The 1st of March marks the end of the first Premier CS:GO tournament of 2020. IEM Katowice 2020 featured the best ten teams in the world rankings. With some of the teams already having a chance to test out the waters for 2020 in BLAST Premier. That’s why IEM Katowice 2020 provided an exceptional level of Counter-Strike, with amazing CSGO Betting opportunities. With the cream of the crop in attendance, it was also one of the toughest competitions in recent memory. But one of these teams stood out head and shoulders above the rest – Na’Vi. Katowice is just the beginning to what could be the best season in CS:GO’s existence.
The group stage of IEM Katowice 2020 lasted for four days. Every single game was a bo3 in the lower and upper brackets. If a team could win their first three games, they would book a spot tp the semi-finals. It wasn’t a surprise that the first team to secure that spot was Astralis. In the upper bracket final, the Danes defeated Fnatic, and that ended their group stage journey without dropping a single map. As for Fnatic, their loss still gave them a slot in the quarters.
The lower bracket semi-finals were incredibly intense. Vitality showed a good game against Astralis and was in a position to make it still out of the groups. But they had to face the confident FaZe Clan, which had an impressive run in BLAST Premier. After a very close bo3 series, ZywOo’s carrying abilities were not enough to bring his team over the finish line. This meant FaZe had a rematch with Na’Vi for the spot in the quarters. The first two maps were one-sided. Na’vi took a convincing win on Nuke and FaZe responded with a win on Dust2. The last map was a tight race between the two squads. By the slimmest of margins, Na’Vi managed to take Inferno 16-14 and made it to the playoffs.
Things went differently in Group B. Here; the favourite mousesports was supposed to secure the semi-final spot. In their second bo3 of the upper bracket, they had to play G2 Esports. For G2 Esports this was a revenge opportunity from cs_summit as the team lost to mousesports when they fielded two stand-ins. From the get-go on Dust2, G2 dominated the first half 12-3. Unfortunately, their defence wouldn’t hold up, and they’d be blown out the second half and lose the map. After a shocking result like this, not only the team bounced back on the second map, but also the third, winning the bo3. G2 Esports didn’t stop there, and they secured the semi-final finish over Team Liquid in a 2-0 fashion.
Compared to the competitive nature of the first group, there were two clear favourites to make it through, either Evil Geniuses or Mousesports. In the lower bracket match against 100 Thieves, EG were the clear favourites. Up until this point, the Australians had an incredibly disappointing run, being battered by G2 Esports in two maps. Even though the odds were stacked against 100 Thieves, they scraped by with a win. Not only that, they’d go down to defeat the esports betting favourites mousesports in another gruelling bo3 affair.
After their abysmal start to IEM Katowice 2020, the 100 Thieves roster kept on beating mightier opposition. Heading into this match, they were still the underdog but one which could produce a competitive game. The Australians pulled-off a great comeback on the second half of Inferno from 9-15 to overtime. But they couldn’t secure the win and fell 16-19.
Things looked better for the Thieves on Mirage, and they were even in a winnable position on Mirage. After an ineffective full push through catwalk on the B bombsite, the Australians were forced to go into overtime. Here the more experienced Fnatic players held their own for another 16-19 victory.
The big storyline heading into this match was Na’Vi’s losing streak against Team Liquid. Na’vi had lost six bo3’s to Team Liquid that date back to 2018. The CIS team would successfully end the curse and beat the North-Americans 2-0.
Team Liquid had a good start on Dust2 with a 4-2 lead. That all changed with an impeccable 1vs4 clutch by s1mple on the A bombsite which changed the tone. Eventually, Na’vi finished the first half with ten rounds to their name. It wasn’t long until they secured their map pick 16-11.
Mirage was up next, and Liquid bounced back after a loss in the pistol round with a force-buy win. Their success didn’t last long, and Na'Vi began wracking up rounds on the CT side. When the sides switched Liquid quickly recuperated with a few round wins. Even though EliGE was firing-off on all cylinders, it wasn’t enough to win the second map.
Before the match even began, it was plausible that Astralis might secure another IEM Katowice 2020 trophy. They had prepared, and Na’Vi are still adapting their newest pick-up Perfecto. What was impossible to predict the domination we witnessed from Na’Vi.
After losing the first couple of rounds on Dust2, Astralis picked up a gun round victory. But since then it was the Na’Vi show. All the players, not just s1mple, showing up in a massive T side offensive. The Astralis players were missing shots and not winning aim duels. They scrapped by picking up a few more rounds, but it was a devastating 16-5 loss.
On Nuke, the home turf of Astralis, things didn’t look any better. The same problems appeared on this map, but on the T side, they were making a lot of elementary mistakes. The Na’Vi roster took that opportunity and ran to another 16-5 map win.
The start of the first map was a close race between the two teams. Rounds being traded out and neither squad had a substantial edge. It was after eight rounds that G2 began stringing rounds together on the CT side and acquired 10 round mark. The second half looked good for the Frenchmen as they spearheaded away with a 15-6 scoreline. It took them time, but they eventually closed out the map.
G2 had a 4-1 start on Dust2. As the Fnatic roster began ramping up the defensive, one could also see an improvement in the individual player's performance. Golden remained an impactful player, and JW’s AWP contribution made an impact on the CT side. Just like in the mousesports game on Dust2, G2 struggled to obtain consecutive round wins which hurt their economy. Eventually, it was a Fnatic victory with a 16-12 score.
Train was up next, and G2 had to put up a bigger fight to maintain their CT side. At the end of the first half, Fnatic successfully secured three more rounds in a row putting them at six. The G2 machine seemed unstoppable even on the T side. They were up 15-8, and it was a matter of winning just one more round. As the rounds kept going Fnatic’s favour, the bank was running out for G2. On round 28, KennyS and JaCkz successfully pulled off a rotation from the b site towards Ivy, thus allowing G2 to get the bomb down in inner. With just the pistols by their side, they managed to hold up the advancing ct’s, not leaving enough time for them to defuse the bomb.
The first stop of the grand final was Nuke, picked by G2. Even though this was their map pick, they got destroyed in the first half. Of all the 15 rounds in the first half, they acquired just one entry frag. Most of the time, the defensive from s1mple and boombl4 would single-handedly stop the round in its tracks. The latter scored 32 frags, and his team won Nuke 16-4.
Dust2 looked much better for the Frenchmen. An early force-buy victory was a big momentum boost. The players showed a lot of aggressiveness on the ct side, which propelled them to a 7-2 to lead. The lead quickly came tumbling down as s1mple and co began finding a lot more successful entries and ended the half in their favour 8-7. The Na’vi machine had chugged on and secured a 16-13 victory on the second map.
The storyline of the last map is very similar to the first one. It seemed as if G2 was powerless on Mirage as Na’vi decimated the Frenchmen for the second time at a 14-1 score. The CIS powerhouse picked up another substantial map win and with it came the trophy.