IEM Katowice play-in stage results

IEM Katowice has begun and the first several days had some really interesting matches. However, not all of them... Radu M. | 4. February 2023

IEM Katowice has begun and the first several days had some really interesting matches. However, not all of them ended with predictable results.

Strong teams like ENCE and FURIA Esports were defeated multiple times in the play-in stage and failed to qualify for the group stage. In light of the IEM Rio Major results, this was quite shocking to see.

IHC Esports, the competitor that eliminated FURIA, is from Mongolia. Who would have thought that such an underdog would cause the biggest upset of the first stage of the tournament?

Surprising results

It seems that all of the Brazilian teams were in poor shape at this tournament. There were three of them in total: FURIA, paiN Gaming, and MIBR. All of them got eliminated in the play-in stage.

Another team that many people regarded as a potential dark horse was Sprout. This team finished 12th-14th at IEM Rio Major but had relatively poor results after that. If we exclude their third-fourth place at Elisa Masters Espoo 2022, they haven’t done anything relevant since early November.

At IEM Katowice, Sprout were a bit unfortunate because they had to play against OG and Team Spirit, both of which are really strong teams.

Another big disappointment was ENCE. This team has great potential and used to be the team of Lotan “Spinx” Giladi, who is now a Team Vitality player. But they still failed to qualify for the group stage and were defeated by Cloud9 and Complexity.

Both of these teams are excellent, so it’s not that big of a surprise that ENCE lost. But it’s still strange to see them leave the competition so early. In 2022, ENCE used to finish S-tier events in the top four and even played in a few Grand Finals. But now it seems that they’re lacking something.

The qualified teams

The teams that managed to qualify for the group stage are these:

  • BIG
  • OG
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Cloud9
  • Complexity
  • Team Spirit
  • Fnatic
  • IHC

Most of these teams were expected to qualify. What’s interesting is that only NiP had a clean run. Everyone else lost either maps or entire matches. It seems that the addition of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke to the roster has been a good choice for the Swedes, who desperately needed to upgrade themselves.

Right now, NiP are barely ranked 17th globally and haven’t done anything major for a long time. Hopefully, IEM Katowice will represent their comeback event.

Header: ESL| Helena-Kristiansson