| Tags: CS:GO, Esports, IEM
| Author The Old One
IEM Katowice Group Stage Day 3 Recap
A few more weaker sides are weeded out as we get closer to the Playoffs at IEM Katowice.
With just one more day of the Group Stage remaining, the tournament has been narrowed down to just 10 teams, with a further four to be shed on the final day. Unlike the previous days, there weren’t too many surprises on Day 3, with only one match taking place that had an underdog taking out a relative heavyweight. Once again, we’ve got a recap for anyone who failed to catch the matches live.
Unlike the first two days, Group A saw just two matches. Returning champions FaZe Clan took on Cinderella Story LB Semifinalists IHC Esports, while plucky old Team Liquid took on Team Spirit in a fight to the death
FaZe Clan vs IHC
It’s only natural that IHC would pick Inferno after putting up two incredible performances on it, and they did so once again versus FaZe. They started well on the T-side to end the half with 6 rounds, and four rounds into their defense it looked as though another upset could be on the cards as they took the lead from Faze. However, such a superteam rarely crumbles, and FaZe fought back to seal the map 16-11. Finn “karrigan” Andersen led from the front alongside Canadian superstar Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken.
Sadly for IHC, Ancient was just not their cup of tea as FaZe rampaged against them to seal a 12-3 T-side half before shutting the Mongolians down on the defense for a 16-3 romp. Twistzz was on fire once again, and dominated the battlefield, with good performances by Helvijs “broky” Saukants and Håvard “rain” Nygaard.
Team Spirit vs Team Liquid
Spirit’s pick of Nuke didn’t quite go their way as they only managed 5 rounds on the T-side, and things got from bad to worse as the scoreline reached 15-6 in favor of Liquid. Spirit fought back hard to reach 12, but that’s all she wrote as Liquid won out. Ihor “w0nderful” Zhdanov and Boris “magixx” Vorobyev played very well, but their performances were trumped by the ever-reliable Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski.
The game then moved to Liquid’s pick Overpass, and the Americans made good on their choice with eight rounds on the attack. Spirit’s T-side, however, was even better as the CIS squad only allowed Liquid one three-round clump and otherwise kept messing up their economy. Before long, they had won 16-13, with another impressive battle between w0nderful and EliGE ending with the Ukrainian AWPer ahead.
Anubis, the decider, saw Liquid struggle on the defense as Spirit racked up a decent 9 rounds on the T-side favoring map. However, Liquid is notoriously strong on the new map, and they destroyed Spirit’s defense to claim an important 16-11 victory and make their way into a Lower Bracket Final against FaZe. Joshua “oSee” Ohm had a great game after a long time, picking up 26 kills.
It was Group B’s turn to shine as four clashes from it took center stage. In the Lower Bracket, America’s second-best Complexity moved past Rio Major semifinalists MOUZ, while embattled Swedish side Ninjas in Pyjamas went up against Major winners Outsiders. Up above, a determined Heroic took on the rising power of OG, while Team Vitality continued their run by edging out Fnatic.
Heroic vs OG
Everyone expected this to be a hard-fought battle, but it was less close than we may have wanted. OG’s pick of Inferno seemed to be a good choice as they collected a decent 7 rounds on the offensive, but after the switch they looked like a shadow of their usual selves as Heroic ran in circles around their defense for a smooth 16-10 triumph. Heroic captain Casper “cadiaN” Møller was ahead in the charts, with teammate Martin “stavn” Lund following close.
Heroic’s pick of Mirage saw a relatively typical 9-6 T-side half from the Danes, but after a few initial moments of struggle, they were imperious on the CT-side and managed to close the game 16-12 with 6 rounds on the trot to finish with a flourish. This time, Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard was the best player on the server.
Team Vitality vs Fnatic
Fnatic had a lot to prove coming up against the French giants, and although they put up a good fight, their journey in Katowice would end here. They picked Overpass as it’s a map that’s been working out for them quite often in recent times, but Vitality was better as they put up a solid 10 rounds on the CT-side. The latter were ahead by 15-8 at one point, but a strong rebuttal from Fnatic saw Vitality only manage to win the map with the score at 16-13. Emil “Magisk” Reif, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen were neck and neck on the charts.
Surprisingly, Vitality’s pick of Mirage belonged to Fnatic as the Swedes were ironclad on the defense after the first three rounds went to Vitality. An attempt at a fightback from Vitality went in vain as Fnatic emerged victorious with the score at 16-8. It was a hard-fought game between AWPers ZywOo and Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjidi, but the latter was the better player on this map.
Sadly for the Swedes, the decider Nuke has been one of Vitality’s favorite maps for a while for a reason. ZywOo once again reigned supreme as Vitality, despite having a relatively modest 6-round T-side, managed to keep Fnatic out for the most part to secure a close 16-13 victory, making their way into the Upper Bracket Final against Heroic and pushing Fnatic down.
Complexity vs MOUZ
It’s no secret that Complexity have been undergoing a bit of a revival as of late, and this was evident in their matchup against MOUZ. They dominated the European side on their map pick of Inferno, scoring a respectable 7 on the T-side before being absolutely brutal on the CT-side, dropping only one round and sealing a 16-9 triumph. Håkon ”hallzerk” Fjærli returned to form at just the right time to help his team with a fantastic 32-kill performance that was rated 2.02 on HLTV.
MOUZ’s choice of Nuke saw the Europeans bounce back with an advantageous 9-6 T-side half, and although COL also started well on the attacking side, MOUZ weren’t as sloppy on the defense and managed to hold on to a sizable lead for a 16-12 win. Dorian “xertioN” Berman continued his good form and was ahead of the pack at the end of the game.
It was a similar story on the decider map Ancient, but with COL emerging as winners instead. They had a powerful 9-6 T-side half for the CT-sided map, and despite an early scare in the second half where MOUZ took a 12-11 lead, managed to fight back for an important 16-11 win to head into the next round. This time, Michael ”Grim” Wince provided good support to hallzerk, who was on point once more.
Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Outsiders
NIP’s pick of Vertigo may have surprised some, but the Swedes were even more surprising as they scored a murderous 14 on the attacking side. Outsiders tried, but all the best they could do was claim four rounds before NIP closed the game out. Fredrik “REZ” Sterner and Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin were equally brilliant, and newcomer Danyyl “headtr1ck” Valitov also put up some good numbers.
Moving on to Overpass, Outsiders took advantage of NIP’s relatively new squad to mount a brilliant attack that resulted in 9 rounds in their favor. NIP put up a good show on the attack, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the CIS side won 16-12. Evgeniy “FL1T” Lebedev and rookie Aleksandr “KaiR0N-” Anashkin were brilliant for Outsiders, but we’d be remiss not to mention how well headtr1ck played once again.
By the time Inferno rolled around, Outsiders seemed to be back in Major mode. Despite a powerful 8-7 T-side half from the Ninjas, the CIS squad struck back strong to clinch an easy 16-9 victory. FL1T and Aleksei “Qikert” Golubev were solid for the winners, but once again, headtr1ck stood head and shoulders above both them and his own teammates.
Join us again for the final recap of the Group Stage before we move on to the Playoffs, and make sure to take a look at our other CSGO content in the meantime.