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On Sunday, a tour de force Natus Vincere hoisted the trophy of IEM Katowice, one of the most iconic esports events and especially for CS:GO. In a dominant fashion, the CIS five ran over G2 Esports 3-0, topping off the series with a 16-2 on Mirage.

But even the one-sided nature of the grand final was not enough to deter viewers. In fact, more than 1M tuned in to watch Na`Vi’s triumph, according to Esports Charts. What’s more, the next three most watched games of the tournament are all Na`Vi matches: 720K peak versus Astralis; 553K versus Team Liquid, and 545K versus FaZe Clan. And while all those are just great match-ups in general, the high viewership was also driven by the one common factor: the insane form of Na`Vi’s star player Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev.

S1mple once again put on a clinic of a performance, hitting a 1.52 rating in the final — a final boss G2 had no answer to — a 1.33 rating across the entire event, and ridiculous 1.50 average in the playoffs against the best teams in the world.

The highlight clips of S1mple from Katowice are too many to count at this point. From showing off with knife kills to incredulous 1v4 AWP clutches, the Ukrainian ignited the crowd in Spodek Arena like no one else.

The 1M viewership peak makes IEM Katowice the most watched non-Major tournament of all time, and the fifth most watched tournament in CS:GO’s history, the ranking being:

  • ELEAGUE Major 2017: 1.33M
  • ELEAGUE Major 2018: 1.32M
  • IEM Katowice Major 2019: 1.2M
  • FACEIT Major 2018: 1.08M
  • IEM Katowice 2020: 1.00M

With s1mple hitting new top levels of form, Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov growing into his IGL role, and their riflers putting up strong individual performances left and right, Na`Vi look in prime condition to contest the Major trophy at ESL One Rio in two months’ time.

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