IEM Katowice 2024 is set to host 24 elite teams in Poland. While certain teams need no introduction, there are others who have been unjustly overlooked and underestimated.
In this piece, we will explore a few teams that have the potential to shine bright and emerge as unexpected contenders in this tournament, proving their worth against the odds.
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Monte has maintained a stable roster since July 2023 without making any lineup changes. However, prior to that, they made significant adjustments by bringing in Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev, who was previously released from Natus Vincere, as well as a new coach and another player. This decision turned out to be one of the organization’s most successful transfers, with “sdy” emerging as an exceptional captain and one of the most promising talents in the competitive scene.
Since his arrival, Monte has consistently delivered outstanding performances, securing numerous impressive results in tournaments ranging from B to A levels, and even excelling in S level competitions.
- 1st place at CCT West Europe Series #2
- 1st place at ESL Challenger League S44 Europe
- 1st place at CCT Central Europe Series #5
- 1st place at CCT West Europe Series #3
- 5th-8th place at BLAST.tv Paris Major
- 3rd-4th place at ESL Pro League S18
- 2nd place at Roobet Cup 3rd-4th place at Thunderpick World Championship
- 1st place at DreamHack Winter
- 3rd-4th place at DreamHack Atlanta
Despite being ranked as the 6th best team globally, Monte’s true strength is often overlooked by fans. In many matches, people underestimate their capabilities simply because the opposing team possesses a more renowned reputation or has been active in the scene for a longer time. However, the reality is that Monte is frequently considered the favorite in these matchups.
The upcoming IEM Katowice 2024 presents a challenging test for the team. Following the play-in stage, only 16 out of the initial 24 teams will progress further. From these 16 teams, only six will secure a spot in the playoffs. For Monte to succeed, they must finish within the top three of their group. Nevertheless, their chances of achieving this feat are more promising than many anticipate.
Cloud9 will kick off the tournament by participating in the play-in stage. Assuming they progress as expected, they will then face formidable opponents in the group stage. However, a closer look at their current roster and recent accomplishments reveals that they possess the qualities necessary for success. It’s just unfortunate that things tend to fall apart for them during crucial moments, leading to disappointing outcomes.
Three of their players previously triumphed together at the Stockholm Major in 2021 while representing Natus Vincere. Since joining forces with Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov in November 2023, Cloud9 has achieved notable finishes, securing 3rd-4th place at the Thunderpick World Championship, 3rd-4th place at the BLAST Premier Fall Final, and 5th-6th place at the BLAST Premier World Final.
At this stage, the team is expected to deliver even better results, especially after having had a necessary break for training. This means they should perform at an even higher level, making it more challenging for opponents to defeat them in best-of-three matches. If they can avoid formidable teams like Team Vitality, FaZe Clan, and G2 Esports until the crucial stages, their chances of making it to the playoffs are quite promising.
You should expect surprises from them
Among the list of participants, we not only have brand-new teams entering the scene but also those that may not have superstar players but boast intriguing lineups.
One such team is GamerLegion, featuring the experienced player Snax, who is expected to contribute to their consistent performances. If we shift our focus to the competitive CIS region, we must not underestimate the potential of BetBoom Team and Team Spirit. It’s worth noting that Team Spirit appears formidable on paper, especially with the addition of sh1ro from Cloud9, which strengthens their roster significantly.