IEM Katowice 2024: Afterword

IEM Katowice 2024 has come to a close, and we still can’t believe that Team Spirit emerged seemingly out of nowhere and claimed victory in this prestigious tournament, and with such ease, to top it off. The CIS team only dropped a single map throughout the entire event, and that happened in a match against Natus Vincere. Furthermore, their unbeatable performance was largely attributed to the standout performances of donk, who proved to be the top player on the server in almost every match.

This top-tier tournament has taught us many things and shed light on the current state of the professional CS:GO scene as we approach the end of winter. So, what exactly did we manage to discern between the lines?

Conclusions about the tournament

Despite roster changes, Astralis were eliminated in the play-in stage after losses to Heroic (13-11) and ENCE (0-2). If anyone wanted to learn a lesson about “karma,” Astralis players certainly experienced it. The organization signed two of Heroic’s best players (stavn and jabbi), who essentially abandoned the project that had nurtured them to the top level. Not to mention their captain, who stood by them through thick and thin but was ultimately stabbed in the back. They also sold their former IGL, gla1ve, to ENCE, and it only helped the latter. As a result, Astralis lost all their roster potential and are now reaping the consequences of such transfer policies. The outcome? An early exit, unnoticed by anyone.

Teams like Cloud9, FURIA Esports, BIG, and Complexity also disappointed their fans and casual viewers. To be fair, C9 at least made it to the group stage, but they were expected to perform much better once there. Instead, they lost their first two matches and were sent home. Moreover, the sniper position issue, which everyone has been hinting at, is indeed a pressing matter for the team. Despite the potentially positive impact of the boombl4 transfer, the team has yet to show any results.

On the other hand, let’s talk about those who pleasantly surprised us. In addition to Spirit, we witnessed three other teams that made quite an impression:

Falcons with MOUZ reached the semi-finals

All these teams performed much better than expected. Not only did they all make it to the playoffs, but Falcons and MOUZ even reached the semifinals, where they were unfortunately defeated by Spirit and FaZe, respectively.

Nonetheless, securing 3rd-4th place in one of the most prestigious CS:GO events of the season is quite a respectable outcome. It seems that Zonic truly is an exceptional coach. Especially considering that his new team, apart from Magisk and SunPayus, is just an average contender in the Tier-1 division. Achieving top-tier results so soon after starting their collaboration is no easy feat.

One team that struggled in this tournament was Team Vitality. FaZe Clan, their significant rival in previous events, claimed the 2nd place. However, Vitality didn’t even make it to the playoffs despite having players like ZywOo and Spinx.

Vitality lost to ENCE (1-2) and then immediately suffered another defeat against Heroic (1-2). Both matches were intense, and ZywOo undoubtedly did his part. However, some members of the team clearly underperformed. Spinx, in particular, displayed a very poor individual level and ended the match against ENCE as the weakest player on the server: 26-41 / 58.3 ADR / 0.76.

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