An overlook at what happened so far
The Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023, part of the IEM and Intel Grand Slam series, got underway on the 1st of February. ESL is the organiser of the tournament, and it has a total of 7 sponsors which are Intel, Lenovo Legion, DHL, the U.S. Air Force, 1XBET, Monster Energy, and FACEIT. The CS:GO competition is an offline event that is happening in Katowice, Poland. Spodek Arena is the location of the event where the Playoffs will take place. A total of $1,000,000 prize pool is set for the tournament which will be awarded to all the 24 participating. Yesterday the Group Stage actions concluded the Upper-Bracket Semifinals from both the groups while Group A concluded their Lower Bracket Semifinals as well.
Group Stage Recaps
The Group Stage actions started on the 4th of February where a total of 16 teams were seen. These teams are divided into two groups of 8 teams each and the top 3 teams from each group will head for the Playoffs. A total of 6 matches were played out yesterday and the match streams are available on ESL Counter-Strike’s official YouTube channel. A detailed round-wise match recap is mentioned below –
Group A Upper Bracket Semifinals
Match 1: Team Liquid vs Natus Vincere
- Inferno map: First-half score remained 3-12 and later a 2-4 second-half finish from NAVI led them to a victory by 5-16.
- Anubis map: Both teams forced the match to overtime and NAVI claimed the game with a final score of 17-19.
Match 2: G2 Esports vs FaZe Clan
- Nuke map: The first half was led by G2 Esports with a score of 9-6 later, a 7-8 finish led G2 Esports to a win by 16-14.
- Ancient map: First-half score remained 10-5 and later a 6-2 finish in the second half led G2 Esports to a win.
Group A Lower Bracket Semifinals
Match 1: FaZe Clan vs IHC Esports
- Inferno map: First-half score remained 9-6 and a 7-5 second-half finish led FaZe Clan to a victory by 16-11.
- Ancient map: The first-half score remained 12-3 which was a good lead from FaZe Clan, the second half got over with a score of 4-0. FaZe Clan won the game by 16-3.
Match 2: Team Liquid vs Team Spirit
- Nuke map: Team Liquid began with total domination and made it 10-5 in the first half. The second half remained 6-7, Team Liquid ended up winning the game by 16-12.
- Overpass map: First half score remained 8-7. Team Spirit went ahead with a 5-9 second-half display and won the game with a score of 13-16.
- Anubis map: Team Spirit led the first half by 6-9 but Team Liquid performed brilliantly and made it 10-2 in the second half. Team Liquid won the game by 16-11.
Group B Upper Bracket Semifinals
Match 1: Heroic vs OG
- Inferno map: The first half remained 8-7 and later an 8-3 finish in the second half led Heroic to a win by 16-10.
- Mirage map: The first half remained 6-9 but Heroic turned the game with a 10-3 finish and won the game by 16-12.
Match 2: Team Vitality vs Fnatic
- Overpass map: First-half remained 10-5, Fnatic tried to make a comeback but failed to do so as the score remained 6-8 in the second half. Team Vitality made it a win in with a 16-13 finish.
- Mirage map: First-half score remained 3-12, later a 5-4 finish led Fnatic to a win by 8-16.
- Nuke map: First-half score remained 6-9 later a 10-4 comeback from Team Vitality in the second half led them to a victory by 16-13.
After these matches are over, Natus Vincere will face G2 Esports in the Upper Bracket Final of Group A and FaZe Clan will face Team Liquid in Lower Bracket Final. Group B Upper Bracket Final will be played between Heroic vs Team Vitality.