The 2023 IEM Katowice championship is in full swing on its 6th day, with a lineup of exciting matches set to take place in both Group A and B. The Play-In stage brought with it many changes, including the ESL’s change in a broadcast approach by streaming the matches on both YouTube and Twitch.
Following the results of Play-In, eight teams successfully advanced to the main phase of the tournament, joining the directly qualified squads such as FaZe, Vitality, Outsiders, Heroic, Liquid, NaVi, G2, and MOUZ. During this week though, some of these top-performing squads will face each other, leading to eliminations and advancements to the Playoffs.
If you’re looking for the schedule of the IEM Katowice Group matches, you can find it all at the https://cover.gg/tournaments/current page. While all 10 games are worth checking out, there are a few standout matches worth tuning into for their captivating storylines. Here are the ones you simply can’t miss during the IEM Katowice Groups’ broadcast.
NaVi vs. G2
Day 6 of the tournament is set to begin with Natus Vincere facing off against G2 Esports in the finals of the double-elimination Group A Upper Bracket. The match between these two teams is exciting for two reasons: the star-studded cast and the high stakes of the outcome. The winner of this game will secure a place in the Semifinals, while the loser will move on to the Quarterfinals to play the winner of Group B’s Lower Bracket in the double-elimination tournament.
NaVi and G2 are two remarkable rosters that are among the top CS:GO teams at present. The former has a strong and experienced core with players like Perfecto, electroNic, and the legendary s1mple. Additionally, the team has added talented young players like b1t and npl, who have shown their skills with NaVi’s academy.
However, the Ukrainian organization has faced some challenges recently. Their newest addition, npl, joined the squad only a month ago and is still adjusting to playing with his teammates. What’s more, their recent performance in tournaments has not been up to the mark. In their last head-to-head match during the Spring Groups, NaVi lost 2-0 to samurai.
There is a chance that the s1mple’s team may be seeking revenge in this upcoming match against G2. However, the latter is in good form and m0NESY’s skill with the AWP may give them the edge. The match is scheduled for Feb. 7 at 9:00am CT.
FaZe vs. IHC
FaZe Clan will take on IHC in a Bo3 series in the Lower Bracket Semifinal of Group A. The winner will qualify for the 2023 Lower Finals, whereas the loser will be eliminated from the tournament. This match is of high interest since the core members of FaZe and IHC’s rosters have not yet played against each other in official fixtures before.
Since winning the PGL Antwerp Major, FaZe Clan’s international lineup has been a formidable force in the CS:GO ecosystem. The American organization has proven talent in every position and has a well-respected IGL “karrigan” and veteran “rain”.
The statistics also reflect FaZe’s dominance, with a higher form ranking of 4 wins in the last 5 matches, and the best odds according to bookmakers, placing them at #3. On the other hand, IHC faces some hurdles, ranking lower at #36 and playing with a substitute player, Bart4k instead of kabal. Despite this, IHC has won 3 of their last 5 matches, displaying a level of stability in their play.
Regardless of achievements, the advantage is in favor of FaZe, but as with any competitive match, anything can happen. It will be interesting to watch these two teams face off on Feb. 6 at 12:30pm CT.
Spirit vs. Liquid
Another matchup from the Lower Bracket Semifinal of Group A is between Team Spirit and Team Liquid. The winner will proceed to take on the winner of the FaZe vs. IHC matchup, whereas the loser will be eliminated from the event.
Team Spirit sits at the 13th position in the world rankings. Despite a strong showing in the play-in stage of IEM Katowice 2023, including a win against Grayhound Gaming, they were unable to secure a map against NiP.
In the Groups, Spirit began with a loss to FaZe (0-2), but bounced back with a determined victory over BIG in the Lower Bracket (2-1), which indicates their potential for the upcoming match.
Liquid did have a slow start to the year, as seen from their performance at the Spring Groups. However, the Americans have picked themselves up after their recent defeats and are ready to give it their all at the ongoing Polish championship. Considering their current form and cohesion, Team Liquid has an advantage over Team Spirit in this Lower Bracket Semifinal matchup on Feb. 6 at 12:30pm CT.