2 – 10 and were then demoralized on Mirage, which they lost 4 – 13.
DOUBT US, HATE US, FEAR US!
— Falcons Esports (@FalconsEsport) February 6, 2024
In group B of IEM Katowice, MOUZ emerged as the unlikely winner, followed by ENCE. G2 Esports completed the list of qualified teams by defeating Heroic in the lower bracket Final.
This group was a complete upset, from start to finish. First, MOUZ defeated Cloud9 while ENCE defeated Vitality and G2 Esports. But then, in the upper bracket Final, ENCE lost despite having a more impressive track record at this tournament and arguably a better roster than MOUZ.
However, even under these circumstances, the fact that ENCE qualified for the playoffs is very impressive. As for G2 Esports, they defeated Heroic thanks to NiKo’s monstrous performance. He finished the game with a record of 40 – 26 / 1.50.