CS:GO: All The Dark Horses of IEM Katowice 2021

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CS:GO: All The Dark Horses of IEM Katowice 2021

A huge CS:GO event with a $1,000,000 total prize pool starts on February 16th. Vitality, Astralis, Natus Vincere – we know the favorites, but what are the teams that have a big opportunity to surprise all of us? Let’s go through them.


Sure, we will talk about play-in teams! Despite the fact that OG hasn’t performed well in early 2021, we believe this is the perfect chance for them to step-up. However, the grid is not that simple, Fnatic and both Liquid/MIBR are pretty suitable opponents for OG if we talk about playstyle.

If OG progresses to the main event, they will gain momentum and confidence that will improve their play. Currently, they are feeling the pressure, but everything will change if they find success in the play-in stage.


Liquid had enough time to set the team’s structure and update the playbook. They have tough opponents in the play-in stage, but psychologically Liquid are strong and they will stand their ground to the end. Also, if Liquid doesn’t make it through the upper bracket, they’ll have one more chance in the lower bracket. For them, it will be a bit easier to play versus top-10 teams rather than impudent opponents. Maybe it’s not really fair to call the 5th rated team in the world an underdog, but this will be the first real challenge for the new Liquid squad.

Also Read: IEM Katowice 2021 – Everything You Need To Know


Valentin “poizon” Vasilev, the main AWPer of Complexity, is finally back in action! In the first event with a full lineup, BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2021, Complexity performed incredibly well. They overran Vitality and EG with a 2-0 score, such a great start!

Because Complexity are now with Vasilev, they have a decent chance to make an instant comeback to the highest level.


In the last couple of months, the performance of Virtus.pro is on another level. After a hard period right after the signing of Mareks “YEKINDAR” Gaļinskis, they finally revealed all of their hidden power. Their undisputable win in cs_summit 7 likely brought them enough confidence to make a run here.

Let’s see how it goes for Virtus.pro in IEM Katowice 2021, there’s a real chance for the CIS team to show their progress.

Team Spirit

Spirit is one more CIS team that hardly improved in the last year. Recently, they got Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov and Robert “Patsi” Isyanov to make a 6-man roster, which made them stronger. It’s a perfect time to break a glass ceiling for Team Spirit. But don’t forget about the favorites of IEM Katowice 2021. According to SportsBettingDime, the current top three contenders to win the upcoming CS:GO IEM World Championship are Astralis (+230) Vitality (+300) Heroic (+450) Natus Vincere (+500) Big (+900). It won’t be easy to deal with those beasts, but the 5 “Dark Horse” teams have everything required to surprise us and their opponents!

Slava Britvin
Slava "innersh1ne" Britvin is a CS:GO analyst and esports journalist. He currently performs as an analyst for FaZe Clan & as a partnered author of CS.MONEY at ESTNN. You can learn more about Slava on our About page. Twitter @innersh1necsgo.