IEM Katowice 2022 is about to come to an end as the playoffs are starting with the last six teams standing. It was a total bloodbath at the group stage, with the most brutal of them all being ZywOo’s Team Vitality getting eliminated early. Let’s have a look at what happened in the group stage before moving on to the playoffs.
Together with Vitality, Ninjas in Pyjamas, MOUZ, Astralis and Fnatic were among the ones that got eliminated at IEM Katowice 2022’s group stage. The last six teams at the playoffs are Heroic, Virtus.pro, Gambit Esports, Natus Vincere, FaZe Clan and G2 Esports. You can find a detailed recap of the group stage below.
IEM Katowice 2022 Group Stage recap
When both G2 Esports and Natus Vincere found themselves in Group B, it was an opportunity for the teams in Group A.
Team Vitality defeated MOUZ in the first round, but it was a very depressing series. Winning Vertigo 22-19, Vitality then lost Inferno in the extra time, and although they finished it on Nuke, their confidence took a big hit against MOUZ.
Heroic then defeated OG 2-1 in a very close series, Virtus.pro had virtually no problems against Copenhagen Flames and Ninjas in Pyjamas bested Gambit 2-1 in a series that saw no extra time at all. OG got defeated for the second time, this time by MOUZ in the lower bracket. Copenhagen Flames fought hard to stay, but Gambit pushed them out of Katowice eventually.
Round 2 saw a surprising result from Heroic vs Vitality. Winning Mirage 16-12, Heroic started with an advantage, however in the second map, two 8-7 halves meant extra time. Dupreeh's heroic 42 frag performance wasn’t enough as Heroic ended up winning 22-17 and ZywOo’s poor performance may have cost his team the tournament here.
Although they lost one map, Virtus.pro defeated NIP without much struggle. Following that, NIP defeated MOUZ 2-0 in the lower bracket, and Gambit crushed Team Vitality as well, both matches ending with a score of 2-0. Heroic - Virtus.pro final where two teams that secured qualification went unexpectedly one-sided, with Heroic dominating VP. In the lower bracket final, Gambit also destroyed NIP, with 16-10 on Ancient and 16-12 on Vertigo, securing the last spot.
The competition in Group B was a lot more complicated with full best-of-three matches and of course, NAVI being here.
Although ENCE managed to steal a Nuke with a shocking 16-4 score, Natus Vincere won the first game 2-1. FURIA Esports easily bested Astralis with 2-0, FaZe Clan sent Team Liquid to lower bracket with 2-1 and the other surprise of the first round was Fnatic defeating NiKo’s G2 2-1. After a shocking result at Nuke that saw G2 defeat Fnatic 16-2, FNC managed to come back with two strong performances at Mirage and Inferno.
ENCE and Team Liquid were the first teams to be eliminated in the Group B, the former being eliminated by Astralis and latter by G2 Esports. Following that, Natus Vincere started the series against FURIA with a 16-2 Mirage, and finished it 2-0. FaZe Clan sent Fnatic to the lower bracket with a 2-1, a win which secured them the qualification to playoffs.
Astralis then hyped their fans with a win against Fnatic which ended on extra time at Ancient. However, although it was 8-7 both halves, Astralis didn’t let Fnatic take a single round in the extra time, showing their strength. G2 defeated the Brazilian powerhouse FURIA, and fought with Astralis for the last spot. After a bad Ancient where Astralis managed to come back from a 10-5 deficit, G2 won Dust II 16-5 and Inferno 16-1, winning the series thanks to the monster called NiKo having 72 kills. He is in-form, keep your eyes on NiKo.
The winner bracket finals saw NAVI defeat FaZe, and although you might think it’s not a surprise, how close it was is the surprising factor here. FaZe Clan won Overpass 16-13 and moved on to lose Dust II 16-12. Mirage saw an amazing fight between these two titans, two 8-7 halves meant extra time, and after two extensions, NAVI took the win with 22-19. However, the impossible looks more possible here at Katowice, NAVI might not be immortal.
IEM Katowice 2022 playoffs
With these six teams, FaZe, Gambit, Virtus.pro, G2 Esports, Heroic and NAVI, the playoffs will be starting. As of now, the most impressive player has been NiKo, having a 1.50 rating from HLTV. His KD is 1.60, closest to him is Gambit’s sh1ro. While NAVI don’t look as good as they were in 2021, s1mple still has 1.29 rating from HLTV with 1.41 KD, so, if you missed the group stage, know that he is still a monster.
NiKo came very close to his first Major win at PGL Major last year, can he upset NAVI this time and win IEM Katowice for his team? Don’t miss this exciting tournament, watch the games and place your bets on Luckbox.