IEM Katowice 2024 Recap: The First Massive CS2 Event - KeyDrop Blog
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IEM Katowice 2024 Recap: The First Massive CS2 Event

KeyDrop Team

IEM Katowice, the first big tournament of 2024 (and arguably, the first massive tournament of CS2) has just ended, and we’re here to give you a recap of the showdown in Silesia. We’ll start with the Play-In and go all the way to the surprise winners! So, are you ready for an IEM Katowice 2024 callback? Let’s go!

The Play-In

The Play-In tournament saw 16 teams competing for eight spots in the main tournament in the legendary Katowice Spodek – the Mecca of Polish esports. Among the teams, two rosters — ENCE and Rebels were primarily Polish, while the newly reformed GamerLegion featured Polish CS legend Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski and BIG featuring Polish-British AWPer Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski. Some known names also appeared in the Play-In with Astralis, Cloud9, Apeks, Heroic, FURIA and Virtus.Pro.

The tournament was set up as a double elimination tournament, meaning each team would play two games. Win two, and you’re in. Lose more than one, and you’re out. As simple as that.

The first round saw some interesting results as the hometown Rebels beat Cloud9, FURIA lost to The Mongolz, while Astralis lost to Heroic in a Danish showdown. EternalFire defeated BetBoom, Spirit beat Apeks, and GamerLegion won against M80. ENCE didn’t get out to a good start in their home country as they lost to neighbors BIG. 

This resulted in a second round in which Heroic defeated BIG, Spirit defeated The Mongolz, GamerLegion guaranteed the return of Snax to the Spodek with a win over Virtus.Pro, but EternalFire made the celebrations bittersweet as they beat Rebels.

In the lower bracket, Cloud9 eliminated BetBoom, ENCE stayed alive defeating Astralis, Apeks sent FURIA back to Brazil, and M80 beat Rooster in a battle of the underdogs.

As Heroic, Spirit, GamerLegion and EternalFire awaited for the remaining qualifiers, the last round saw Cloud9 clutching their CIS showdown against Virtus.Pro, hometown heroes ENCE defated TheMongolz, while Apeks and Rebels joined the winners, sending BIG and M80 Home.

The Group Stage

As we entered the Group Stage of IEM Katowice 2024, the field was going to get a whole lot tougher. Joining the 8 Play-In teams, were FaZe, Mouz, both featuring Poles in their team, with the legendary Filip “NEO” Kubski coaching FaZe and Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek as well as Complexity, G2, Vitality, Monte, Falcons and Na’Vi.

Group A saw FaZe, Rebels, Falcons, Eternal Fire, Na’Vi, Spirit, Complexity, Apeks compete for 3 knockout spots, with Spirit FaZe and Falcons qualified for the quarterfinal spots, and Spirit beating FaZe in the showdown for the Semis.

Meanwhile, in Group B featuring Vitality, ENCE, G2, Heroic, Monte, GamerLegion, Cloud9 and Mouz, with the latter storming through the group and taking the semi-final slot away from hometown heroes ENCE, who were joined by G2 in the quarters instead.

The big shockers were, of course, the early eliminations of Vitality and Na’Vi. The French outfit lost to ENCE and Heroic, while the CIS team faltered against the newly established Saudi-funded team. 

The Knockout Stage

The first quarterfinal was a real nailbiter between ENCE and Falcons including a 13-11 finish on the decider on Nuke, as ENCE failed to capitalize on a big comeback and a few key rounds, disappointing the home crowd. Falcons would go on to face off the up and comers from Spirit.

FaZe disposed of G2 with ease in a 2-0 romp that never really seemed in doubt, setting up a face-off of the old MOUZ core of Robin “ropz” Kool, Finn “karrigan” Andersen, and David “frozen” Cerny against the newly set up MOUZ.

As an aside here, it’s incredible that MOUZ have gone through multiple roster changes and are often a “farm team” of sorts for bigger orgs, having lost superstars in the form of Nikola “NiKo’ Kovacs, as well as the aforementioned ropz and frozen to other teams, yet they consistently find new young talent that ends up with Top 4 finishes at big tournaments. It’s impressive, really.

Speaking of youth, Team Spirit’s average age of 20.8 wasn’t any sort of barrier in their semifinal win over the far more experienced Falcons team, as they disposed of them in 2 rather easy map wins. FaZe had a bit of a harder time on their second map with Mouz but still came out on top.

With the final set, everyone was expecting FaZe to use their experience to beat Spirit, especially in a Best-of-5 format favoring FaZe’s experience and versatility. On the other hand, Spirit hasn’t lost a map since their first round map loss to Na’Vi, beating FaZe 2-0 once already. On the back of a breakout performance from 17-year-old Danil “donk” Kryshkovets, Spirit couldn’t be overlooked.

In the end, the familiar scenario of the underdogs getting all the way to the final only to lose against the grizzled veterans… didn’t repeat itself. Spirit beat FaZe in 3 maps clean, including two of FaZe’s picks in Nuke and Overpass, as well as a win on Spirit’s home turf of Mirage. Donk took home the MVP honors from HLTV, and Spirit won their first IEM Grand Slam title.

The Future

So that’s it for IEM Katowice 2024. With big upsets and big performances, we’re heading into Major season with RMR events starting on February 14th and the Major itself starting in March. We’ll keep you posted as we approach the big event… but one thing is sure. It seems that CS2 is an opening for new teams to make a mark.

Who do you think will win the Copenhagen Major? Do you think Spirit will continue on their winning ways? Let us know on our socials.

KeyDrop Team


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