There's not long to wait until IEM Katowice clicks off and it’s getting a bit annoying now, to be honest. The build-up to the event has been fantastic, but with such a dearth of high-level CSGO over recent months some of us fans just want the games to crack on. We have to wait, of course, so in the meantime here’s a rundown on the potential Major MVP winners for IEM Katowice 2019, based on form coming into the event.
There are a lot of reasons s1mple should be the MVP at any event he attends, but most of those relate to Na’Vi. His value to the organisation and the rest of the team is almost too great to overstate, as they would be nowhere without him, but the abject state Na’Vi find themselves in coming to Katowice means his chances of being involved at the sharp end are not good, to say the least. HLTV recently published an incredibly frank interview with IGL Zeus, in which you can clearly see that if Na’Vi are to do anything, it will have to be powered by the stars alone.
With the way that competitive sport and esports work, the odds of winning the Major MVP if you don’t win the Major are pretty slim. As a result of that, and the extra recognition he’s been getting over the last few months, dev1ce has to be the favourite to take the award in Katowice. Astralis are the best team in the world, and should win the title, meaning his main competition will come from his team-mates rather than any other player. Gla1ve is also an outside/hipster pick, but for us it has to be the AWPer.
As hard as it is to believe, there is a universe where FaZe are successful in Katowice, and it’s not hard to imagine how we get there. The likes of GuardiaN and Olof are close to the end of their top level careers, and while the tactical system seems about as robust as the President’s prickly ego there is enough talent to drag them to the last week, where anything can happen. If they make it all the way, NiKo will have to go off, and for all the flak he’s taken in recent months there are few, if any players in world CSGO with his level of talent.
This might seem like a stretch, especially after we controversially added Stewie into our list of 2018's best players, but there is some sound logic in play. If Liquid are able to replicate their IBP form and beat Astralis again, this time in a major final, then pundits are going to rush to crown the ‘difference-maker’. The talent of Twistzz, NAF and the rest is undoubtable, but the mindset of Stewie is very different to the rest of Liquid, and recognising the difference he makes to the team would be a logical way to decide on the MVP.
Now, this is probably the biggest stretch of the piece, and the obvious ‘bait’ pick, but there is some logic behind it. The Cloud9 team is way better than most fans give them credit for, and the veteran Swede has proved to be an extremely effective replacement for IGL Golden, who is benched due to health issues. If C9 are able to pull off a miracle, it will be flusha appreciation time for all, and rightly so. The same could be applied to BIG Clan and new signing Xantares, but they seem too one-dimensional to make a serious impact at this event.
Chances: 5/10 (but it would be epic)
The latest episode of The Week In CSGO is all about the Major, as Tim Masters and Sujoy Roy look forward to the Challengers Stage at IEM Katowice.